Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery/Deployment (CI/CD) have been established practices for over two decades, yet many teams grapple with their effective implementation. There are some utilities in implementing DevOps CI/CD best practices; teams that successfully implement these practices can accelerate software development, deploy more frequently, and encounter fewer failures.
Continuous Integration & Contiuous Delivery
Continuous Integration involves the continual validation of changes before merging them into a central source code repository. Its aim is to swiftly verify modifications, providing prompt feedback to software engineers to address issues before merging.
Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment involve rapidly deploying changes, typically validating them in test and staging environments. While Continuous Delivery necessitates manual approval or a trigger for deploying changes, Continuous Deployment is fully automated. This article will focus on DevOps CI/CD best practices, exploring how continuous integration and delivery go hand in hand.
DevOps CI/CD Best Practices To Enhance Efficiency
Adhering to CI/CD best practices is crucial for both software engineering and operations teams, as it significantly influences every stage of the process. By enhancing quality, increasing engineering productivity, and enabling businesses to expedite the delivery of critical features, CI/CD becomes a veritable linchpin. Let’s delve into maximizing the efficiency of your engineering organization by adopting CI/CD best practices.
1. Frequent Commits for Effective CI/CD Operation:
Committing early and often is crucial for optimal CI/CD functionality. Rapid commits empower developers with swift feedback, facilitating timely adjustments before deployment. Atomic commits, characterized by small, rapid changes, simplify testing, validation, rollback, and form a solid foundation for agile iteration.
2. Build Only Once for Consistency:
Efficient CI/CD avoids unnecessary rebuilds of the same artifact. Once changes are finalized, the artifact should be built only once to prevent disparate test results. With container images, promotions using additional tags can streamline this process, ensuring consistency across different environments.
3. Shared Pipelines for Streamlined CI/CD Management
Utilizing shared pipelines minimizes duplication and management complexity in CI/CD. Instead of individual pipelines for each application or microservice, shared pipelines, like those in Codefresh, leverage event triggers to create reusable pipelines across multiple applications. This eliminates redundant efforts, reducing both cost and maintenance challenges.
4. Security-First Approach with Automated Checks
CI/CD offers an excellent platform for automating regular security checks, encompassing binaries and scanning Kubernetes manifests or infrastructure files. Automated pipelines routinely identify security issues, empowering engineers to rectify them before reaching operations. A security-first approach encourages shared responsibility for software security, enhancing both frequency of deployment and software integrity.
5. Automate Tests for Quality Assurance
Shipping error-free products with reduced time-to-mark is the key focus in DevOps implementation. Automating tests for quality control and less errors is one of the DevOps CI/CD best practices that comes pretty handy for agile delivery of error-free software products. Automated quality tests, spanning Unit, Integration, and Functional categories, ensure reliable feedback for developers and set quality gates for operations. Integrating these tests into the CI/CD process guarantees their consistent execution, swiftly notifying engineers of any deviations that need correction.
6. Maintain Fast Build Processes
Swift builds are paramount for productive CI/CD processes. Ensuring meaningful feedback within 5-10 minutes accelerates developer workflows. Caching dependencies and employing a strategic testing approach significantly reduce execution time, preventing CI/CD from becoming a hindrance to productivity.
7. On-Demand Test Environments for Stability
Using on-demand test environments promotes software portability and cost-effectiveness. Unlike traditional approaches focused on server uptime, on-demand environments ensure reliable software initiation, reduce testing costs, and enable concurrent testing by multiple engineers.
8. Choose Tools Aligned with Priorities
Opting for tools that align with specific priorities, such as speed and reliability, is essential. Avoid being locked into an ecosystem that may not address your unique needs. Features like parallelization and effective debugging should be prioritized for a seamless CI/CD experience.
9. Monitor and Measure Pipeline Performance
Holistic monitoring of CI/CD pipelines prevents gradual degradation over time. Regular reviews, preferably monthly, unveil performance trends and identify potential causes of failures. This long-term perspective ensures that automation consistently enhances productivity.
10. Whole Team Involvement in CI/CD
Rather than assigning CI/CD as the sole responsibility of a single individual, involving the entire team fosters shared understanding and accountability. Shared pipelines facilitate this approach, ensuring that errors are quickly addressed and that the team comprehensively grasps the impact of their changes.
11. Prepare for Progressive Delivery Strategies
Anticipating progressive delivery strategies like Canary and Blue Green Deployment mitigates risks associated with changes. Embracing the 12 factor app pattern and designing software as independent microservices enhance compatibility with modern deployment strategies, offering additional layers of feedback.
In conclusion, adhering to these DevOps CI/CD best practices enhances software delivery pipelines, thus streamlining feedback cycles. Automation is the linchpin, focusing on agile development and proper operation so as to unlock the full potential of engineering teams and organizations.
DevOps CI/CD Services
New software delivery has always been part of the mission-critical process an organization must adopt in order to level up. However, a common challenge faced by many organizations is getting entangled in a web of flaky scripting, frequent manual interventions, convoluted processes, and relying on extensive yet unreliable tool stacks deployed across diverse infrastructure. This intricate setup often leaves software teams in a state of disarray, struggling to comprehend their software supply chain and identify the root causes of failures. Recognizing this predicament, it becomes evident that a new approach is not just beneficial but imperative for navigating the complexities of modern software delivery.
Owing to that, we at Penguin Technology help customers meet their organization’s needs for DevOps CI/CD or continuous integration and delivery. Our goal is to provide DevOps solutions that foster the the seamless adoption of DevOps as a culture, thus helping you overcome the hassles of CI/CD implementation. We do that by incorporating the aforementioned DevOps CI/CD best practices into our DevOps solutions.