The benefits of automation and DevOps

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The benefits of automation and DevOps

An Experienced Enterprise Architect might tell you that communication and collaboration between all of the essential’s stakeholders are improved by implementing DevOps principles and practices. But what is often overlooked is the added value by building your cloud solution on building blocks. Properly testing are essentials if you want to develop and deliver systems that meet and exceed your customers expectations.

The underlying building blocks of DevOps are to ensure that the platform is in place to facilitate continuous delivery, integration, and improvement.

By building your blocks on code, and creating modules based on blocks, your entire cloud infrastructure gets reusable and reproducible. A module can be as simple and small as enforcing a strict naming convention based on environment, stage and customer. Or it can be more complex and be put together to handle a VPC (Amazon) and, or an azure VNet, with its respective NAT gateways, routing, security groups and nsg’s.

By traditional operations and configuration management you will often get what`s called Configuration Drift. It is the phenomenon where running live servers eventually are not identical anymore, often it is related to Ad-Hoc changes and undocumented changes. It is two ways to combat configuration drift. One is to use Sccm, Puppet or Chef, and run them frequently to keep machines in line.

The other, and often a preferred DevOps approach is by Orchestration, by usage of the building blocks, in a combination with container technology and do complete rebuilds based on blueprints. By laying out your environment in a set of blueprints, stored in a library with versioning control. And then importing your preapproved modules and building blocks, which is also stored in a library with versioning control. You start taking  the power back, and regaining control, going back in time, to where the environment was before a change where implemented,  or spinning up a complete copy of the entire environment from a current or previous configuration, with less, even or more resources, can be as simple as a click of a button.

Test Automation, the secret to success.

By implementing Continues integration (CI) and continues delivery (CD) to you infrastructure you can ensure even higher rate of quality assurance. By doing unit testing, and writing integration tests, you automate and make sure that changes done to your code is either being denied or approved based on a given set of criteria. By threating your cloud solution as you would threat your software, you are able to identify and stop conflicting changes even before they happen.

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