DevOps is centered on enabling development and operations teams to speed up software delivery and achieve faster value.
According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global DevOps market size is expected to grow from USD 2.9 billion to USD 10.31 billion by 2023 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24.7% during the forecast period. This indicates a growing demand for DevOps tools and practices in various industries.
The methodology has emerged as an integral approach for improving collaboration, streamlining processes, and accelerating the delivery of high-quality software in the ever-evolving landscape of software development.
From continuous integration and delivery tools to automation and testing frameworks, using the right DevOps tools can help teams achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively.
The big question is, what are the best DevOps tools businesses can use to improve their DevOps processes? Read on to find out.
DevOps Lifecycle Phases and the Must-Have Tools
In 2023, organizations looking to adopt DevOps practices should consider the following tools for each phase of the software development cycle:
Continuous Development and Continuous Integration (CI)
Continuous Development and Continuous Integration (CI) are practices commonly used in software development that aim to improve software delivery efficiency, quality, and speed.
Continuous Development is a software development automation practice that involves continuously and iteratively writing, testing, and deploying code to production. It allows for faster feedback, better collaboration between developers and other stakeholders, and quicker response times to changes in user needs or market demands.
Continuous Integration, on the other hand, is a practice that involves continuously merging and testing code changes from multiple developers into a shared repository.This ensures that the codebase is always up-to-date and functional and reduces the likelihood of errors or conflicts arising from conflicting changes.
Together, Continuous Development and Continuous Integration provide a streamlined, agile approach to software development that enables teams to deliver high-quality, stable software faster. Below are our top recommended Continuous Development and Continuous Integration tools.
GitLab is a web-based Git repository manager that provides source code management and review, continuous integration and deployment, and other features for software development.
This DevOps tool offers a complete CI/CD toolchain, from continuous integration (CI) to continuous deployment (CD). It provides an easy-to-use interface that allows developers to manage their source code and automate the build, test, and deployment processes. Below are some of its features:
- Version Control: GitLab enables developers to keep track of changes made to code and revert to previous versions if necessary.
- Continuous Integration: GitLab's built-in CI/CD pipeline automates the build, test, and deployment process. It plans, tracks, and manages software development projects from a single platform.
- Code Review: GitLab provides tools for peer code review, including code commenting and merge requests, and provides real-time visibility into application performance, enabling teams to identify and address issues quickly.
AWS CodePipeline is a fully managed continuous delivery service that helps automate application build, testing, and deployment.
It is a DevOps tool that provides an end-to-end solution for building and deploying applications on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and third-party services. This tool allows you to deliver software faster and more reliably by automating the entire software release process. AWS CodePipeline has a variety of features, including:
- Integration: AWS Amazon Web Services CodePipeline integrates with various popular development tools, including AWS CodeCommit, GitHub, Jenkins, and many more.
- Automated Continuous Delivery: The software automates the entire software release process from building, testing, and deploying your code.
- Customizable Deployment Models: This DevOps tool supports a range of deployment models, including Blue/Green, canary deployments, and AWS Lambda deployments.
- Visibility and Control: This tool provides complete visibility and control over the entire release process, making identifying and fixing issues easy.
- Security and Compliance: CodePipeline supports industry-standard security and compliance standards such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
Jenkins is a popular open-source automation server with hundreds of plugins to support building, deploying, and automating any project.
It is one of the most widely used DevOps tools for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines. Jenkins has a wide range of features, including:
- Easy installation: The open-source automation server can be installed on various operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Large plugin ecosystem: It has different plugins that make it easy for developers to integrate with almost every tool and technology.
- Distributed builds: Jenkins enables users to distribute builds across multiple machines or agents, allowing for parallel builds and faster feedback loops.
- Automation: This tool can automate almost any task, from building and testing code to deploying applications and notifying stakeholders.
- Customization: Jenkins allows developers to customize their environment using various APIs, scripting languages, and plugins.
Continuous Testing is an essential part of the DevOps pipeline that ensures the software application is tested continuously throughout development.
This helps to catch and fix bugs early in the development cycle, reduce the risk of failure in production, and ensure that the application meets the user's requirements. Below are our top recommended continuous testing tools:
Selenium is a popular open-source automated testing tool widely used in DevOps. It enables developers and testers to automate the testing of web applications across various browsers and platforms.
This tool is compatible with multiple programming languages, including Java, C#, Python, Ruby, and more. Selenium's key features include the following:
- Multi-browser support: The intuitive design makes it compatible with multiple web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Additionally, the tool supports different operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, and macOS.
