In today’s increasingly complex software development environment, DevOps concepts like Continuous Deployment or CD enable teams to speed up time-to-market while improving the quality of software and reducing development costs. However, you can only benefit from CD if you use the right tools. While there are hordes of tools flourishing in the market, there are a handful that we, at Addteq, use day in and day out to drive value for our customers. Curious to know what our favorite CD tools are? Read on to find out!
The Need for Continuous Deployment
Continuous Deployment is a DevOps concept that makes sure any code that passes the testing phase is released automatically into the production environment.
It automates the process of deployment, thereby eliminating the need for human intervention and helps in accelerating time-to-market. Since for every change, deployment is triggered automatically in small batches; CD ensures releases are less risky, and bugs are easier to fix. It also ensures that code is compiled, tested, and deployed to the production environment efficiently and as soon as possible.
Introduction to Infrastructure Provisioning
The primary objective of DevOps is to drive agility in the software development process while staying focused on product quality.
Faster release cycles through CD are only possible when code is built on robust infrastructure components capable of provisioning the required test and production environment. Since the underlying infrastructure plays a vital role in accelerating the development process, manual management of infrastructure can result in several complexities and can slow down the deployment.
Infrastructure provisioning automates the process of setting up infrastructure components to increase software release speed. It ensures infrastructure is dynamically created with minimal interruptions, so code can be deployed faster and with increased reliability. Infrastructure provisioning not only improves system performance, but it also drives scalability and ensures efficient change management for quicker releases and ultimately improved customer satisfaction.
Our top three CD tools
When it comes to CD, there are some tools we swear by:
- Vagrant: Vagrant is a CD tool that helps us build and manage infrastructure environments in a single, easy-to-use workflow. With a high focus on automation, it provides highly configurable, reproducible, and portable environments. It drastically lowers infrastructure setup time, and thus improves deployment speed. Using Vagrant, we have been able to maximize the productivity and flexibility of our team in a big way. Since the infrastructure is provisioned based on industry-standard technology, we can automatically install and configure software. Vagrant isolates dependencies within a single disposable, consistent environment, so everything is installed and configured for us to deploy our code. It offers a consistent workflow for developing and testing infrastructure management scripts, that allows us to test scripts and move to production quickly.
- Amazon EC2: Amazon EC2 is a web service that provides secure and elastic compute capacity in the cloud and is an excellent tool for DevOps. Since it helps configure capacity with minimal friction, it allows us to run our code on Amazon’s proven computing environment with complete control of computing resources. Using Amazon EC2, we are able to obtain and provision new server instances in minutes and accelerate our deployment activities. Since we can quickly scale capacity up and down, it helps us maximize performance while minimizing costs. With access to robust tools, Amazon EC2 helps us build failure-resilient applications and isolate them from common failure scenarios. It provides complete control of instances while allowing us to reboot them remotely – as and when required. It offers a range of multiple instance types, operating systems, memory, CPU, storage and software packages, allowing us to select a configuration that is optimal for our application. Not only is Amazon EC2 a reliable way to provision infrastructure, but it is also easy to start, inexpensive, secure, and robust.
- Docker: Another tool that we totally depend on for CD is Docker. The tool, with its range of Docker CLI plugins, streamlines the process of creating and running applications. Using Docker, we have been able to enhance collaboration and integrate our code-build-test cycles directly with our preferred development environment. Since it offers end-to-end integration, it allows us to extend the platform to build existing and new applications. Docker gives us the freedom to work with the tools, application stacks and development environments of our choice, making it easy to get applications up and running in minutes. Since it leverages customizable application templates to package, install, and manage containers as a shareable unit, it makes it easy for us to share and deploy applications – across different environments.
Over the past few years, the software development process has evolved dramatically. Today, irrespective of the method or frameworks you use, working software has to be always available.
DevOps concepts like CD aid organizations in robust infrastructure provisioning, so the code can quickly be moved from testing to production environment.
At Addteq, we have been using tools such as Vagrant, Amazon EC2 and Docker to consistently, quickly, and reliably provision infrastructure and accelerate the deployment process to meet the growing needs of our customers.
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