Even though DevOps is a cultural concept, that doesn’t mean there aren’t tools to help your development and production teams. There’s more to it than just good vibes and the spirit of cooperation.
In this latest installment of DevOps 101, let’s take a tour of some of the leading DevOps tools that you can use to enhance the experience of working together to automate workflow, improve productivity and accelerate application delivery.
What Do DevOps Tools Do?
It’s important to realize as we start this discussion that there’s no single, “do-everything” DevOps tool.
As noted in a previous DevOps 101 post, you can use a number of tools to support your DevOps journey and address different needs through automation, resource-sharing and more. When you use the right DevOps tools, you enhance workflows across the pipeline.
Nearly anything that used to be a manual process in software delivery now can be automated. A wide array of DevOps tools can make this happen. Infrastructure deployment? Try Terraform. Configuration management? Chef is there for you. Container orchestration? Kubernetes has your back. That’s only a small fraction of the many solutions available for your DevOps initiatives.
What DevOps Tools are Out There?
Here’s a closer look at the tools mentioned above, as well as some others, you can use to streamline your application development and delivery process.
Enabling infrastructure-as-code, this open-source DevOps tool automates apps and infrastructure. It delivers “agent-less” provisioning, configuration management and application deployment. Ansible accelerates feedback loops, allowing your DevOps team to quickly discover bugs and provision the system for faster, more reliable deployments.
Ansible is a configuration management tool best suited for use cases where shorter node lifetimes are required, such as high-performance compute workloads such as genomics research or video processing tasks.
Chef is another automation tool used for configuration management. It allows you to continuously deliver apps at scale while maintaining consistency in configuration. It does this by automating infrastructure into code while alleviating the possibility of human error during installing, updating and deploying software.
By accelerating software delivery, Chef speeds up this process, so you can do more with less IT staff. This means the tool can be used even by team members who aren't really familiar with programming. It also reduces your organization's reliance on a single professional programmer.
This open-source, version-control tool lets developers track progress on projects. You can save different versions of your source code and also save and share a primary version of your app files with your teams. This allows you to return to any version when you need to during the development process.
Git is also useful for experimenting because you can create a branch to try out an idea. If it doesn’t go how you like then easily patch it where you started and merge it.
Kubernetes enables organizations to run distributed applications inside containers. It's a tool developed by Google and released as open source to the general public. Kubernetes is a must-have for DevOps teams looking to simplify, scale, and add resiliency into their applications while reducing infrastructure costs.
Kubernetes enables teams to adapt to customer demands without having to think about the infrastructure layer because Kubernetes takes care of it.
Another commercial tool used for configuration management is Puppet Enterprise. Puppet automates the tasks that were previously managed by a system administrator saving time and improving accuracy. It has become popular for use by IT teams in large organizations.
Puppet increases productivity and operational efficiency in an entire organization to reduce silos and speed up the entire application development process.
Terraform is an open-source infrastructure as code software tool allowing you to write code, plan and apply changes. Managing infrastructure with Terraform makes executing DevOps projects easier and more efficient. You can even use it on all major cloud platforms, which also makes it versatile.
Which Tool Is Right for You?
Of course, the answer is: it depends. There is no right tool since every project will have different specifications. The tools above can be used interchangeably depending on your budget, your project or your team. Whatever tool you choose, make sure it is one that easily automates your tasks to reduce time and save money.
Dive deeper into DevOps concepts with our DevOps 101 series. Check out these other blogs: