Top Devops Tools You Must Know

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07th May, 2021
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09th May, 2019
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Top Devops Tools You Must Know

In the last decade for most of the enterprises, the term DevOps has transformed from just a buzzword to a way of working. The concept of DevOps originated in 2008 following a discussion on agile infrastructure by Patrick Debois and Andrew Clay Shafer. The idea started to gain momentum in 2009 after the first DevOpsDays in Belgium. What initially began as a practice to bring more efficiency in software infrastructure management, is now evolved into a continuous feedback model which has redefined every aspect of software development from requirement engineering to deployment. With this change, evolved new frameworks, practices and tools rooted in the core values of lean and agile. This paper discusses in detail the various tools that evolved during the DevOps movement. Readers would get a comprehensive understanding of what and where to apply these tools in their day to day DevOps journey.

1. What is DevOps?

DevOps is a culture where active collaboration between development, operations, and business teams are achieved. It’s not all about tools and DevOps in an organisation is to create value to end customer respecting human all team members. Tools are only aids to build this culture. DevOps increases organizations capability to deliver high-quality products or services at a swift pace. It automates all processes starting from build to deployment phase of an application. There are many tools available in the market to help us achieve this.

2. What are the DevOps tools?

DevOps tools are categorized into following categories:

a. Collaboration Tools :

Collaboration Tools

DevOps teams rely on regular feedback and constant communication. Hence traditional email communication mechanism becomes less effective. Thus DevOps teams rely on more integrated collaboration suites that help in continuous communication and feedback loops. Some of these new generation collaboration tools include Slack, Teams, CA Flowdock etc.

1. Slack

Slack is a messaging tool for the teams providing a common place for all communications. We can set different channels for different kinds of work. Voice and video call options are also available with Slack. Atlassian and Slack have created a partnership and will be discontinuing other collaboration tools like Hipchat and Stride and will provide migration to Slack.

Availability: Free version with limited features are available for users.

For more details click here  

2. CA Flowdock

CA Flowdock is yet another collaboration tool from CA Technologies. It brings all conversations, chats, work items, etc to one place making it easier to prioritize work and solve problems.

Availability: CA Flowdock is free for up to 5 member teams and free for non-profit organizations and student projects.

Learn more about CA Flowdock here.     

3. Teams

Teams is a unified communication platform by Microsoft. Teams combine workplace chats, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. The service also integrates with the company's existing Office 365 productivity suite and features extensions to integrate with non-Microsoft products and features.

Availability: Teams is free for a small number of users.

Learn more about Teams here.

SL NoTool NameProsConsAvailability
1.Slack
  • Intuitive
  • SaaS product
  • Good integration with other tools
  • The video conferencing feature is not as great as its competitors
Freemium
2.CA Flowdock
  • Easy to configure
  • Integration with tools beyond CA tools is to be improved
Freemium for small users
3.Team
  • One stop shop -  Integrates file sharing, messaging, meetings, and other tools.
  • Still early and could be a little buggy
Freemium for small users

b. Top Application Life Management and Issue Tracking Tools

Application Life Management and Issue Tracking Tools

ALM and planning tools help team members to plan their iterations by constantly getting feedback from the customers and prioritizing them. This helps to achieve visualisation of the works in hand, share plans, and track the progress. These tools make sure that all the team members are heard and addressed. Customer feedback is taken seriously and increases the responsiveness within the team. The tools enable teams to identify and track dependencies. It helps teams to plan their releases and sprints in a systematic way. Issue tracking tools enable features like auto triaging and assignment. Some of the tools are:

1. JIRA

JIRA is an issue tracking and project management tool from Atlassian. It could be used by small or large companies. Kanban and scrum boards which are simple and flexible are available with JIRA. It’s not free software.

Availability: The pricing varies with the number of users.

Learn more about JIRA here.  

2. Mantis Bug Tracker

Mantis BT is an open source web-based issue tracker. It’s simple to use dashboard, helps to assign issues to developers and keep track of the issue progress. It is empowered with a built-in time tracking mechanism that helps the user to analyse the time spent by a developer on an issue.

Availability: Paid version is available.

For more details click here.

3. Trello

Trello is a free project collaboration tool. It helps to manage projects with it’s simple and easy to work for boards. All tasks are defined as individual cards. These cards can be moved around helping the teams to visualise the work in progress.

Click here for more information.

4. CollabNet VersionOne

CollabNet VersionOne is agile management  It helps in collaboration between teams at all levels to have a unified vision for software delivery.

For more details about CollabNet VersionOne click here.  

5. Rally

Rally is formerly known as CA Agile Central. It provides a platform to plan, track, prioritize work collaboratively. Thus improving visibility.

6. OpsGenie

OpsGenie is an incident management tool that helps to determine who should respond to events. It’s from Atlassian. It also helps in defining collaboration methods like video conferences etc. It’s free for small teams up to 5 users.

Availability: Paid version is available which varies with the number of users and add on features.

Learn more about OpsGenie here.

7. Pivotal Tracker

Pivotal Tracker is an agile project management tool. Pivotal tracker helps to create public and private projects. Private projects are accessible only to the collaborators and it's the default setting. Public projects are available via URL in read-only mode. Edit permissions are given only to an invitee to the project. Open source software development process makes use of public projects.

Availability: Pivotal Tracker for two projects,2GB of file storage, and a total of three collaborators. An upgrade from this could be only in the paid version.

For more details click here.

8. Azure Board

Azure Board is a tracking tool from Microsoft Azure. It helps to track and plan your projects via kanban boards, team dashboards etc. It supports all agile methodologies. Built-in analytics provide information about project progress and status.

Availability: Azure Board is free for up to 5 users and unlimited stakeholders.

Click here to know more about Azure Board.  

9. Tasktop

Tasktop is a stream management tool to integrate and synchronize development and operations tools together. It helps in tracking tasks across different task tracking systems.

Availability: Tasktop is not a free tool but paid.

Learn more about Tasktop here.

10. Kanboard

Kanboard is an open-source project used for project management. It is known for its super easy installations, great visualisation of the project tasks and drag and drops feature for project management.

Availability: Free version of Kanboard is available.

Click here for more details about Kanboard.

SL NoTool NameProsConsAvailability

1

JIRA

  • Widely  used
  • Enterprise-grade
  • Learning curve
  • Complex to configure
Paid

2


Mantis Bug Tracker

  • Free and good community
  • Paid Hosting option available
  • Need experts to configure
  • Good for defects and simple projects

Free & open source

3.


Trello

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to configure
  • Not ideal for large teams /programs

Freemium

4


CollabNet VersionOne

  • Widely  used
  • Enterprise-grade
  • Rich features
  • Learning curve
  • Less intuitive

Pai

5


Rally

  • Enterprise-grade
  • Easy to set up
  • Less intuitive and complex to learn

Paid

6


OpsGenie

  • Rich features for issue tracking and on-call management
  • Features are limited to issue tracking

Freemium

7


Pivotal Tracker

  • Rich feature set for tracking
  • Intuitive and easy to use  
  • Integrability with other tools

Freemium

8


Azure Board

  • Integrates well with Microsoft toolchain
  • Lacks richness in feature set  in comparison with other enterprise-grade tools in the same segment

Paid

9


Tasktop

  • Good for Value Stream Management
  • Integrability with other tools

Paid

10


Kanboard

  • Simple to use
  • Limited feature set
  • Not ideal for large teams/programs

Free & open source

c. Cloud /iaas/paas/serverless tools
Cloud /iaas/paas/serverless tools

Cloud along with Infrastructure as service and platform as service produces a platform for developing, testing and deployment of applications. Using such features DevOps reduces the much latency overload in acquiring and accessing assets. All private and public clouds provide support to DevOps tooling and thus reducing the cost spent for on-premises systems.

Some of the platforms are

1. AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud services platform, offering to compute power, database storage, content delivery, and other cloud-related functionalities.

Availability: AWS is an on-demand cloud computing platform where we are charged on as you go basis.

Learn more about AWS here.

2. AWS Lambda

Lambda is a serverless computing platform from Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is a service that manages the computing resources and runs code in response to events.

