In our increasingly digital world, software is essential to businesses and organizations. Software enables us to communicate directly with customers, design new applications, manage logistics, and more. Put simply, software is completely transforming how we operate.
However, traditional approaches to software development and infrastructure management no longer suffice in our fast-paced world. Enterprises need agile, flexible, and scalable IT, alongside streamlined deployment practices, to innovate and iterate rapidly. In other words, they need DevOps.
DevOps refers to a collection of practices, tools, and philosophies that enhance an organization's ability to keep pace with ever-evolving markets. Through DevOps, leaders leverage various best practices and cloud technologies, including Infrastructure-as-Code, continuous integration, continuous delivery, microservices, and serverless architecture, to name a few.
In this post, we take a closer look at some of these best practices and explain why they are important for modern organizations. We also highlight how Amazon Web Services (AWS) enables companies to take advantage of cloud solutions to optimize DevOps.
Using Infrastructure-as-Code to Reduce Manual Provisioning
In the past, managing and provisioning IT infrastructure in the cloud was a labor-intensive process. System administrators had to physically install and configure servers for their unique compute and storage needs. Doing so was costly, prone to human error, and inefficient. Companies couldn’t scale with demand through utility computing, which is a key benefit of the public cloud.
Out of this frustration came Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC). IaC refers to the process of provisioning and managing IT infrastructure with machine-readable files that computers can execute. Through IaC, administrators can use continuous configuration tools, such as Ansible, Puppet, and Chef, to automate infrastructure management and provisioning, thus eliminating the resources needed to accomplish these tasks manually.
IaC is critical to modern DevOps practices as it promotes on-demand scalability and enterprise agility through automation. IT teams can redirect energy away from infrastructure management and focus more on building better applications that enhance customer experiences.
Building Continuous CI/CD Pipelines to Accelerate Deployments
Continuous improvement and continuous delivery (CI/CD) practices are also crucial for DevOps. Through CI/CD, companies can automate the software development process, from building new code to pushing updates.
The continuous integration part of DevOps refers to the developer practice of merging code changes to central repositories for further testing. In continuous delivery, developers prepare code for production. From here, organizations can schedule deployments in advance so that developers don’t have to approve software updates or releases manually. Teams can also require reviews for specific deployments to ensure certain stakeholders get final approval.
CI/CD practices are core to DevOps as they enable automated software deployments, improve code quality, and increase delivery velocity. Furthermore, developers spend less time on cumbersome delivery tasks, freeing them up for more strategic initiatives.
Using Microservices Architecture to Improve Resilience
When it comes to application modernization, organizations often cite microservices as a key architecture design strategy. However, microservices are also relevant in DevOps.
Microservices replace monolithic applications with loosely connected, independent services. Because of their decoupled nature, microservices can be organized around specific business capabilities and maintained by small teams. Developers can scale specific microservices as needed and deploy updates without having to reconfigure an entire application.
Within the context of DevOps, microservices help build serverless CI/CD pipelines that improve isolation, stability, and resilience. And with AWS, organizations can use the container technology of their choosing in conjunction with AWS services, to deploy serverless workloads.
How AWS Supports DevOps
Across all of these areas, AWS offers cloud-native tools that help organizations maximize the effectiveness of their DevOps practices.
For example, companies can use AWS CloudFormation to code infrastructure from scratch, provision and manage third-party application resources, integrate with other AWS services, and scale infrastructure as needed. With AWS CodePipeline, users can automate continuous delivery pipelines to accelerate new releases in a reliable manner.
All DevOps solutions are managed services. AWS alleviates the administrative burden of managing IT for software development and deployment by taking on many of the responsibilities within those areas. On top of that, AWS only charges for what clients use, which means companies never overpay for IT resources.
Watch Our AWS DevOps Best Practices Webinar
Recently, one of our solutions architects, Gustavo Rios, led a webinar entitled How to Build Modern Applications and Innovate Faster with DevOps. In the webinar, Gustavo digs into the topics we covered here in more detail and discusses implementation strategies around DevOps best practices. He also highlights how ClearScale approaches DevOps projects to help clients achieve their most ambitious cloud objectives.
To learn more about how to manage IaC, build CI/CD pipelines, deploy microservices, monitor infrastructure performance, and more, sign up to watch the webinar here.
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