DevOps Services: Ultimate Guide on Explaining the Service’s Top Practices, Tools, & Benefits
The DevOps services market is booming.
Thanks to promised advantages, ResearchDive states that the global market of DevOps services is projected to reach $23,362.8 million between 2020 and 2027 while growing at a CAGR of around 23%.
So, what does DevOps mean in simple words?
DevOps stands for development and operations; the use of practices and tools intended to speed up the delivery of applications and services to the market. DevOps is a relatively new philosophy in software development that enables close cooperation between development and operations teams in the cloud. The main idea behind DevOps is to process automation with the help of cloud stackable development tools.
DevOps services provide a number of benefits, such as faster time-to-market. As a result, businesses have a better chance at competing in the market while meeting the ever-changing needs of customers.
This article provides an overview of key DevOps solutions and explains the benefits of DevOps outsourcing.
Here’s what you will learn in our guide:
- What hides behind the DevOps services meaning
- Why companies need DevOps as a service
- DevOps outsourcing vs in-house service
- DevOps best practices: 7 aspects
- DevOps methodology and DevOps lifecycle phases
- Full DevOps tools list explained in detail
- DevOps process flow in services outsourcing
- Why your company should invest in DevOps services
- How to get high-quality DevOps consulting services
Interested? Let’s start right away with the guide on DevOps outsourcing.
What are DevOps Services?
DevOps solutions help companies with better, faster, and more efficient software development with the main goal being a faster release to the market.
Let’s find out what DevOps services are and why companies that turn to them always benefit in the long run.
Why Do You Need DevOps Services?
Let’s start with answering the most pressing question – what advantages can DevOps deliver?
Software development companies mention the following benefits:
- Higher customer satisfaction thanks to stable and faster delivery of new features to the market
- Driving business innovations and continuous process improvement
- More frequent product releases, features, and updates with proper quality and security
- Quick identification of issues in a product, resolution, and repeated release
- High performance of software thanks to thorough testing before release to the market
As you can see, DevOps solutions cover a number of fronts for software development companies.
All in one, the implementation of such an approach to software development allows businesses to create solutions of better quality and deliver them to the market faster.
How Does DevOps Work Anyway?
In a software development company, DevOps software engineers perform an important task – they help companies build processes so that they have a faster development lifecycle.
What is the difference between DevOps vs software engineers?
Developers concentrate their efforts on the delivery of new functionality, while DevOps engineers unify and automate the processes of coding, maintenance, and software management.
One of the main goals of DevOps specialists is to ensure a smooth process for keeping the solution up to date, making quick changes to it, and ensuring its reliability and stability.
DevOps Outsourcing vs In-house Service: What to Consider?
As with almost any other process in a development company, you can keep an in-house DevOps team or outsource DevOps services to a third-party company. There are some strong points and drawbacks on both sides of the fence.
Outsourced DevOps services have a number of advantages:
- The best talent on the market
- You don’t need to take care of staff turnover and employee attrition
- You can easily scale up or down without the need to take care of employee hunting and hiring
- Project management on the vendor’s side
- Good price and quality ratio, especially when working with a DevOps outsourcing company from a favorable outsourcing region
Among the DevOps service challenges and risks, we have:
- Possible security issues
- The need to build a communication process
- No direct access to your team
You can easily tackle all of the mentioned drawbacks by hiring a highly professional and reliable DevOps outsourcing company.
The MLSDev team has the best DevOps engineers on the payroll and the numbers speak for themselves:
- 11+ years on the market
- 200+ successfully completed projects
- 97% client retention rate
- Proven technology stack
- Average retention rate of around 33 months
We’ve been working with, and delivering value for, clients for many years. One of our clients that relies on our DevOps outsourcing, the company named Gopuff, has stayed with us for over 8 years now. We are contributing to the company’s growth and have helped it grow from an ambitious startup into one of the key players in the US market of on-demand delivery services.
Need help with DevOps for your project?
Contact our company to work with an experienced team of DevOps engineers. We’ve been in the business of DevOps consulting for over 11 years now and know how to create high-performing software in record time.
DevOps Solutions: Seven Main Practices
The main idea behind DevOps is continuous automation and improvement. The top 7 DevOps practices include:
1. Continuous development (CD)
Continuous development involves two phases: project planning and software coding.
The main goal of DevOps services and continuous development is to ensure that software is delivered to customers as soon as it’s completed and texted. The software is not improved in a single large batch. All the updates are gradual and made step by step.
2. Continuous testing (CT)
Continuous testing is a DevOps solution during which the solution is tested continuously throughout the whole software development life cycle.
The main idea behind continuous testing in DevOps services is to identify any issues early on and provide software of the highest quality that is delivered to the market without any delays.
