DevOps makes collaborations a breeze for otherwise siloed operations and development teams. However, there are challenges to DevOps integration into your process flow. There are many challenges, whether it’s test automation, adjustment of workflows, or resistance to the new DevOps culture. This is where DevOps tools help you with advanced automation, and streamlined process flows.

Take an example of Docusign’s DevOps adoption. The nature of Docusign’s business which is based on digital contracts and signatures made CI/CD a challenge. On top of the CI/CD challenges, signature approval rates and accuracy meant everything in their operations. So, they used a tool called application mock, which allowed them to use a mockup for their internal APIs.

It offers a mock endpoint and delivers responses to ensure Docusign has better incident management before build release. Such a tool also allows them to simulate test environments for real-life scenarios. Similarly, you can use several DevOps tools to improve test automation and operational efficiency. So let’s first discuss DevOps briefly.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a set of best practices or approaches that help organizations collaborate and synchronize. It breaks down the wall between development and operation teams, allowing organizations to improve iteration speed, quality, efficiency, etc.

So, why do you need a DevOps tool?

When you embrace the DevOps culture in your organization, there will be process complexities as your workflows are not that flexible. Apart from that, your team’s skills may not be DevOps specific.

The software architecture will need changes based on the new process flow. These DevOps tools allow organizations to automate the integration of changes. For example, you can use these tools to automate the testing process and configuration management. So.let’s discuss such DevOps tools!

Top DevOps tools and software for operational efficiency

DevOps tools help adjust the software configuration and process flows for change management and enable system optimization. In addition, these tools allow you to handle context switching issues for software development. Let’s discuss some of the best DevOps services and tools for your software development.

Jenkins

Jenkins is an open-source tool that helps automate activities like building, testing, documenting, and deploying software. In addition, it allows you to optimize different stages of the SDLC through CI/CD workflow automation.

It is an excellent DevOps tool for implementing CI/CD pipelines. Jenkins helps in test automation, reporting isolated changes of more extensive code in real-time, and enables integration of code changes. In addition, it allows organizations to deploy pipelines for rapid deployment, error detection, resolutions, and more.

Pros 

  • Open-source and user-friendly with easy to install setup that does not require additional components
  • Configuration in Jenkins is accessible according to the CI/CD pipeline
  • It is platform-independent and is available for all operating systems
  • It has an extensive plugin ecosystem for different functionalities
  • Integration of changes into existing systems is automated

Cons 

  • Unpredictable cost of hosting the server on which Jenkins will run
  • A centralized governance model can be a problem creating accountability issues
  • Lack of visibility of code changes for all the developers
  • Lack of analytics features

Ansible


Ansible is an open-source DevOps tool that offers automation, orchestration, and deployment for your software projects. It leverages infrastructure as a code(IaC) architecture and leverages a secure shell connection for pushing webpages. 

Especially, Ansible allows organizations to provision workloads, manage configurations across environments, deploy apps, secure them and ensure compliance. It is also an excellent collaboration tool between the development and operations teams. 

Ansible leverages the test-driven application design, which provides a stable environment for both teams allowing a smoother orchestration of DevOps activities. Ansible playbooks are defined in YAML syntax in a sequence of tasks. Its modules are libraries of functions that offer additional functionality for common execution across network devices. 

Pros

  • Ansible is easy to set up, unlike other DevOps tools
  • It provides higher scalability, fixes node fluctuations, and management of extensive infrastructure
  • Ansible is written in Python, making it best suited for machine learning use cases
  • Its modules do not require an agent for the management of remote systems 

Cons

  • Ansible modules are good at simple tasks but not complex ones
  • Lack of high-quality graphical user interface
  • It does not have a concept of state and instead executes a sequence of tasks.

Puppet

Puppet is another open-source configuration management and deployment tool that enables IT teams with adaptive automation. It is a popular DevOps tool used for deployment across Linux and Windows machines. However, Puppet is not restricted to these two operating systems. It can be used on IBM mainframes, Cisco switches, and macOS servers.

It is a DevOps tool that does more than just automate your system administration. Puppet allows you to adjust workflows, rapidly improving collaborations between developers and system administrators. However, Puppet is not a programming language and neither a shell language. Instead, it uses a declarative approach for IT automation by defining IaC and enforcing system configuration.

Pros

  • It makes error detection and fixing easier.
  • Puppet has a massive community for support on any query
  • It provides consistency in finding, fixing, and running failed models
  • It is easy to learn due to simplified syntax

Cons

  • Installation and setup are harder
  • Using Puppet does need a programming background
  • Costly commercial version than other tools like Ansible

Selenium 

Selenium is one of the best DevOps tools for test automation. Its support for regression testing makes it a reliable test automation tool. In addition, Selenium WebDriver allows testers to create browser-based automation suites for regression testing. So, you can scale the testing process by distributing test scripts across environments. 

Further, it provides a centralized point from which you can monitor all your tests running on multiple machines and in different environments. 

Pros

  • Selenium IDE, RC, WebDriver, and Grid are all open source
  • It supports multiple programming languages to write test scripts
  • Selenium supports various operating systems for testing
  • It supports parallel testing reducing the time to market

Cons

  • Lack of proper technical support
  • Only supports web-based applications
  • It needs more time to build test cases 
  • Difficult to set up the test environment

Conclusion 

DevOps provide advantages to your software development projects of collaborations, operational efficiency, and automation. However, there are challenges in embracing the DevOps culture in your organization. 

DevOps services and tools are a way to overcome these challenges. Here we have discussed some of the top DevOps tools you can use at a different stage of SDLC. Though which one to choose will depend on your specific needs. 

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Keerthana is the Managing Director at digitalkirk.com. After many years of making it and breaking it in the freelance world, she now mentors new writers who want to take their careers to the next level.

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