- Easy integration with other tools: The integrated development environment makes it easy for developers to combine it with different frameworks such as TestNG, JUnit, and Jenkins for continuous integration and testing (CI/CT). Additionally, the multiple-language support makes it easy for developers to use their preferred language.
- Record and Playback: The open-source automated testing tool allows users to record and playback tests, making it easy to create and execute automated tests without coding.
Jira is an issue-tracking and project-management tool commonly used in the DevOps industry. It provides a range of features that support agile software development processes, including managing software projects, monitoring patches, and facilitating collaboration between developers, testers, and stakeholders.
- Jira allows teams to run parallel batches of tests, enabling multiple tests to be run simultaneously. This can speed up the testing process and improve overall testing efficiency.
- Jira has a per-environment permissions feature that allows developers and QA to deploy to their environments, ensuring each team member has the appropriate level of access to the testing environment.
Jenkins is a popular open-source automation server performance monitoring tool.
It is written in Java and provides an extensive range of plugins that help to automate various aspects of software development, such as building, testing, and deploying applications. Jenkins offers many benefits for DevOps teams, including:
- Easy installation and configuration: Jenkins can be easily installed on various operating systems, and its configuration can be done quickly.
- Extensibility: Jenkins provides an extensive range of plugins that can be used to extend its functionality to suit different needs. Additionally, the tool integrates with many tools, such as Git, Jira, and Docker.
- Automation: Jenkins automates various aspects of the DevOps process, such as building, testing, and deployment. It also provides the ability to customize workflows to fit specific requirements.
Docker is a containerization platform that allows software developers to create, deploy, and run applications in lightweight, portable, and self-contained environments called "containers." Docker provides a consistent runtime environment, regardless of the underlying infrastructure, which makes it easier for developers to build and ship their applications.
Docker is a powerful platform for building, packaging, and deploying applications consistently and efficiently. Its containerization approach has become increasingly popular recently, especially in DevOps and cloud-native application development. Some key features of Docker include:
- Containerization: Docker allows developers to package their applications and dependencies into portable and self-contained containers, which can be easily moved across different environments and run consistently.
- Efficiency: This tool is lightweight and shares the host operating system's kernel, making it more efficient in resource utilization than traditional virtual machines.
- Portability: Docker containers can be easily moved across different environments, including on-premises servers, public clouds, and hybrid clouds, without requiring changes to the application code.
- Security: The tool provides built-in security features such as isolated containers, read-only file systems, and access controls, which help to protect applications and data from unauthorized access and tampering.
- Flexibility: Docker can be integrated with a wide range of tools and technologies, including orchestration platforms, monitoring tools, and CI/CD pipelines, which makes it a highly flexible platform for modern software development.
Vagrant is an open-source tool that simplifies creating and configuring virtual environments for software development. It provides an easy-to-use interface for building and managing virtual machines, which can be configured with different operating systems, software packages, and dependencies.
Vagrant simplifies creating and managing virtual environments for software development, making it easier for developers to focus on building and testing their code. Its multi-provider support, reproducibility, provisioning capabilities, and easy sharing make it a popular choice among developers and DevOps teams. Here are some key features of Vagrant:
- Multi-provider support: The DevOps tool supports a variety of virtualization and cloud providers, including VirtualBox, Hyper-V, VMware, AWS, and more.
- Reproducible environments: Vagrant enables developers to create consistent development environments across different machines, ensuring everyone works with the same tools and configurations.
- Provisioning: The open-source tool provides a powerful provisioning system that can automate the installation and configuration of software packages and dependencies.
- Easy sharing: It makes sharing development environments with other team members easy, allowing for better collaboration and faster feedback.
- Integration with other tools: The tool integrates with popular development tools like Docker and Ansible, enabling seamless integration into existing development workflows.
Continuous DevOps monitoring
Continuous monitoring is critical to DevOps, as it helps ensure software applications perform as expected.
Continuous monitoring involves using automated tools to monitor software applications, infrastructure, and other critical components of the software development cycle. The process helps identify and fix issues early in the development cycle, reducing the risk of production failure. Below are the top continuous DevOps Monitoring tools:
Elastic Stack, or ELK Stack, is a powerful tool for log management and data analytics, providing real-time insights into application performance and enabling DevOps teams to identify and resolve issues quickly. It is a collection of three open-source tools: Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana.
Elasticsearch is a search and analytics engine that stores and analyzes large volumes of data in real-time. It provides the ability to search, visualize, and analyze data in near real-time, making it a valuable tool for monitoring and troubleshooting applications. Elasticsearch supports various data types, including structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data.