3. Continuous integration (CI)
Continuous integration (CI) is a DevOps practice that implies development teams making small and frequent changes to code.
The main idea of DevOps Services is to make more code commits and to be able to detect any changes as soon as a new piece of code arrives. Continuous integration allows for a more efficient way to build and test software solutions. This practice usually involves the use of configuration management tools to track the development progress.
4. Continuous delivery (CD)
Continuous delivery is a practice designed to produce software in short cycles. Thanks to its implementation, development teams can code and test faster, making more frequent software releases.
These DevOps services help to reduce the development cost, time, and risk of each code change. The practice involves automated delivery of code to pre-production and staging environments.
5. Continuous deployment (CD)
Continuous deployment practices (which are often confused with continuous delivery) involve the use of such container technologies as Docker and Kubernetes to ensure the automated release of new or updated code in production.
The technologies mentioned help companies relying on DevOps services to maintain consistency of code across all platforms and environments used for deployment.
6. Continuous monitoring (CM)
This practice of DevOps services involves monitoring the code created and the infrastructure that supports it. Thanks to the feedback loop created, all the issues or identified bugs are reported back to the development team, providing a higher quality of code and software.
7. Infrastructure as code (IaC)
This practice of DevOps services involves the management of infrastructure, including networks, virtual machines, load balancers, etc., using configuration files. These files are easy to edit, copy, and distribute, thus eliminating the need for a manual change of configuration in the infrastructure.
DevOps Services: Methodologies & LifeCycle
Agile software development methodology lies at the center of DevOps solutions as an approach to faster and more efficient software development.
Many of the Agile development methodologies are present in DevOps. The main underlying principles are highlighted in the list below:
Scrum – software development framework utilizing the principles of agile development. The framework divides the whole development process into small pieces, allowing developers not to grasp all tasks at once, but to concentrate efforts on one small task at a time. As a result, Scrum allows the delivery of complex solutions with the highest possible value.
Kanban – lean software development framework designed to organize even big development teams. Kanban puts emphasis on continuous delivery and, thanks to flexibility, is suitable for projects with rapidly changing requirements and priorities.
DevOps service providers often use a number of tools that help them streamline, speed up, automate, and optimize the software delivery workflow.
The traditional DevOps tools list usually includes the following:
- Plan – after a demand for a digital product is identified, this phase helps to define business value and requirements. The tools used include Jira or Git, applied in project management tasks, and tracking the known issues.
- Code – this phase comes down to software architecture and coding. The list of tools used during this phase includes GitLab, GitHub, Stash, and Bitbucket.
- Build – this phase is dedicated to the management of software builds and versions. DevOps automation tools are used to compile and package code for future update releases to production. Tools used during the build phase include Docker, Puppet, Ansible, Chef, Maven, Gradle, and JFrog Artifactory.
- Test – this phase includes both manual and automated continuous testing to provide high-quality code. DevOps tools include Junit, Codeception, Vagrant, TestNG, Selenium, BlazeMeter, etc.
- Deploy – the deployment phase is dedicated to product release and all the associated tools that allow teams to manage, schedule, and automate the process. Tools for this phase include Jenkins, Kubernetes, Ansible, Puppet, Chef, OpenShift, Docker, Jira, OpenStack, etc.
- Monitor – this phase involves the use of tools such as Datadog, Grafana, New Relic, Slack, Wireshark, Splunk, Nagios, etc., to identify, monitor, and collect information about software released in production.
Top 10+ Tools & Third-Party Solutions used for DevOps Services
As mentioned, DevOps teams rely on various software solutions for management, automation, deployment, and so on. Below, we review some of the tools used in DevOps processes.
1. AWS Tools and Services for DevOps
Amazon has created a global network of web services allowing companies to easily migrate DevOps to the cloud, while only paying for the resources they are using. The company provides all the necessary AWS DevOps tools that streamline the processes:
AWS CodeBuild – fully managed service for continuous integration. The service can perform different tasks, such as code compiling, testing, and production of code packages that are fully prepared for deployment. Thanks to automatic scaling, you don’t need to constantly oversee your own servers. AWS CodeBuild processes multiple builds concurrently, so there is no build waiting in a queue.
AWS CodePipeline – fully managed continuous delivery services. The service automates the building, testing, and deployment phases of software release processes. Thus, you can deliver new updates and features more frequently. You pay only for the resources you are using.
AWS CodeDeploy – fully managed deployment service automating software deployments to different services such as Amazon EC2, AWS Fargate, and AWS Lambda. You can also utilize it with your own on-premises servers. Thanks to AWS CodeDeploy, you can easily deploy updates and avoid any downtime because of deployment.
