What is DevOps?

DevOps (a clipped compound of "development" and "operations") is a software development methodology that combines software development (Dev) with information technology operations (Ops). The goal of DevOps is to shorten the systems development life cycle while also delivering features, fixes, and updates frequently in close alignment with business objectives. The DevOps approach is to include automation and event monitoring at all steps of the software build, from business request through application support.

“DevOps” doesn’t differentiate between different sysadmin sub-disciplines – “Ops” is a blanket term for systems engineers, system administrators, operations staff, release engineers, DBAs, network engineers, security professionals, and various other subdisciplines and job titles. “Dev” is used as shorthand for developers in particular, but really in practice it is even wider and means “all the people involved in developing the product,” which can include Product, QA, and other kinds of disciplines.

It’s important to note that DevOps is a basic framework for your business, but how you choose to implement it and succeed is up to you.

As you can see in the diagram below, DevOps takes into account software delivery (left side) and merges it with ongoing operational support (right side).



DevOps is the practice of operations and development engineers participating together in the entire service lifecycle, from design through the development process to production support. DevOps is also characterized by operations staff making use many of the same techniques as developers for their systems work.
— The AgileAdmin.com

Why should you care about DevOps?

(Based on Amazon.com’s approach)

Speed

Move at high velocity so you can innovate for customers faster, adapt to changing markets better, and grow more efficient at driving business results. The DevOps model enables your developers and operations teams to achieve these results. For example, microservices and continuous delivery let teams take ownership of services and then release updates to them quicker.

Rapid Delivery

Increase the frequency and pace of releases so you can innovate and improve your product faster. The quicker you can release new features and fix bugs, the faster you can respond to your customers’ needs and build competitive advantage. Continuous integration and continuous delivery are practices that automate the software release process, from build to deploy.

Reliability

Ensure the quality of application updates and infrastructure changes so you can reliably deliver at a more rapid pace while maintaining a positive experience for end users. Use practices like continuous integration and continuous delivery to test that each change is functional and safe. Monitoring and logging practices help you stay informed of performance in real-time.

Scale

Operate and manage your infrastructure and development processes at scale. Automation and consistency help you manage complex or changing systems efficiently and with reduced risk. For example, infrastructure as code helps you manage your development, testing, and production environments in a repeatable and more efficient manner.

Improved Collaboration

Build more effective teams under a DevOps cultural model, which emphasizes values such as ownership and accountability. Developers and operations teams collaborate closely, share many responsibilities, and combine their workflows. This reduces inefficiencies and saves time (e.g. reduced handover periods between developers and operations, writing code that takes into account the environment in which it is run).

Security

Move quickly while retaining control and preserving compliance. You can adopt a DevOps model without sacrificing security by using automated compliance policies, fine-grained controls, and configuration management techniques. For example, using infrastructure as code and policy as code, you can define and then track compliance at scale.

Amazon introduction to DevOps