DevOps for Startups: 5 tricks for successful adoption
It so happens there is but one thing an entrepreneur should fear. It is not failure — it is not reaching success due to not using the resources optimally. These 5 DevOps tips can do the trick.
At IT Svit we firmly believe DevOps workflow to be the natural habitat of any IT-related startup. As we have explained through a series of articles on the full cycle of services for startups, 10 ways DevOps empowers startups and how Big Data helps the startups grow, adopting DevOps workflow from the get-go of the startup lifecycle ensures using the limited resources in the most efficient and productive way. It helps eliminate waste in terms of organizational bottlenecks, unneeded waiting times, better collaboration within the team, shorter time to market for the product and adding more value to the service delivery, ensuring great user experience.
Nonetheless, DevOps is not a skill, a toolkit, a software product or a piece of hardware that can be simply bought. DevOps is an organizational culture that must be adopted (and it works best when adopted from the very start). It is comprised of many factors, where attitudes towards communication and collaboration are equally important to technology and tools. Today, however, we will concentrate on technology and list 5 tricks for successful DevOps adoption in startups:
- Cloud architecture
- Building infrastructure as code
- Infrastructure orchestration
- Containerization with Docker
- Continuous integration and delivery
The beginners might be surprised to know how many servers a startup actually needs to function, and how low these servers might actually cost when rented from a cloud provider. The main idea is to go as lean as possible and choose amongst 3 types of cloud computing the one that fits your current needs best.
While opting for public cloud offers on the start is the best move from the money-saving point, it is obvious that a transition to a private or hybrid cloud should happen at some point in the future.
Building infrastructure as code
DevOps workflow is built on treating infrastructure as code, meaning all the settings and parameters of your servers should be stored in form of configuration files every member of DevOps team has access to, so any needed changes can be performed at once, without bottlenecks or unnecessary tasks delegation.
The biggest benefit of this approach to infrastructure management comes in form of an immutable infrastructure, which allows replacing the environments if any error occurs, rather than repairing them. This minimizes downtime and streamlines the server provisioning process.
While many DevOps specialists gave ample experience with the tools like Chef, Puppet and Ansible, simply managing the configurations does not do the job anymore. Modern rapid software delivery processes require using infrastructure orchestration tools like Kubernetes and Terraform to maximize the DevOps service efficiency.
By using the latest and most advanced infrastructure orchestration tools you can minimize the time spent on preparatory and routine tasks in order to reallocate the freed resources to maximize the value of the product.
Containerization with Docker
Docker containers are the natural choice for any modern DevOps team aimed at working at top efficiency. By creating containerized environments, the DevOps teams are able to establish resilient, reliable, automated software delivery pipelines to minimize the time to market and provide the best results.
Using Docker containers is the crucial part that underpins working with infrastructure orchestration tools like Kubernetes to treat infrastructure as code and provide the immutable infrastructure for continuous integration and continuous delivery of software.
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)
These are the final parts of providing the DevOps as a service. By automating the integration and delivery of new code to production environments (rolling updates, etc.), as well as providing failsafe mechanisms for rapid recovery after service. Various DevOps tools like Jenkins, Gitlab CI or CircleCI enable using this part of DevOps workflow.
Automating the software delivery pipeline, so that new batches of code go from the development environment to build, testing and then are released to production through rolling updates — this is what ensures 220x shorter release cycles and the boost in customer experience that cannot be evaluated with numbers.
Final thoughts on 5 DevOps tricks for startups
These are 5 parts that enable the DevOps practices for startups. Using cloud architecture, building infrastructure as code, leveraging the latest infrastructure orchestration tools, working with Docker containers to provide environments and enabling the continuous integration and continuous delivery of the ready code — these are the parts of the IT startup success.
The tools can bring you so far, however. DevOps culture of collaboration and mutual support is what fuels success in startups. When failure is seen not as a reason to blame someone, but as a trigger to improve the system or processes — then the responsibility is shared, morale is bolstered and the team is more likely to endure the challenges — and overcome them!