2. Microsoft Azure
Azure is a trusted cloud computing service by Microsoft. The service provides you with all the necessary tools for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications. Below are some of the key Azure DevOps tools that can help you streamline these processes:
Azure DevTest Labs – this service allows the team to quickly build an Azure DevOps environment with the help of prebuilt and customizable templates. The work is performed in the sandbox as soon as an environment is created. After you safely test your idea in a disposable environment, you can move your work to production.
Azure Stack – the whole portfolio of products that extend Azure services. Azure Stack allows you to integrate your existing data center with Azure services. The service enables companies to work in a hybrid cloud environment by mirroring resources locally and in the cloud.
3. Digital Ocean
Digital Ocean is a provider of cloud infrastructure with data centers all over the world. The company enables developers to easily build, test, manage, and scale applications of any size. The company provides various products:
- Droplets – scalable virtual machine
- Kubernetes – managed Kubernetes clusters
- Databases – database cluster that can be launched in a few clicks
- Spaces – storages for vast amounts of content
Docker is the most popular DevOps tool among DevOps engineers. Kubernetes is a Linux-based open-source platform that works with containers. In simple terms, you can pack your software with all the dependencies into packages and deliver them all simultaneously. Thus, you don’t need to deal with managing dependencies.
Ansible holds the title of the second most popular DevOps automation tool. This open-source tool allows you to perform a number of tasks for automated deployments, even the most complex ones. Thanks to its vast capabilities, Ansible has become the tool of choice for NASA. The solution uses YAML language characterized by simple syntax.
Git is also listed among the most popular DevOps solutions. Companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook choose this tool thanks to the functionality provided. Git helps to keep track of the development process and coordinate task flow. You can easily create backups of your work and safely revert to them if something goes sideways with your experiments. Git needs to use a repository host such as GitHub.
Puppet is a popular open-source tool used for a range of tasks for software inspection, delivery and operation management and automation. Puppet is popular thanks to easy integration with other platforms and the availability of different modules that extend its functionality. There is a paid version of Puppet Enterprise suitable for big projects and companies with multiple teams and thousands of resources that require management.
Chef is an open-source tool for configuration management that allows companies to deal with infrastructure complexity, security issues and application automation. The tool easily integrates with other cloud-based platforms. Thanks to Chef, you can automate a number of tasks, including application deployment, infrastructure configuration, and configuration management across the network.
Nagios is a free open-source monitoring tool. Thanks to Nagios, you don’t have to manually find and correct issues in networks and infrastructure, outages, and failures. Nagios can be used for the monitoring of apps, services, network protocols, and much more.
Jenkins is an open-source DevOps tool used for the automation of the delivery pipeline. The tool helps you to test and report any changes happening in real-time. You can integrate Jenkins with almost every other DevOps solution in the world, thanks to thousands of plugins available.
Splunk allows you to monitor all processes during the application delivery lifecycle – from development to testing and production. Thanks to Splunk, companies improve the velocity, quality, and business impact of app delivery. The main advantage of Splunk is its ability to provide real-time insights across all stages of the delivery lifecycle.
Bamboo is just Jenkins. The main difference between the two is that Bamboo is a paid solution and has vast built-in functionality. The list of features includes built-in Git branching workflows, test automation, parallel execution support, easy setup, and a user-friendly interface.
Kubernetes is a relatively new addition to the DevOps tools list that allows you to manage hundreds of containers. It should be noted that Kubernetes is an orchestration platform, i.e., it is only used for automated scheduling and distribution of containers. However, you would need Docker to build, distribute, and run containers.
Selenium is an open-source solution for the automated testing of only web applications. You can integrate it with other tools, such as Kubernetes and Docker, to enable continuous testing used in DevOps.
Simple 5-Step Flow for DevOps Outsourcing
DevOps outsourcing is a great way for you to improve the processes in your own company.
There are a lot of companies on the market that outsource DevOps services, but before you choose one for your project, you first need to understand the key processes and the main steps for hiring the best DevOps outsourcing company.
1. Define Areas for Improvement
The first step in finding the best DevOps outsourcing company should be an assessment of areas of improvement. DevOps companies can help you with a number of tasks:
- Scalability – setting up an environment that will help you painlessly scale your solution.
- Cost optimization – selection of cloud services that will meet all your business needs while being cost-efficient.
- 24/7 support – automation of the processes leading to uninterrupted software support.
- Migration – overseeing all the processes required for migration from a traditional data center to the cloud, or from a cloud to a cloud.
- Big data – optimization of data flow and data processing for companies generating huge amounts of data.
