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Cloud and DevOps: A Winning Combination

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Cloud computing plays a key role in enabling business agility in today's competitive and dynamic business world. When combined with DevOps processes, organisations stand to gain a lot in terms of faster runtimes, scaling on demand, consistency of code, and better performance of software. In this blog, we will discuss how cloud and DevOps act as mutually strengthening strategies for increasing organisational agility through IT. 

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The Relationship Between cloud and DevOps

DevOps is all about automation of agile methodology, with the aim of achieving shorter software delivery cycles and enabling developers to be highly responsive to the needs of their organisation. It allows your code to rapidly move from development to production, while automating tasks such as testing, integration, and deployment. This provides the agility development needs to deliver continuous change and conduct continuous experiments, and allows organisations to thrive by allowing processes to change as nimbly as business requirements demand.

Cloud is designed in a way that acts as a great facilitator for implementing DevOps and continuous delivery approaches. It makes IT infrastructure more pliable and ensures resources are available in faster time for all the activities involved in application lifecycle management. With cloud services, IT teams can shift their focus away from tasks such as provisioning hardware or patching operating systems, and spend it instead on generating business-specific value. 

Similarly, the implementation of DevOps practices optimises cloud efficiencies by making project teams realise why cloud resources are more useful in the cultural context. Silo-based organisations  find it extremely difficult to align with business needs and deliver continuous change, irrespective of whether they run their applications on Data Center hardware or cloud.

It is indisputable that the combined use of DevOps and cloud computing plays a synergistic role in environments designed for agility and speed. Together, they can play an important role in empowering each stage of the application delivery lifecycle – ensuring better application performance, faster deliveries, and continuous feedback loops. Let’s understand this further.

  • Modern applications demand complex technology stacks that need a huge amount of effort to develop and configure. Cloud computing provides developers seamless access to development platforms in a single click – in place of months required earlier – thereby allowing development teams to start working instantaneously.
  • Cloud-based DevOps offers seamless capabilities to automatically build and tear down complex test environments, without the expense and headache of physical hardware. The cloud even enables automated testing that can be performed in simulated environments that are indistinguishable from production environments in terms of complexity and scope. Test environments can be developed significantly more quickly and cost-effectively in comparison with on-premise environments.
  • The ability to set up self-service automation for infrastructure provisioning eliminates the dependency on IT operations for provisioning resources. DevOps teams can focus on running continuous experiments and building variants to find optimum solutions, instead of waiting in long queues to access resources.
  • Because cloud computing is centralised and highly scalable, it provides DevOps automation with a standard and centralised platform for continuous integration and continuous deployment. A tight CI/CD integration can result in time savings, in addition to considerably lower costs in comparison with on-premise DevOps automation. 
  • The centralised nature of cloud-based DevOps also fosters greater collaboration among teams, eliminating all the hassle of sharing files back and forth to team members. The cloud, alongside version control, provides an enabling environment for simultaneous development to occur and removes the risk of teams stepping on each other’s toes. Also, knowledge transfer can happen more easily between the development and operations teams. They can understand each other’s problems and work seamlessly together. 
  • Most cloud computing service providers provide comprehensive, built-in DevOps service (tools). This allows all software lifecycle phases and cloud resources to be managed effectively from the same paradigm. For instance, if developers need to assemble the components for a solution in a particular manner, the modern automation capabilities of the cloud can streamline the whole process and make it repeatable.
  • Cloud-based DevOps also reduces the need to account for resources leveraged. Cloud leverages usage-based accounting, which can seamlessly track the usage of resources by application, developer, user, data, etc. 
  • You can upscale or downscale any infrastructure based on your needs, increasing or decreasing capacity with the click of a button. When combined with DevOps, scalability becomes an integral part of applications as they are created. This facilitates rolling out new features and functionality as your business grows, while reducing the cost of infrastructure and increasing global reach.
  • In addition, cloud-based DevOps offers centralised governance and efficient control to enable more elaborate integration and deployment processes. Cloud infrastructure allows developers a greater degree of control  over their own components, resulting in smaller wait times. DevOps teams can take advantage of various cloud services and tools to automate many different processes. It also eliminates human errors by establishing repeatability with higher levels of automation. 
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Final Thoughts

You can enjoy huge benefits when leveraging DevOps in conjunction with cloud computing. However, for most organisations the largest hindrance to making the leap is the number of changes that must occur at the same time. The principle of continuous improvement is often the key to success with cloud, agile, and DevOps and should guide your approach to adopting these practices.

Find out how you can incorporate the power of cloud computing into your DevOps practices for enhanced agility and time to market.

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About the authors

Jobin Kuruvilla

Jobin Kuruvilla

Jobin Kuruvilla is a DevOps subject matter expert, and an experienced solutions expert and App developer. Jobin has several certifications under his belt, including Atlassian products, GitLab certified PSE, AWS, Kubernetes, Jenkins to name a few, and has spearheaded implementing Digital Transformation for teams and enterprises.