How do I choose DevOps tools?

DevOps tools approach many practices in an effort to centralize or streamline workflows. Some core functionalities of DevOps include automated provisioning, testing, build, and deployment. Alongside these practices, comes a need to maintain continuous feedback, and dependable logging of virtually everything.

In a growing arena, it often feels like there are more options coming to market by the day, so how do you choose the DevOps tools that are right for you? Knowing which tools are right for you depends on what is right unique requirements, but here are some points every organization should consider when evaluating DevOps tools:

1 – Automate where you can, as much as you can

The golden keys to DevOps are speed and accuracy, and both can be addressed by automation tools. Flexible, high-quality, and speedy DevOps relies upon automation – these cannot be achieved with manual processes.

Organizations that implement enterprise-class automation tools will find it easier to automate, secure, deploy, and improve by automating the entire DevOps tool kit, allowing for scaling workflows and continuously (and seamlessly) tweak processes with little effort.

2 – Look toward integration

DevOps has created a demand within organizations for management toolset integration, yet not all integrations can be approached in the same way. Using different scripts to tie the toolset together can be difficult to scale – and that’s where application-agnostic automation tools step in. These DevOps tools serve as centralized consoles which manage an entire environment, and connect to any app which provides a web service or API.

3 – Farewell to Silos

Small organizations can get by with small developer and operations teams to cover DevOps. This becomes problematic in large organizations, where a single team is broken into smaller working groups who often don’t share the same resources, tools, or processes. More challenging is when the shift to DevOps from a more traditional model is still fresh, and these development and operations teams may actually find that they’re working against one another, at the sacrifice of speed, agility, and flexibility.

While much of this can be solved through workplace cultural approaches such as frequent communication and sharing common objectives, DevOps tools are a crucial part of the equation. DevOps tools can aid in cross-functional planning, so consider the bigger picture when evaluating tools to address business needs in development or operations. Remember to consider DevOps a whole entity, rather than individual functional teams.

4 – Don’t Forget the Cloud

Cloud computing and DevOps are a good match – it’s possible to use an on premises approach to DevOps, but the cloud brings more scalability and agility.

On premises architecture requires regular maintenance and upgrades, slowing down the DevOps team and requiring more IT support involvement. Cloud platforms generally update their technology continually (and without a burdensome intervention from DevOps) in order to support new tools and solutions.

A cloud-based approach means you can make use of fast self-service provisioning of cloud resources, and that developers can easily innovate and test code, and shut off resources when they are no longer needed.

5 – Support and Enable Your Teams

Make sure the tools you invest in serve to support the needs of your development and operations teams, and enable them to make changes in workflows. The tools and processes you choose should have the end goal in mind: enabling DevOps.

Consider tools that give developers the ability to design workflows, or request to promote jobs to staging or production environments. For operations, give them tools that help to make their work scalable. DevOps automation solutions should make it easy to approach changes to common processes. To keep DevOps running smoothly, look to monitoring tools. 

Ultimately, there are a seemingly endless number of solutions available to support your DevOps team. To find tools and solutions that are best fit for the needs of your organization, listen to what development and operations have to say about workflows and requirements, and what would help them to be more agile, efficient, and error-free.

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