The world of technology is ascending to increasing levels of efficiency every day. With this in mind, it is imperative for businesses to figure out methods to keep up with the growing demands of the market. Adapting to the instantaneous changes could be by adopting various data practices, application modernization, introducing APIs for faster information exchanges, DevOps practices and so on.
In this blog, however, we shall delve into improving release management in DevOps. Doing so would allow organizations to speed up on releasing upgraded solutions.
Release management comes into picture when business want to, or are requested to upgrade their solutions. In a nutshell, release management is the umbrella under which comes the planning, scheduling, and controlling the builds of a software release all the way from development to deployment.
It is an integral part of the SDLC, that involves testing the software before it is released into the production environment. With DevOps in the picture, software release cycles are expected to be shorter, making release management a vital part in DevOps. Release management is now a continuous process that works along with development.
Since DevOps and automation are just two sides of the same coin, release management within a DevOps process is by default an automated process. Automating it just allows release management teams more room to ensure accuracy and quality of releases, version control, and reduces the scope of release failures thanks to continuous monitoring in a DevOps pipeline.
At the advent of DevOps, many worried that release management would be obsolete. Instead, release management became a continuous effort.
Let’s look at best practices that can help speed up and clean up release management within the DevOps workflow.
Manually configuring infrastructures are tales of the past. Manually managing infrastructure has drawbacks such as being error-prone, difficulty in tracking a bug and debugging, updating versions of the infrastructure in test environments and so on. Bottom line, it was time-consuming and tedious just to manage an infrastructure, much less scale it when new requirements came in.
Infrastructure as code (IaC) takes care of all that. It ensures that the developers and operations team working on an SDLC can work in tandem with each other. Release management goes much more smoothly with a good IaC practice in place.
Thanks to version control supported by the concept of IaC, configuration modifications can be updated into the latest version, with the changes logged and documented. IaC also ensures that the change in the original code is reflected in the infrastructures mimicked in the test environments. This makes it easier to run tests of the updated versions waiting to be deployed as a new release. IaC ensure reliable releases and repeatable release process.
Within a DevOps workflow, automation is given. Continuous testing is part of the automated perks in a DevOps pipeline. The idea is to continuously test code across the pipeline to detect error before it passes on to the next phase and gets built on and then deployed. When it comes to release management, testing plays a major role.
Shift-left testing is a must follow best practice in release management within a DevOps pipeline. The shift-left approach is focused on carrying out rigorous testing in the left side of the pipeline, or rather within the continuous integration phase. When trying to release updated solutions, it is best to identify errors or bugs in the initial stages of its development. With shift-left testing release management is made cost effective, as it is easier and efficicent to fix bugs found in the earlier phases.
For a DevOps pipeline to run seamlessly, it is imperative that the development, testing, and production servers are identical or at least close to being identical. In principle, IaC takes care of this. However, since human involvement is not entirely eliminated, there are chances of documentation being sloppy with updates not being reflected or logged. This brings in a phenomenon called as configuration drift.
Eliminating configuration drift is one of the best practices to be adopted for error-free release management. One way to do it is by destroying servers and building it back up. Servers must be deployed as virtual machines to make redeploying them easier. Destruction and restoration of servers must be part of every deployment cycle. Doing so ensures that the IaC matches the required server configurations. This way release management is clean and updated with the right server configurations across development, testing, and production servers in every cycle.
When releasing an update into an application or a solution, the ideal scenario would be to promise zero downtime – ensuring that consumers experience zero-time lag in accessing the updates.
This is where the blue-green deployment strategy comes into play. Here, thetarget="_blank" latest versions of an application run on two identical production environments. One is labeled blue, and the other green. Let’s assume the blue one to be the live environment to where all the traffic is routed to. The green one remains idle for the time being.
When releasing an update, the pipeline deploys it to the green environment. This is useful in flagging and fixing error that show up in production in addition to enabling a smooth update release. Now that the updated version in on the green environment, the traffic to the blue environment is witched to the green one with no consumer left the wiser. Consumers can experience updates in real-time with zero downtime.
Implementing and maintain DevOps is no piece of cake. It could be overwhelming for enterprises to adopt DevOps amidst running their businesses as usual. The idea is to evolve into the DevOps culture seamlessly, where team members feel negligible resistance.
This is why it is recommended to partner up with experts who could handle running a seamless DevOps pipeline, freeing up time and resources for enterprises. Connect with our DevOps experts at firstname.lastname@example.org and arm yourself with tailored DevOps services.
Forever curious to know how things work, be it technology or assembling a taco. As an ardent aesthete, I'm always writing, reading, or scrolling. At other times, I'm thinking about writing, reading, or scrolling.