Availability: We are charged only on the computing time.

Learn more about AWS Lambda here.

3. Azure

Microsoft Azure is an enterprise-grade cloud computing service that helps in managing applications through Microsoft-managed data centers. It provides software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

Click here to learn more about Azure.

4. Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform, offered by Google, is a suite of cloud computing services. Platform as service, Infrastructure as a service, and serverless computing are provided by GCP.

Click here to learn more about Google Cloud Platform.

5. IBM cloud

IBM Cloud is a suite of cloud computing services from IBM. It also provides infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).

Availability: Lite version of IBM Cloud is free and allows one instance per plan.

Click here to learn more about IBM Cloud.

6. OpenStack

OpenStack is a free and open-source software platform for cloud computing, mostly deployed as infrastructure-as-a-service, whereby all virtual servers and other resources are made available to customers. It’s written in python.

Learn more about OpenStack here.

7. Cloud Foundry

Cloud Foundry is an open source cloud platform that helps to develop cloud applications. It’s from Pivotal.

Learn more about Cloud Foundry here.

8. Heroku

Heroku is a  platform as a service cloud environment. Thus help developers to work entirely on cloud.

Availability: Free version is available with limited features.

Learn more about Heroku here.

9. OpenWhisk

Apache OpenWhisk is an open source, distributed Serverless platform. OpenWhisk manages the infrastructure, servers and scaling using Docker containers.

Click here for more details about OpenWhisk.

SL NoTool NameProsConsAvailability
1.

AWS

  • Enterprise-ready provider
  • Complex cost structure

Pay as you go

2.

AWS Lambda

  • Serverless computing
  • Reduced operational costs
  • Limit on concurrent executions after which causing Denial Of Service

Charged for computing time

3.

Azure

  • Integrates better with many Microsoft tools
  • Services provided still needs to be improved

Pay for resources used

4.


Google Cloud Platform

  • Scalable
  • Better load balancing
  • Serverless computing
  • Currently, GCP has fewer services and features compared to AWS or Azure

Pay as you go

5.

IBM Cloud

  • Easy setup
  • Consistent performance
  • Difficulty in scaling

Free Lite version

6.


OpenStack

  • Massive scalability
  • Easy implementation
  • Complex configurations

Freemium

7.


Cloud Foundry

  • Supports on-premises and multi-cloud deployment
  • Great privacy and security
  • Less feature set compared to AWS or Azure

Paid

8.


Heroku

  • Advanced Continuous Integration Platform
  • Highly scalable
  • Less reconfigurability

Freemium

9.


OpenWhisk

  • Open event provider system
  • Serverless computing
  • Not efficient for long running applications

Paid as per computing time

d. Top Source control management
source control management

Source control management as practice stores and tracks the application and infrastructure code. Even delivery pipelines for an application is nowadays stored in source code repositories. Some of the tools are GitHub, Bit Bucket, Subversion, Mercurial, Rational ClearCase.

1. GitHub

GitHub is a popular repository hosting service using Git. Git is a  free and open source system. It’s of the ease with which it performs branching and merge operations. It’s a distributed version control system that adds to its preferences.

Click here for more details.  

2. Mercurial

Mercurial is a free distributed version control system. It is very easy to learn compared to Git but the branching feature of Git is more widely loved. Big and small projects could be handled in Mercurial.

Click here for more details.

3. Bitbucket

Bitbucket is a repository hosting service from Atlassian. It could be used to store source code using  Mercurial or Git revision control systems. It’s free for teams with a maximum of 5 users. The paid version is available for bigger teams.

Learn more about Bit Bucket here.

4. Rational ClearCase

Rational ClearCase is a source control management tool from IBM. It helps in the parallel development of software. Software artefacts whether it be source code or design documents etc could be managed by ClearCase. Enterprise version is available for ClearCase.

Learn more about ClearCase here.

5. Subversion

Subversion is a version control system from Apache. It’s a free tool and open source.

It helps to track down all the changes done to files and directories.

Click here to learn more about Subversion.  

6. JFrog Artifactory

Artifactory is an artefact repository management tool from JFrog. It’s a paid tool. It primarily stores binary files which are typically the product of our build process.