Logstash is a data processing pipeline tool that collects, processes, and transfers data from various sources to Elasticsearch. Logstash provides plugins for various data inputs, filters, and outputs. It can handle a variety of inputs, including log files, Syslog, and JSON data.
Kibana is a data visualization tool used to visualize and analyze data stored in Elasticsearch. It provides a user-friendly interface for creating interactive dashboards, visualizations, and reports. Kibana supports various chart types, including bar, line, pie charts, and geographic maps. Elastic Stack provides several benefits for DevOps teams, including:
- Real-time data analysis: ELK provides real-time data analysis, enabling DevOps teams to identify and resolve issues quickly. Additionally, the tool can scale to handle large volumes of data, making it suitable for large-scale applications.
- Open-source: Elastic Stack is open-source, meaning it is free to use and can be customized per the organization's needs. It integrates with various DevOps tools, including Jenkins, Docker, and AWS.
Prometheus and Loki are open-source monitoring and logging tools, respectively, that are widely used in the DevOps industry. Both tools are part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and are designed to help teams with their observability needs in a distributed and dynamic environment.
Prometheus is a time-series database and monitoring system that collects real-time metrics from various sources. It stores these metrics in a compressed and efficient format and provides a powerful query language called PromQL to analyze and visualize the data. Prometheus can monitor various systems, including containers, cloud services, and operating systems.
Conversely, Loki is a horizontally scalable logging backend optimized for Kubernetes and other cloud-native environments.
It provides a centralized place to store query logs from different sources, making troubleshooting issues and performing root cause analysis easier. Loki is built to handle high-volume and high-cardinality data and has a flexible query language that supports filtering and aggregation.
Prometheus and Loki provide a powerful observability stack that helps DevOps teams monitor and troubleshoot their systems effectively. They can be used together or separately, depending on the team's needs and the environment's complexity.
Zabbix is an open-source monitoring tool for monitoring and tracking performance metrics such as CPU usage, network utilization, and disk space utilization. It can send notifications based on predefined triggers to alert the operations team of any issues or failures. It supports monitoring devices, including servers, network devices, and cloud resources. Zabbix offers a wide range of features, such as:
- Data visualization and trend analysis: Real-time monitoring, data visualization, and trend analysis make it a powerful tool for identifying performance issues and troubleshooting problems in the system.
- Customizable dashboards: It also offers customizable dashboards that allow users to view and monitor multiple metrics simultaneously.
- Supports multiple platforms: Zabbix supports numerous platforms and is compatible with operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS. It also integrates well with other DevOps tools, such as Jenkins and Docker, enabling users to automate and incorporate the monitoring process into their DevOps pipeline.
- Scalable: Zabbix is a scalable and flexible tool that provides detailed insights into the system's performance, making it essential for DevOps teams to maintain and optimize their infrastructure.
Benefits of Using DevOps Tools
Implementing DevOps tools can significantly enhance the software development process and improve overall efficiency. Here are some benefits of using DevOps tools:
DevOps automation tools promote collaboration between development, testing, and operations teams. These tools provide a common platform for teams to work together, share knowledge, and communicate effectively, which helps to eliminate silos and improve overall team productivity.
DevOps tools automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks like building, testing, and deployment. This automation reduces the risk of errors and speeds up the software development process, enabling teams to deliver software faster and more efficiently.
Accelerated Software Development
DevOps tools enable teams to adopt agile and iterative software development practices, which allow them to respond quickly to changing customer requirements and market trends. This flexibility helps to accelerate software development cycles, reducing time to market and improving customer satisfaction.
Access to Cloud Services
Many configuration management tools are designed to work in cloud environments, providing access to a wide range of continuous delivery cloud support that can be used to support software development and deployment. This includes capabilities such as machine learning, cloud storage, and serverless computing, which can be integrated into the software development process to enhance its capabilities.
Added Flexibility and Customizations
DevOps configuration management tools can be customized to meet the specific needs of software development teams. This customization helps teams to tailor the software development process to their unique requirements, enabling them to work more efficiently and effectively.
DevOps tools provide real-time monitoring capabilities that enable teams to detect issues and track performance metrics. This monitoring helps teams to identify and fix issues early in the development cycle, reducing the risk of failures in production and improving overall software quality.
Investing in DevOps version control tools and cloud-managed services can significantly benefit organizations looking to improve their software development process. With the right project management tools and methodologies, your organization can accelerate its software development process and deliver high-quality software applications faster and more efficiently.
The good news is that we can help you implement the right tools and practices to enhance your software development processes. Contact us today to learn more about our DevOps services and how we can help your organization achieve its goals this year and beyond.