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DevOps strategies & best practices – part 4

If your organization is going to succeed at DevOps then investing in automation tools is critical. Automation makes your infrastructure faster and more efficient while also providing shareable and traceable paths. Fortunately, a considerable number of new open source and enterprise tools have emerged in recent years that can automate your build, test, and development processes and assist with configuration management.


Let’s continue where we left off in our strategies discussion by looking at how automation can provide business value, as well as some of the top tools on the market today.


Automate, Automate, Automate!


The benefit of automating the testing and deployment process hardly needs explanation. With just a few clicks a continuous integration tool will run a series of unit tests, deploy the code to a new server, and then carry out a series of integration tests. The obvious takeaway is that continuous integration automation reduces cost and increases efficiency so that developers can spend their time writing code instead of tracking and fixing bugs.




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Developing the ability to automate an organization’s infrastructure may seem like the most daunting of tasks, and it’s at this point that companies usually become their own worst enemy. There are significant numbers of automation tools on the market now that can help make your build, test, monitoring, and deployment process efficient and effective.


The following represents a list of over 25 of the most notable DevOps platforms on the market:


AnsibleWorks: provides IT orchestration engine that makes applications and systems easier to deploy


AppFirst: delivers SaaS-based application monitoring dashboard for full-stack visibility into systems, applications, and business metrics


Atlassian: offers a number of DevOps tools including Bamboo, which connects issues, commits, test results, and deploys so the whole picture is available to your entire product team


Capistrano: open source remote server automation and deployment tool written in Ruby


CA Technogies: offers a suite of enterprise multi-release solutions to enable continuous delivery across the application lifecycle


Fabric: open source Python library and command-line tool for streamlining the use of SSH for application deployment or systems administration tasks


Gigaspace: company’s Cloudify helps to setup, deploy, monitor, auto-repair, and scale applications


Inedo: company’s BuildMaster solution provides release management, automatic deployment, and continuous integration solutions for the enterprise


Jenkins: one of the most popular automated continuous integration service platforms available today. It’s open source, easily extendible, and supported by over 800 plugins


Kiuwan: cloud-based measuring and analysis solution


Leroy: new fast, lean-threaded free deployment automation engine written in C++ that helps make software deployment and configuration management more streamlined and centralized


MaestroDev: provides continuous delivery solutions in a multi-source DevOps environment


MidVision: provides application release automation software and management solutions across complex multi-tier environments


New Relic : real-time web and mobile app monitoring with extensive plugins for PaaS/cloud services, caching, database, web servers, and queuing


Opscode: maker of Chef, an automation platform that transforms infrastructure into code


Puppet Labs : open source configuration management ecosystem


RightScale: offers deployment, continuous build, test, and monitoring services for the Cloud


SaltStack: open source software for configuration management, infrastructure automation, and cloud orchestration


Sauce Labs: leading platform for Selenium testing, manual testing, and JavaScript unit testing of web and mobile apps


Serena Software: provides process-based solutions for managing and automating application development, DevOps, and IT operations


SmartFrog: open source Java-based software framework for configuring, deploying, and managing distributed software systems


Solar Winds: provider of IT infrastructure management software including DevOps


SonarSource: provides applications and services for continuous inspection of code quality


Stackdriver: monitoring-as-a-service solution that uses advanced analytics to proactively identify performance issues and bottlenecks within distributed applications


TeamCity: all-in-one, extensible, Java-based continuous integration server, which is supported in other frameworks and languages by 100 ready to use plugins


UrbanCode: improves time to market and overall quality through enterprise build and deployment automation


XebiaLabs: enterprise-level build, deployment, provisioning, and delivery automation



In the final part of this series we’ll pull together the main takeaways we’ve learned so far into a set of best practices that can guide your DevOps strategy moving forward.


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About Jeffrey Walker

Jeff is a business development consultant who specializes in helping businesses grow through technology innovations and solutions. He holds multiple master’s degrees from institutions such as Andrews University and Columbia University, and leverages this background towards empowering people in today’s digital world. He currently works as a research specialist for a Fortune 100 firm in Boston. When not writing on the latest technology trends, Jeff runs a robotics startup called virtupresence.com, along with oversight and leadership of startuplabs.co - an emerging market assistance company that helps businesses grow through innovation.