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DevOps Implementation Made Easy – Winning Tips for Securing Continuous Delivery

DevOps is spreading rapidly throughout the technical community and the concept is wholeheartedly being embraced by developers for providing non-stop delivery. DevOps is a huge concept and covers various areas of development. Today, we will walk you through the concept of DevOps, its purpose and expert tips for securing continuous delivery through DevOps implementation.

We Need DevOps to Cope with the Dynamically Evolving Software and Internet Realm

Industries, based on software and internet, have transformed over the years and will continue transforming. Today software is an integral part of businesses, be it entertainment or banking, health or aviation.Companies use software application primarily to interact with clients in the form of online services, web applications,and other digital mediums.

Software applications are also used to boost operational efficiencies and stabilize business management. Whether it is logistics, communications, or customer management, software is ruling everything everywhere in order to transform value chain.

DevOps is vital for all businesses to improve their software delivery and boost their client service efficiency. Companies today must transform how they design and deliver software to their clients – it should be more agile, agile in methodologies, agile in principles and values, and agile in practices and tools.

What is DevOps All About?

The concept of DevOps is a new term emerging in the technology industry that combines two major trends, namely ‘Agile Operation’ or ‘Agile Infrastructure’, and ‘The Value Generated by Collaborating Development and Operation Staffs in Development Life-cycle Stages’.

In simple terms, DevOps is the collaboration of tools, practices, and ideologies that allows organization’s development team to deliver applications and services rapidly, at a higher velocity. It is a practice acquired by the development and operation team thatwork together in the entire lifecycle of a project, from design through implementation to after-delivery support.

The main purpose of being attuned to DevOps is to evolve and improve products at a faster pace than the traditional software development and infrastructural management processes what most organizations use.

DevOps provides the speed that gives organizations the capability to serve their clients more efficiently, at a reduced cost and time, and compete in the industry more confidently.

How Does DevOps Work?

Under this model, the Development and Operations team are grouped together and are required to perform under a single team. When a project is consigned, the engineers from both the teams work across the entire project development lifecycle – Design phase and Testing to Implementation and Operations – and produce a set of skills not limited to particular department or function.

Along with the Development and Operations Team, Quality Assurance and Information Security Teams may also closely work together with them throughout the application implementation process. The team integration differs in each DevOps model.

Teams refurbish the traditional manual and slow practices into automated processes. With the help of state-of-the-art technologies and defining tools, the team evolves the applications reliably and quickly.

The new set of tools and processes alsoallow individual engineers to accomplish tasks independently without having to rely on other developers. For instance, with the help of the DevOps model, engineers can easily deploy code and provision infrastructure on their own. This independence further boosts the team’s swiftness in project delivery.

DevOps promote continuous delivery, and continuous delivery reduces risks in several ways, such as:

  • Breaks down work, and incremental delivery moderates delivery cost and time
  • Adapting to changes becomes fast and reliable. Teams can respond to failures quickly and mitigate security threats positively
  • Implementing changes becomes cheaper
  • Adapting to changes and applying changes become a norm
  • Continuous Delivery ensures critical ‘last miles’ of productions superiorly taken care of

Tips to Make DevOps Implementation Easy and Secure Continuous Delivery

DevOps transition should be done systematically and everything implemented should be tracked correctly. That is why experts ask us to keep an eye on KPIs when migrating over to DevOps development.

1. Track Change Lead Time

Track the period of time between when a change is designed and when it is actually implemented into the production process.

2. Have a Look at the Featured Released Per Time Period

Determine what constitutes new features, as executives may more likely be interested to see data that reflects quarters. Youhave to also determine the overall tracking of release to show how DevOps model positively influencesthe speed of work done with fewer bugs.

3. Keep an Eye on Bugs

You will want to track the number of bugs that are reported in the development process. Once you employ a DevOps model, you should be able to show the significant difference in the numbers of bugs tracked after implementation.

4. Test Case Automation

It is important to track the metrics, such as the number of test cases automated, the average percentage of all test cases automated, and the time taken to run each test case. This should be followed from the very beginning of adding automation to your QC environment.

Here are 5 more quick tips for continuous delivery

5. Safety Check Measures for Automated Processes

Since you will make changes more often, you might be prone to making mistakes. Therefore, to find mistakes, you need simple and fast safety checks, before the authorities find out. Hence, you will have to add assets or tests for common mistakes at the end of the automated build pipeline in test and production. Some of the things you need to consider include default and missing credentials, HTTPS and SSL settings, identifying vulnerabilities, open ports, and user permissions.

There are tools and services that you can use to monitor the automated processes. InSpec, Cloud Services,Gauntit, OSQuery are few to name.

6. Conduct Rapid Risk Assessment

In order to ensure risks are visible to the teams and management, a lightweight risk assessment process should be your ideal action plan. The risk management test will enable developers and engineers to make decisions quickly and safely, while they continuously look out for potential new risks upfront before coding begins.

It helps teams and management find the right tools, framework, and libraries. Usually, a rapid risk assessment takes about 30 minutes to complete. The main objective of the RRA is to recognize the effects of a process or service to the productivity of the project. The assessment focuses on the data processed, stored or accessed.

7. Software Supply Chain Security against Database Vulnerability

Install a software tool that will automatically list and secure your continuous delivery process against database vulnerability. This is necessary to mitigate risks, technical debts, and security vulnerabilities that are injected by third-party codes. Some of the tools that you can leverage on for this purpose are OWASP dependency check, Licensed, GitHub Security alerts, Retire JS and Anchor Engine.

8. Conduct Security Units Tests

Security unit tests can benefit developers in several ways: they attest vulnerabilities are being fixed regularly, they teach developers how to eliminate happy path testing completely, and they prevent regressions. Although Normal tests can do the work effectively, you will have to further conduct happy tests, sad tests and bad tests to prove it.

You can use tools such as JUnit, NUnit,and Jasmine to write test as and when your find vulnerabilities, get it fixed by developers and then run the test again.

9. Code Scanning

Since accuracy and speed is very important in continuous delivery, you need to scan codes using automated static analysis scanners as they catch common coding mistakes and bad practices. It also backstops code reviews and fits naturally into workflows. Developers will receive the results directly.

Tools that will serve your purpose include Ruby on Rails (Brakeman), Java (SpotBugs, FindSecurityBugs plugin, FBContrib plugin), Docker (Hadolint), and Dot NET (Puma Scan, Microsoft DevSkim)

Achieving DevOps is more complex than reading a few books and playing around with tools and methodologies. You can attempt to do it on your own or better yet, outsource the process to a managed DevOps firm that has through and through experience in software development and exports.

Since, you will need to fill a number of key roles, such as DevOps Evangelist, Automation Expert, Software Developer, Software Tester,and a Manager, to ensure success, in case youdecide to implement DevOps internally, we encourage you to hire a professional team and further reduce your time and cost investment. DevOps is not only about deploying the right technology at the right time but also about streamlining the process and managing the change or transition through an experienced team.

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