Click here to learn more about Artifactory.

SL NoTool NameProsConsAvailability

1.

GitHub

  • Easy to navigate user interface
  • Difficult to learn

Free

2.

Mercurial

  • Cannot rewrite commit history
  • Slower network operations

Free

3.

Bitbucket


  • Supports Git and Mercurial
  • Difficult integration with other tools

Freemium


4

Rational ClearCase


  • Integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Not suitable for projects with a big code base
  • Difficult to work with

Paid

5.

Subversion

  • Easy to learn even for non-technical users
  • Slower because of centralised version control system

Free

6.

Artifactory

  • Supports many languages and tools
  • Easy to use
  • Expensive

Paid

e. Top Package managers

package managers tools

Package managers build or package code with all metadatas like software’s name, purpose, version and all dependencies needed by the software to function correctly. It lessens the burden of manual installs especially in big enterprises where we need to install big software. Some of the tools available are

1. Maven

Maven is an open-source build automation tool from Apache used mainly for Java applications. Main features are it provides easy and uniform builds. It also keeps aside a parallel space for test code.

Learn more details about Maven here.  

2. Gradle

Gradle is also an open source build tool from Apache. It is built on Groovy domain-specific language. It is more like a combination of Ant and Maven.

Learn more about Gradle here

3. MSBuild

Microsoft Build automation tool is a free and open source mainly for  C++ and .NET applications. Visual Studio makes use of MSBuild to build its applications.

Learn more about MSBuild here.  

SL NoTool NameProsConsAvailability
1.Maven
  • All dependencies are downloaded automatically
  • Better suited for java projects
  • Complex to work with
  • Large learning curve

Free


2.


Gradle
  • Can write build script ourselves
  • Poor integration with eclipse

Free

3.


MSBuild

  • Great community support
  • Mainly for .NET applications only

Free

f. Continuous Integration

continuous integration tools

In continuous integration, a code is checked into the source code repository whenever a developer finishes a requirement or user story. Continuous Integration tools enable teams to build software application automatically in a decided time. Thus reducing the time elapsed in a manual build. Some of the popular tools available are   

1. GitLab CI

GitLab CI is an integrated part of GitLab, GitLab offers a continuous integration service.

Availability: A free version is available with limited features.

Learn more about GitLab CI here.  

2. Semaphore

Semaphore is the fastest hosted continuous integration and delivery solution as claimed by its developers.

Availability: Open source projects can use Semaphore for free in its full capacity, free use for private projects is limited to 100 builds per month.

Learn more about Semaphore here.

3. Circle CI

Circle CI's continuous integration and delivery platform make it easy for teams of all sizes to rapidly build and release quality software at scale. It is built for Linux servers and automates build, test and deployment processes.

Availability: Circle CI has a free version available for a single container.

Click here for more details about Circle CI.

4. Jenkins

Jenkins is an open-source continuous integration tool written in Java. Jenkins is a fork by the core developers of Hudson after a dispute with Oracle. Jenkins is the most widely used CI tool. 

Availability: Both free and enterprise versions are available.

Click here for more details about Jenkins.

5. Hudson

Hudson is a continuous integration tool written in Java that runs in a servlet container such as Apache Tomcat or GlassFish.

Click here for more details about Hudson.   

6. CruiseControl

CruiseControl is an open source continuous integration tool and extensible framework for facilitating a continuous build process. Distributed under a BSD-style license.

Learn more about CruiseControl here.  

7. Bamboo

Bamboo is a continuous integration (CI) server produced by Atlassian. Bamboo ties automated builds, tests, and releases together in a single workflow.

Availability: Licensed version is available at a starting price of $10.

Learn more about Bamboo here.

8. Team Foundation Build

Team Foundation Build (TFB) is part of the Team Foundation system and provides the functionality of a public build lab. With TFB, build managers can synchronize sources and compile.

Click here to know more about Team Foundation Build

9. Gump

Apache Gump is an open-source continuous integration tool, designed with the overarching aim of ensuring that projects are compatible at both the API level and regarding.

Learn more about Gump here.

