June 30, 2023

What Is the DevOps Lifecycle?

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DevOps can be broken down into a lifecycle. Here, we provide an overview of the seven phases of the DevOps lifecycle.What Is DevOps?

➡️ Streamline the DevOps Lifecycle with Perforce

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What Is DevOps?

DevOps is a software development methodology that automates and integrates software development and IT operations to accelerate the software development life cycle. It is made up of a set of philosophies, practices, and tools that automate and integrate the software development and release methods between software development and IT teams.

📘 Related Resource: Learn more about what is a DevOps engineer

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What Is the DevOps Lifecycle?

The DevOps lifecycle is a continuous software development process for planning, building, integrating, deploying, monitoring, operating, and providing ongoing feedback throughout the software lifecycle.

There are seven key phases that make up the DevOps lifecycle.

Phase 1: Continuous Development

Continuous development is an umbrella term that encompasses all the other DevOps Lifecycle phases. Taken together, the seven phases help to accelerate software development and helps ensure that each change to the software is effectively integrated, tested, and verified.

Having a single-source-of-truth for all changes in the development process helps accelerate the development process and allows for a “fail fast” methodology to catch problems before they are released. When you combine that with the ability to globally scale your single-source-of-truth, then your project can move quickly and efficiently through each phase of the DevOps lifecycle.

📘 Related Resource: What Is Continuous Development

Phase 2: Continuous Integration

Continuous integration refers to the automation of testing code every time that a change has been made and then committing that code back to the central repository. In addition, this practice encourages teams to break up development tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces that each developer on the team can resolve more often. This helps to streamline software development and ensures that there are no disconnected segments.

In addition, continuous integration enables teams to distribute the burden of code integration more evenly into smaller, more manageable tasks. Dividing up code integration tasks helps to ensure that problems are dealt with early on as they occur which can safeguard against larger integration problems being introduced. 

Continuous integration is a lead-in to Continuous Testing and is a key element of a “shift left” process. Continuous integration provides early feedback to the developer to allow them to fix potential problems before the work is integrated into the main trunk. This also puts the onus on the developer to ensure high quality of their code. 

Communicating the results of continuous integration can be in the purview of an automated code review process where the results are easily presented to developer. Quality assurance, testing and reliability tools are usually implemented within the code review to highlight problem areas and allow for collaboration between team members.

📘 Related Resource: The 9 Steps for Continuous Integration

Phase 3: Continuous Testing

Continuous testing is the process of incorporating automated testing at every stage of the software development life cycle to improve speed and efficiency. This helps to improve code quality, avoid bottlenecks during development, and accelerate other DevOps processes. 

In addition, continuous testing is essential to CI/CD processes as it helps teams to “shift left”, enabling them to identify potential risks, vulnerabilities, and inefficiencies. This helps reduce the potential costs of any necessary repairs as well as teams to effectively accelerate productivity.

📘 Related Resource: What is shift-left security?

Phase 4: Continuous Delivery

The continuation of continuous integration, continuous delivery is a software development practice that automates the deployment of all code changes to either testing or production after the initial build stage.

Continuous delivery helps teams to properly scale software development to the size of their project as well as accelerate the development of code. This helps to streamline the revision process as it allows more incremental updates to be made during development.

Continuous delivery provides a project state that can be tested in its phase of the development process. If you need to understand whether the database code is behaving accordingly, then having the ability to deploy a database with changes from the continuous integration process will allow the product owner and QA team to ensure that the database code meets the requirements that were promised at the outset of the project. Breaking up deliverables into smaller efforts will yield faster, more easily integrated final output.

A strong, consistent, and scalable SCM is a core function of continuous delivery. The SCM should be able to easily reference all the promised features and functions at the instant they were committed to the change history.

📘 Related Resource: CI/CD Best Practices for Software Development

Phase 5: Continuous Monitoring

Continuous monitoring refers to the automated inspection process used to identify software security threats and code compliance issues during each phase of the DevOps pipeline. This helps teams to acquire data in real-time which then informs what security measures and revisions need to be implemented. In addition, continuous monitoring helps to identify performance inconsistencies and error sources.

Continuous monitoring also provides direct feedback for code quality and code standards. This gives a framework for future functionality and ensures code reuse. It also ensures the adherence of style rules and helps with troubleshooting problems or bugs.

📘 Related Resource: Learn how to build your DevOps pipeline

Phase 6: Continuous Feedback

Continuous feedback refers to providing everyone on the team as well as key stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback on how the development process could be improved. 

A good code review process and tools go a long way to providing continuous feedback to project members.

Phase 7: Continuous Operation

Continuous operation is the process of maintaining all progress and achievements that have been made during the previous phases, along with maintaining the performance, security, compliance, and reliability of the software. Then taking what was learned during the process and applying it to future projects.

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Streamline the DevOps Lifecycle with Perforce

Ensure that each phase of the DevOps lifecycle is efficient and effective with the use of Perforce DevOps solutions.

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More DevOps Resources

To learn more about DevOps, check out the following resources:

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