2. Assess the Risks
Before opting for staff augmentation services that provide DevOps, you first need to assess the associated risks:
- Legal issues – some special licenses might be required to access Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
- Architecture expertise – the platform that you choose (AWS, Azure, Digital Ocean, etc.) will underlie all the processes inside your company and product. Thus, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each platform for each specific case. There are a lot of companies specializing in AWS DevOps outsourcing.
- Integration – the company needs to have experience integrating and working with development teams.
3. Choose a vendor
After you’ve identified and considered all the risks, it’s time to choose a company that outsources DevOps services.
When looking for vendors, a proven track record should be the main deciding point. Working with a company that has experience providing DevOps services will help you mitigate any risks that might arise.
4. Assess the tech expertise
After you’ve shortlisted some qualified vendors, you can start by signing up for a DevOps consultation to check their expertise. The company needs to have previous experience with cloud adoption, continuous integration, configuration management, infrastructure automation, etc.
5. Check the tech stack of DevOps engineers
Depending on your business needs, you might need someone working with Amazon AWS or something experienced in Azure. Usually, companies providing DevOps services work with the following technologies:
- Cloud platforms: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Digital Ocean
- Data centers: Rackspace, Unicept, Hetzner, etc.
- Infrastructure as a code: Helm, AWS CloudFormation, Azure Resource Management
- Automation & orchestration: Kubernetes, Docker, Puppet, Chef
- CI/CD: Azure DevOps, AWS, CodeDeploy, CodePipeline
- Logging & monitoring: AWS CloudWatch, Nagios, Zabbix
Why You Should Consider Outsourcing DevOps Services: 5 Core Benefits
Now you know the key methodologies of DevOps, how its processes are organized, and what tools are used.
The question now is, should you really outsource DevOps services?
Let’s review some of the main benefits of outsourcing DevOps services.
1. Great price-quality ratio
According to statistics by Puppet, companies outsourcing DevOps get the following results:
- Zero time addressing security issues
- 25x faster recovery from failures
- 22% less unplanned work
- 5% fewer reworks
- 3x lower failure probability
The main result of DevOps is a better price and quality ratio compared to digital projects without applied DevOps services. Even though DevOps engineers may cost you up to $200 per hour, you will win in the long run.
However, the prices for DevOps outsourcing may vary based on the place to which you’re outsourcing.
For example, you can choose nearshore outsourcing or offshore software development services. The latter option might be more cost-efficient, especially if you choose a country from Eastern Europe. This region offers a great combination of high-quality DevOps outsourcing options and competitive prices.
2. Great tech basis
DevOps engineers are a relatively rare talent on the market, and finding one who is already acquainted with the specifics of your industry is even tougher. DevOps services outsourcing allows you to find experts with knowledge and experience relevant to your project.
As mentioned, DevOps outsourcing to Ukraine provides you with access to a wide talent pool. You can hire the best professionals on the market at a cost that is twice as low as compared to US companies.
3. Great number of specialists
As a company building a digital product, you probably want to hire the best experts on the market. Finding DevOps engineers on the local market might be challenging, as the best specialists are worth gold.
DevOps services companies can provide you with experts without you having to spend countless hours trying to find them. You don’t need to worry about the hiring process, employee retention, and so on.
4. Project management on the vendor’s side
Companies providing DevOps services usually take on the task of project management. You don’t need to worry about your specialists showing up to work on time, sticking to deadlines, and delivering the best results. This is what the vendor takes on and therefore frees your hands for other tasks.
5. Shorter development cycles with improved quality
Constant monitoring, continuous testing, and automation improve the quality of code and reduce the time needed to deliver the product to the market or update its features. Vendors providing DevOps services know everything about the delivery of great results within tight timeframes. This is exactly what you need to deliver a high-quality product.
How Can You Benefit from MLSDev’s DevOps Solutions?
DevOps services allow the delivery of even the most complex projects to the market. They shorten the software development life cycle, reduce wasted time and financial resources, and keep all processes at various phases of software development in sync.
MLSDev has over 200 successfully completed projects under its belt. If you are looking for a DevOps outsourcing company, here’s a short overview of how we organize the processes:
- Plan – the first step of DevOps services is dedicated to defining business values and requirements.
- Code – the main phase of development wherein software architecture and code are created.
- Build – during this phase, we manage builds and versions, and compile and package code for future updates.
- Test – the most important part of software development that allows for the release of bug-free, high-quality software.
- Deploy – product release management, scheduling, and automation.
- Monitor – monitoring software released to the market for timely identification of issues.
Need a company that will take on DevOps tasks?
Get in touch with us for a free initial DevOps consultation. We’ll help you identify areas of improvement and get your project on track.