10. Travis CI

Travis CI is an open-source distributed continuous integration (CI) service used to build and test projects hosted on GitHub. Open source projects can freely avail Travis CI.

Availability: Travis CI is free for first 100 builds but after which it is priced.

Learn more about Travis CI here.

11. TeamCity

TeamCity is an open-source CI platform from Jet Brains. It’s known for easy user interface and support for Microsoft stack.

Availability: Free version of TeamCity is available with the limited feature set.

Click here to know more about TeamCity.  

12. Puppet Pipelines

Puppet Pipelines makes software delivery easy and unites silos of automation across Dev and Ops teams. It automates your application builds and deployments.

The community edition of Puppet Pipelines is available free of cost for up to three users.

Click here for more details about Puppet Pipelines.  

SL NoTool NameProsConsAvailability
1.GitLab CI
  • Easy to configure
  • Source control and continuous integration in one place
  • Need GitLab integration

Freemium

2.


Semaphore CI


  • Simple and to the point
  • Less user base and community support

Freemium


3.CircleCI
  • Easy to use
  • Less known in the community

4.


Jenkins
  • Uses plugin model to integrate with several DevOps tools
  • Greater community support
  • Cumbersome groovy syntaxes

Freemium

5.Hudson
  • Jenkins forked from Hudson so has all basic features of Jenkins
  • No much development of new features taking place
  • Less community support

Open source


6.


CruiseControl

  • Goes well with .NET applications
  • Difficult setup

Open source

7.


Bamboo

  • A lot of tasks available as a built-in option and not as plugins
  • Goes well with Atlassian products like Bitbucket and JIRA
  • Only paid option available

Paid

8.Team Foundation Build
  • Works smoothly with .NET applications
  • Intuitive easy to install
  • Interoperability with other stacks is a challenge

Paid


9.Gump
  • Integrates well with Apache tools like Maven
  • Less plugin support

Open source


10.


Travis CI


  • Easy to set up and configure
  • Supports most technological stacks using Node, Ruby, etc
  • Doesn’t  support Bitbucket

Freemium


11.


TeamCity


  • Great user interface
  • Easy to learn
  • Community support is good but not great

Freemium

12.

Puppet Pipelines

  • Easy setup and installation
  • Plugin availability

Freemium

g. Top Continuous Delivery and Deployment tools

continuous delivery and deployment tools

Continuous deployment tools automate the delivery pipeline of application development, thus reducing the wastage of time caused by transfer between different teams like development and release teams. Few of the most popular deployment tools used by DevOps teams are

1. Chef

Chef is a tool used to manage and develop infrastructure. It could be used for application deployment also. It is an open-source tool but with an enterprise version available. Chef uses a  domain-specific language based on ruby to define and configure infrastructure. Chef allows high flexibility and typically preferred by developers. It has a higher learning curve compared to other tools in this space. Chef is known to be the most preferred tool for large scale, complex enterprise systems.

Availability: Chef is free for up to a limited number of nodes which is five nodes now after which it’s priced.

Learn more about Chef here.

2. Puppet

Puppet is another configuration management tool to define infrastructure as code. Puppet is an enterprise-grade tool. Puppet uses a more declarative language and hence makes it easier to work with. It’s preferred by operations teams as it doesn’t require programming skills.

Learn more about Puppet here.

3. Octopus Deploy

Octopus Deploy is a release management server from XebiaLabs. It’s used mainly for .NET applications and windows services. It’s a paid deployment as a service.

Click here for more about Octopus Deploy.

4. Spinnaker

Spinnaker is an open source free release platform that increases the number of good-quality releases. This platform helps in deployment across multi-cloud providers like AWS EC2, Google Kubernetes Engine etc.

Learn more about Spinnaker here.  

5. GoCD

GoCD is a free and open source server that helps in continuous delivery. It helps in creating a continuous delivery pipeline in cloud environments like Docker, AWS etc.

Learn more about GoCD here.  

6. UrbanCode Deploy

UrbanCode Deploy or uDeploy is a tool used to automate application deployment from IBM. It’s a licensed version and available as hosted services also.

