DevOps is fast expanding and has become one of the most in-demand skill sets for developers that enjoy automation and want to establish a bright career in the software development industry. Cloud computing is the new oil for businesses, and because every organization is now considered a software company, cloud computing is no longer a choice but a must-have aspect. With DevOps at the heart of software development nowadays, the CI/CD (Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery) strategy simplifies many tasks.
In the modern software development process, writing source code is simply one step in the process of bringing your ideas into the world, often known as production. The capability to develop, package, test, verify, and reliably deploy into production spans multiple domains & disciplines. CI/CD is a typical abbreviation for the development & deployment pipeline.
Continuous Integration (CI) refers to all of the procedures necessary to automate software development and packaging. Continuous Delivery (CD) encompasses all of the confidence-building, infrastructure, plus deployment phases required to successfully release your artifacts to production.
What is the CI/CD pipeline?
A CI/CD pipeline is a set of coordinated procedures that can move source code to production. The procedures involve developing, packaging, testing, evaluating and certifying infrastructure, as well as deploying it to all required environments. Depending on organizational and team arrangements, this objective may need the use of various pipelines. A CI/CD pipeline can be triggered by an event such as a pull request from a source code repository (i.e., a code change), the availability of a new artifact in an artifact repository, or a regular schedule to meet a release cadence.
CI/CD pipelines are often coordinated using CI/CD platforms that are purpose-built to handle the cross-discipline orchestration required. Pipelines in CI/CD systems can be expressed as a Domain Specific Language (DSL) or in called instructions (such as YAML) on the Harness platform. Because of the numerous language and technological options available, current CI/CD pipelines concentrate on outcomes.
Things to know before setting up your first CI/CD pipeline
Here are some of the things about CI/CD pipelines that you should know before you set up your first automatic deployment pipeline –
What should the first CD pipeline automate?
When deciding on your initial pipeline (also known as a minimum feasible pipeline), the guiding concept is to handle existing problems first and leave theoretical ones for later. Take tiny steps at first, and don’t strive to develop a completely mature pipeline. While what your minor steps should depend on your app use-cases, the most important processes are divided into 2 stages – one that solves continuous integration and the other takes care of continuous delivery.
Any CI/CD pipeline requires developers to contribute their code to a common repository regularly. Developers should maintain feature branches that have been unmerged from the main branch for a long period up to date by integrating upstream as frequently as feasible.
What should the first CD pipeline NOT do?
Because executing each stage of the pipeline takes time, it is advisable to perform a cost-benefit analysis for each step that you wish to automate in addition to the ones stated in the preceding section. Most applications do not require a completely automated CD workflow at the beginning for the following:
- Utilizing infrastructure as code to provision and manage resources.
- Rolling back deployment.
- Deployment across many regions or clouds.
- Auto-scaling to add or delete instances on the go.
- Managing several testing steps, such as performance testing, user interface testing, and so on.
What are the essential elements of a minimum viable CD pipeline?
- Version control software (VCS). For example, GitHub and GitLab.
- Your application infrastructure will be hosted by a public cloud provider. For example, AWS, Azure, and GCP.
- A CI tool is used to create and execute tests on application code.
- To deploy the program code to a target environment, use a CD tool.
Key factors for selecting the best tools for the initial pipeline
You have a variety of tools to pick from for each component of the initial CD pipeline. We propose that you select tools that include the following features:
- Fully managed service.
- Easily extendable
- Rich plugin ecosystem
- Solves for one or more stages of your pipeline
- Fits your budget
Minimum viable pipelines recommendation
You have two categories to select from when creating your first delivery pipeline.
Pipeline as code
– Pipeline as code refers to configuring the phases in the deployment pipeline — develop, test, and deploy — with code stored in a repository like Git. It allows you to monitor and control changes to these configurations in the same manner that you manage app code — through version control & pull requests.
Release Automation Platforms
– Platforms for release automation eliminate the requirement to write code to create pipelines. As code, they give an abstraction layer over the pipeline. This abstraction streamlines the construction and administration of your pipeline even further.
Build in a containerized environment
Using solutions like Docker for easy pipeline configuration is essential because it establishes an environment that supports the pipeline in all phases of producing, packing, and distributing your application. It also aids in troubleshooting the single container rather than the entire pipeline if something goes wrong. It is critical to have different containers for each build from the start, and they are also quite simple to construct.
Shorten the feedback loop
To reduce the feedback loop, run the fastest tests first in the testing suite. A suitable flow may be: code quality àunit tests à build staging deployment à e2e test.
Implement CI first
Priority should be given to CI implementation. Only until the CI has been proven to be stable and dependable should the CD component be configured. This provides developers confidence and allows them to go on to the next step of CD implementation.
One of the most critical components of DevOps is diverting the attention of security to the far left. It is vital to maintain the security of every developer who pushes or writes code.
How you should approach pipeline evolution
After you’ve established the first pipeline, keep note of what you still perform manually and how frequently. You may improve your first pipeline by automating the following steps:
- Perform code coverage analysis by adding a code coverage tool.
- Use multiple staging environments to test how your app interacts with other services, queues, and databases – before deploying to production.
- Monitor your app dependencies for vulnerabilities using tools like Snyk.
- Use a deployment strategy for deployment rollback.
- Configure your pipeline to allow for the rapid deployment of a hotfix.
- Adopt GitOps practices
When you’re in the early phases of product development and racing against the clock to provide upgrades, you might be inclined to put off automating the CI/CD workflow. While delivering new features to customers is the primary priority, taking small efforts toward establishing a continuous CI/CD pipelines can allow you to deploy features much more quickly and reliably.
Get DevOps Certification & for smooth CI/CD workflows
To advance your profession, enroll in Cognixia’s DevOps Training. Take a move to improve your job chances and prospects. Enroll in our hands-on, interactive, and instructor-led DevOps certification course. Cognixia is here to give you a fantastic online learning experience, help you broaden your knowledge through fun training sessions, and to add significant value to your skill set in today’s competitive market. Cognixia’s online courses are beneficial to both individuals and businesses.
The DevOps Plus course provides a comprehensive overview of the discipline, covering all key concepts, techniques, and tools regardless of your prior knowledge of IT technology and processes. Starting with a basic introduction to DevOps, it covers the principles of virtualization, its benefits, and the many virtualization technologies that play a critical role in both learning and adopting the DevOps culture. DevOps tools like Vagrant, Containerization, VCS, and Docker, as well as Configuration Management tools like Chef, Puppet, SaltStack, and Ansible, will be covered.
This DevOps course covers intermediate to advanced aspects. Get certified in DevOps and become acquainted with concepts such as the open-source monitoring tool Nagios, including its plugins, and the usage as a graphical user interface. The Advanced DevOps fundamentals are discussed in full, as well as Docker container clustering leveraging Docker Swarm & Kubernetes in the CI/CD Pipelines Automation.
Our online DevOps training covers the following concepts –
- Introduction to DevOps
- GIT: Version Control
- Docker – Containers
- Puppet for configuration management
- Nagios: Monitoring
- Jenkins – Continuous Integration
- Docker Container Clustering using Docker Swarm
- Docker Container Clustering using Kubernetes
- Advanced DevOps (CI/CD Pipeline Automation)
This course requires just a basic grasp of programming & software development. These requirements are helpful but not compulsory because this all-inclusive training is aimed at newcomers and experienced professionals.