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Navigating Through DevOps And Agile In Cloud Infrastructure

Mohammed NaserMohammed Naser

Many businesses are often confused about DevOps and Agile methodologies of working. In software development, you may often encounter questions regarding the difference and if one is more secure than the other. Then there is a lack of understanding if both need to be used simultaneously or choosing one over the other would help achieve objectives.

Understanding Agile

In software development, agile strategies approach development requirements and solutions through the collaborative effort of self-organizing consumable cross-functional teams and their customer/end-user. This methodology takes an incremental, iterative and progressive approach to development. Agile involves producing release cycles continuously instead of a big bang approach. The procedure breaks the overall software deliverable down into smaller functional deliverables for the client or end-customer approval. This, in turn, dramatically helps to address the expectation and communication gap between customers and developers. Collaboration, small project releases, constant feedback are the focus areas of this model. As the name suggests, the Agile methodology aims to bring agility to the project's entire development phase.

Understanding DevOps

As an operational approach to planning, DevOps focusses on communicative collaboration, integration and deployment. It promotes cooperation and cohesiveness between operations and development to deploy releases to various environments using automation, continuous feedback, discipline, and process development. Here, the development teams make small but frequent updates to the production software, which are often automatically deployed to environments. DevOps Aims to bring agility to operations as well as deployments.

Understanding the differences between Agile and DevOps

The definitions may seem similar, but there are some starking differences between the two approaches:

  1. Objectives & Goals - DevOps caters to providing end to end engineering processes while managing software development projects usually comes under the domain of agile methodology. DevOps addresses the gap between operations and development and testing teams, whereas Agile addresses the gap between testing teams and development and customer needs.

  2. Processes/Practices - While DevOps includes processes like Continuous Deployment (CD), Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Testing (CT), Agile methodology includes practices like Agile Kanban, Agile Scrum etc.

  3. Key Focus Area - DevOps gives equal priority to timeliness and quality. It focuses on constant testing and delivery through collaboration with no commonly-accepted framework. Agile, on the other hand, concentrates on timeliness and integration with stakeholders. Due to this, it focuses on continuous manageable product improvements by employing a range of tactical frameworks including Sprint, Scrum, and Safe

  4. Release Cycles and Duration - DevOps includes smaller releases or continuous-release cycles with immediate feedback. The accompanying deadlines and benchmarks are built around major project releases for adherence to cost and time objectives. In agile, development occurs in time-based units of 'sprints,' where each sprint usually ranges from about two weeks to a month.

  5. Feedback & Cross-Functionality- In DevOps, the feedback usually comes from the internal team using monitoring tools. In contrast, in agile, the customer is the focal point for all input and process-related improvements. Due to this, in DevOps, the development and operational teams work together, whereas, in an agile way of working, Any team member is free to take up any required task within the project. There are mechanisms and chart flows to understand which resource is working on which part of the project at any given duration in agile methodology.

  6. Merits and Risks - DevOps Allows rapid and automated deployment of new features while minimizing deployment issues. It, however, poses a certain level of difficulty in integrating build and deployment processes. Agile, on the other hand, showcases a more robust capability to accommodate changes during the development phase by appointing priority to features. Hence, agile portrays lesser flexibility in estimating effort and requirements in the early stages of development as a methodology.

The better choice?

As each of the methodologies accomplish a different purpose and objective, choosing one over another often cannot be realistically determined. Hence in a simple answer, none of them is the better choice. Agile enables development teams to deliver functionality more frequently. DevOps allows a more streamlined build and deployment of addressed functionality to environments like production and quality assurance.

It is important to note that secure coding and security testing are not inherently part of the model. Lack of this can cause a considerable disconnect between developers and management in terms of application security.

Since security should be a significant concern, you must use secure SDLC solutions in both development and deployment models to guarantee that the deployed applications are secure. These solutions should easily integrate into your existing process and reduce your security team's overhead while supporting early integration to minimize redevelopment costs.

CI/CD Tool For All Your DevOps Needs

The enthusiasm towards DevOps will continue to be on the rise as more and more industries take to application development. No one wants the challenges of security breaches, broken code, delayed releases. Therefore, DevOps has to be a part of your cloud strategy for efficiency.

Are you looking for the right tool to accompany your DevOps cycle? In need of a device that will enhance the process of CI/CD for you? Then we have just the right solution, Managed Zuul. Keep broken code from merging into your main branch through a CI/CD tool fully-managed by us. Make the most of this gating tool with its multiple testing configurations. Additionally, check out our highly customizable private cloud offering as well.

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