Click here to know more about UrbanCode Deploy.  

7. XebiaLabs XL Deploy

XL Deploy is a release automation tool for any environment. It is a licensed version by XebiaLabs.

Click here to know more about XL Deploy.

8. Ansible

Ansible is an open source configuration management tool and application deployment tool. In comparison with Chef, Ansible works with a decentralised agentless architecture and hence it’s easy to get started with Ansible.

Availability: CLI based Ansible is free for no limit on nodes.

Learn more about Ansible here.  

9. SaltStack

SaltStack is an open-source configuration management software written in Python. It enables teams to craft  "Infrastructure as Code".SaltStack in comparison with Ansible is quickly scalable but enforces teams to learn python.

Learn more about SaltStack here.  

SL NoTool NameProsConsAvailability
1.Chef
  • Great documentation available
  • Hard to learn

  • Need programming skills

Freemium
2.Puppet
  • Programming skills are not a must
  • Not much suitable for applications where updates are frequent
Paid
3.Octopus Deploy
  • Easy configuration
  • Integrates smoothly with TeamCity
  • A quick and flexible deployment pipeline
  • Less community support especially for non-Microsoft applications
Paid
4.Spinnaker
  • Greatly preferred for cloud-based deployments
  • Less community support
Open source
5.

GoCD


  • Better suitable for end-to-end Continuous delivery pipeline where great visualisation needed.
  • Less cost efficient
  • A Steep learning curve with a confusing user interface
Open source
6.UrbanCode Deploy
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Slower deployments
Paid
7.XL Deploy
  • A large number of plugins available
  • Lesser visibility for the deployment process
Paid
8.Ansible
  • Simpler installation
  • Easy to use
  • GUI is not that great
  • No support for windows

Open source

9.SaltStack
  • Quickly scalable
  • Underdeveloped GUI

Open source

h. Testing automation

Testing automation tools are used in close proximity to continuous integration and deployment tools. It helps in performing repetitive tasks unable to perform by manual tests. The automated test gives a more clear picture of the health of the software product without any bias.

1. Unit testing

Unit testing tools help to test a single unit or component of the software. Thus detecting the errors earlier and fixing. And, Unit testing also helps in smooth integration.

2. Integration testing

Integration testing tools help validate every integration that happens in the integration phase. Only successful build of the code move to the next stage.

3. End-to-end testing

In end-to-end testing, the entire system or application is checked from start to finish. The tools generate the reports which can be used to verify whether the new change is causing  any unexpected behavior from the entire system

4. Performance testing

Performance testing tools analyse the system in an expected workload. The tools measure the responsiveness of the system, scalability, and stability. Tools also provide details on where the system is failing and where the system needs improvement.

5. Infrastructure testing and auditing

Infrastructure testing plays a very important part as an error in the infrastructure code can even alter the production environment creating unseen repercussions. Ensuring the compliance of an organisation is an integral part of such tools keeping security in mind.

i. Other Popular DevOps tools

Some of the popular tools used are

1. Selenium

Selenium is a free and open source testing framework for web applications. It’s a suite of four tools Selenium WebDriver, Selenium RC or Remote   Selenium IDE And Selenium-Grid.

Learn more about Selenium here.

2. Cucumber

Cucumber is an open source testing tool. It’s the best choice for behavior driven development popularly known as BDD as it tests business readable requirements. Free and enterprise version of Cucumber is available.

Click here for more details about Cucumber.

3. InSpec

InSpec is a free and open source testing framework from Chef. InSpec tests infrastructure. It’s also a compliance framework.

Click here to know more about InSpec.  

4. Karma

Karma is a free test runner created for testing, applications made with Angular CLI. It’s from the AngularJS team.

Learn more about Karma here.

5. Jasmine  

Jasmine is an open source testing framework. It is used mainly for JavaScript applications. It’s used for behavior driven development also.

Click here to learn more about Jasmine.

6. UFT

UFT or Unified Functional Testing is a test automation tool for web, desktop, mobile   Micro Focus. There is a 60-day free trial version available but after which it’s not a free tool.

Learn more about UFT here.  

