September 11, 2016

Devops Digest 101: Charting the Course

DevOps Digest

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What is DevOps?

Let’s begin with the obvious question: what exactly is DevOps? Asking this often results in as many answers as there are DevOps experts in the room. The classic tale from Eastern culture of blind men and an elephant seems relevant in explaining why: each one individually touches a different part of the beast and subsequently disagrees sharply over the true nature of the complete reality of the thing as a whole. In the same way, experts focused on different industries and types of projects tend to see DevOps differently, each through the lens of his own particular set of concerns and experiences.

Over the course of DevOps Digest, we’ll build out a complete DevOps pipeline — start to finish — illustrating how it’s possible to implement solid DevOps at any organization, even yours. By the time it’s over, you’ll be better equipped to apply these DevOps principles within the context of your own organization. You should also better understand how the power of Perforce Helix can be a valuable ally in powering your DevOps pipeline.

Charting Our Course

The remaining articles will cover a series of topics in the order suggested, both for your overall DevOps pipeline and its incremental adoption. The following sections provide a road map for our journey together:

  • Continuous Integration, Part 1

We’ll demonstrate a working CI system by building it from the ground up using a simplified web application as our example product. Along the way, we’ll cover the same topics and choices you face with almost any project including the opportunities and challenges of leveraging open-source frameworks and libraries and integrating a CI tool into your version control system (VCS) to kick-start the automation process. We’ll also provide a few strategies, like code flow and safe sandboxes, for managing global teams.

  • Continuous Integration, Part 2

The next steps in CI are all about managing component-based development on an ongoing basis and integrating work from multiple sources in a 24/7 development world. We’ll demonstrate how to extract, capture, and store useful data in order to evaluate every build.

  • Continuous Testing, Part 1

The next article will provide a cursory introduction to continuous testing (CT). We’ll set goals, narrow the scope and testing to be performed, and prepare for various challenges and roadblocks we might encounter.

  • Continuous Testing, Part 2

By the end of this section, we should have the tools and processes in place to implement automated testing for each successful build as we bring units together. We’ll leverage infrastructure management to produce reliable test environments, implement the tests, and drive the process to completion with our CI system.

  • Continuous Delivery, Part 1

Having designed and executed our testing strategy in the previous articles, our focus will shift to deployment. By its end, we’ll have laid the groundwork for a solid strategy for our sample application, highlighting best practices and principles along the way.

  • Continuous Delivery, Part 2

By the end of this article, we’ll have our sample application pushing to a web server for immediate use. And although the deployment strategy for our sample application will be relatively simple, we’ll still go over details as we complete our DevOps journey and close the loop on our original design goals.

Wrapping Up

Our final article in the series will provide a wrap-up and offer some final guidance for those looking to embark on their own DevOps odyssey, in addition to discussing some additional areas of interest for DevOps research and development.

You Ask, We Answer

As I previously mentioned, this is your roadmap to creating a successful DevOps pipeline. Don’t understand something? Just ask. Need to dive a little deeper? Send an email to info@perforce.com with your questions. Then, stay tuned for a live Q&A webinar at the end of this series.

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