Cloud Computing and DevOps practices have developed independently but together they are a powerhouse delivering business agility and digital transformation. Benefits multiply significantly when used together accelerating software delivery by 81%, as against an improvement of 50% used in isolation, according to Freedom Dynamics, an independent IT analyst firm.
Cloud DevOps is flooding the market with new applications and services and IDC predicts 500 million new digital apps and services by 2023 equivalent to the number of apps and services created over the past 40 years. What’s more IDC predicts that by 2025, two-third enterprises will be prolific software producers deploying code on a daily basis and 90% of new apps will be Cloud-native.
Cloud-enabled digital transformation has collapsed the time from ideation to innovation and businesses are unleashing innovative services and applications at speed by leveraging DevOps practices and Cloud agility. This inter-dependence of Cloud and DevOps gives potency to the combination. Where exactly do these systems complement each other and what are these benefits, let’s take a closer look.
The coupling of Cloud and DevOps has gained traction as both approaches simplify development processes and go-to-market. Built on a foundation of automation, Cloud and DevOps are designed to reduce friction in the delivery process. Cloud supports Infrastructure-as-a-Code (IaaS) which is a basic tenet of DevOps and developers can self-provision resources to remove inefficiencies and latencies associated in traditional procurement of hardware. Together with automated integration and deployment, DevOps in the Cloud achieves significantly higher speed and agility to experiment and innovate with faster code releases.
Specific benefits include the following.
Cost-efficiency: Automated processes reduce inefficiencies to provision resources and enable building and destroying dev and test environment. In contrast, traditional IT environments have long procurement cycles and require over-provisioning of resources with huge upfront expenditure. Usage-based resource accounting makes it easy to track cost of development, make adjustments and avoid Cloud sprawl.
Better Governance: Cloud characteristics of observability and transparency lends itself well to DevOps processes to monitor and take remedial measures. Tight integration of DevOps automation enables centralized governance with tools such as log tracking, monitoring and alert management tracking resources and process to ensure environment is secure, compliance is high and auto-remedial measures kick in during breach or non-compliance.
Containerization and Microservices: Cloud capability of IaaS gels well with DevOps automation giving a spurt to Cloud-native application development using containers, serverless and microservices architectures. Infrastructure becomes an abstraction allowing developers to focus on optimizing application performance and efficiency without worrying about managing the runtime environment. AWS offers a range of options to run containers including container-as-a-service-AWS Fargate; container management service- AWS ECS; and you can run your own EC2 instance on ECS.
Cloud Native DevOps Tools: Public Cloud providers are providing native CICD tools to reduce deployment complexity and tightly integrate DevOps processes in the environment. For example, AWS Cloud offers AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodeBuild, and Amazon CodeDeploy, all of which are managed services to automate build, source repository, test and deploy code to EC2 instances and Lambda functions.
Better Testing Environment: Performance testing of Cloud-native applications are an inherent part of design architecture wherein processes are automated to test code for load, stress and availability by simulating production environment. Unit tests of performance is conducted early in the development cycle where code moves through automated pipeline to test latency, request per minute and failed code is returned to developer.
With increased uptake, the benefits of DevOps in the Cloud are sharply defined—from increased speed to market to lower costs of development, testing and deployment; to quicker feedback loops that fold back into the software all the while efficiently meeting the needs of businesses.
The DevOps objective of empowering developers by automating agile processes intersects with Cloud capabilities of speed, scale and agility. Together DevOps and Cloud are a winning combination driving meaningful transformation to impact the way business goals and objectives are being achieved.