What is Cloud-Native DevOps
Technology evolution is a continuum wherein separate developments come together at different points in time to create unprecedented impact. Sometimes a technology maybe around for a long time and become popular only with the arrival of an enabling technology. Cloud-native DevOps falls under the second category—some of its key technology such as Containers, Dockers, Kubernetes have been around for a relatively long time but have seen huge adoption with the maturity of Cloud.
Setting the Context: The Arrival of DevOps
- Cloud Computing is a paradigm shift from buying computers to purchasing computing power. With compute available on demand, applications became highly scalable and Cloud architectures enabled high availability and resilience.
- Managing and innovating frequently in a highly distributed environment became untenable with traditional methods of role separation wherein different teams developed and operated software.
- Distributed systems are complex and technicalities of operating the application could not be separated from the underlying design and architecture of the system—requiring closer collaboration between developer and ops teams giving rise to DevOps
- DevOps teams share the responsibility of bringing out high-quality code in a fast and efficient manner with continuous feedback and improvement in an automated environment.
- Essentially a cultural approach, DevOps-enabled processes are supported by high level of automation providing transparency and observability. When benefits of DevOps are combined with scale and agility of Cloud ecosystem, it equips businesses with transformational capabilities.
Implementing Cloud-Native DevOps
The process must start with employee reorientation from working in silos to working together and teams must acquire horizonal understanding of the environment including roles, tools, and goals. For example, a software developer gains knowledge how operations work and know the full stack from coding to hosting while a system administrator learns coding, scripting, integration and testing.
All stakeholders including end users/customers must be onboard and provide continuous feedback for improvement. User feedback is captured in automated tools and developers make changes to optimize user experience.
Characteristics of Cloud-Native DevOps
Cloud-native DevOps enable high-velocity software release at scale using following technologies:
- Microservices: Services are built using loosely-coupled architectures making each service independent, autonomous and easily scalable. Elastic infrastructure and microservices architecture help applications easily scale and remain highly performant.
- Containers: Containers enable developers to ship code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure making it easier to deploy and update applications; and isolate in case of failure. Unlike virtual machines, containers can be provisioned faster and scale out rapidly.
- Infrastructure-as-code: Configuration management tools such as Cloud Formation and Ansible enable IT toprovision servers and configuring software, middleware and infrastructure. Automating configuration management provides consistent environment and makes it easy for developers to deploy software.
- Container orchestration with Kubernetes: Kubernetes solves many of the pain points of deploying and managing containers and microservices. Managed container orchestration services such as AWS ECS and EKS are frequently used by Cloud native DevOps practitioners.
- CICD: CICD enables DevOps teams to frequently validate and deliver applications through automation and continuous movement of code throughout the development lifecycle to make multiple releases per day. CICD equips rollback capabilities. Common CI/CD tools include Jenkins and Bamboo.
- Continuous Monitoring: Sophisticated monitoring tools are used to track and monitor the environment, ensure compliance and high application performance. In case of non-compliance alerts are sent and auto remedial measures taken. Logs are stored for quick resolution.
- Serverless: Function-as-a-service such as AWS Lambda enable DevOps engineers to execute operational functions easily by coding logic in stateless containers which are triggered by events without having to maintain server updates, fault-tolerance, scalability and monitoring.
Cloud native DevOps is a dynamic practice as tools emerge enabling engineers to develop and ship quality code faster. It is a unique journey for each organization as processes are constantly optimized to align with business goals helping to truly exploit the transformational capabilities of Cloud.