7. SoapUI

SoapUI is an open-source testing tool for web applications. It’s the market leader in API testing. It’s a licensed tool.

Click here to know more about Soap UI.  

8. JMeter

JMeter is an open source load testing tool from Apache. It helps in analyzing the performance of services mainly for web applications. It’s a free test suite.

Learn more about JMeter here

SL NoTool NameProsConsAvailability
1.Selenium
  • Wide range of languages supported
  • Easy integration with Jenkins, Maven
  • Difficult to use
  • No support officially

Open source


2.Cucumber
  • Great documentation
  • Supports Behavior-driven development
  • Slow compared to other testing tools
Open source
3.

InSpec

  • Highly flexible and can be used cross any Infra As code framework.
  • Need to know the scripting language
Open source

4.


Karma

  • Easy debugging
  • Lesser user base
Open source
5.Jasmine
  • Difficult to debug
  • Easy to set up and use
Open source
6.UFT
  • Easily integrated with continuous integration DevOps tools
  • Less compatibility with different operating systems Expensive
Paid
7.SoapUI
  • User-friendly
  • Plugin availability is less
Open source
8.JMeter
  • Easy installation Great user-friendly interface
  • Higher learning curve Doesn’t support javascript
Open source

9. Docker

Docker is a platform for working with containers, from Docker, Inc.Docker is an open source and available as free and enterprise version. Containers help to develop applications and package it with its dependencies and libraries, thus ensuring the application runs in any environment. Docker containers are like virtual machines but share the same OS resources like file system etc.It has less overhead unlike VM 's. The building block of a container is an image which is the executable package including libraries, dependencies, environment variables etc needed to run the application. Running instance of an image is a container.

Learn more about Docker here.

10. Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open source production grade container orchestration tool. It helps in managing multiple containers in an application. Kubernetes is the market leader in this category. It is often compared with Docker Swarm which is the native clustering method for docker.  

Click here to know more about Kubernetes.  

11. OpenShift

OpenShift from Red Hat is a group of containerization software. OpenShift Container Platform is the major software in the group that provides a platform as a service built around Docker containers. These docker containers are managed for experimenting by an individual a free version is available for one project.

Learn more about OpenShift here.  

SL NoTool NameProsConsAvailability
1.Docker
  • Containers are lightweight compared to virtual machines
  • Security is a concern
Open source
2.Kubernetes
  • Highly scalable
  • Work better with CI/CD pipelines
  • Less user-friendly
Open source
3.OpenShift
  • Great community support
  • Only supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Freemium

j. Release orchestration

Release orchestration tools are used to achieve automation of the application release process. Some of the popular tools are Xebialabs XL release, Plutora Release, AWS Codepipeline, CACD Director, OpenMake, Spinnaker, HashiCorp Vault, SonarQube, BlackDuck, Signal Sciences, Checkmarx SAST.

k. Containerology

Containerology tools help to run an application on the virtual environment as a package with all dependencies. It avoids the situation “it doesn’t work in my system”.

Some of the tools are:

l. Monitoring Tools

Monitoring tools help to pinpoint and track issues and verify the health of the system. This enables fast recovery of the system with minimum or no human interventions.

Popular tools are:

1. Prometheus

Prometheus is an open source monitoring tool from SoundCloud.Its mainly used with systems using microservices as it has a multi-dimensional data collection feature. It uses a flexible query language PromQL.All Prometheus server is standalone and doesn’t depend on network storage helping us to understand the defect especially during outages. Collected data through the multi-dimensional collection feature may not be too detailed and having complete information. So it is not suitable for systems where 100% accuracy is required.

Click here for more details about Prometheus.

2. Splunk

Splunk as a monitoring tool is used across application management, security, compliance, web analytics etc. Splunk tools listen and store data, index the same and correlate the captured real-time data in a searchable repository from which it can generate useful graphs, reports, alerts, and various other visualizations. One can create and configure relevant dashboards based on various visualizations/ graphs.  

Learn more about Splunk here.

3. Nagios

Nagios is an open source and free tool to monitor services, applications and infrastructure. It’s known for its auto-discovery feature. Its user interface is a bit difficult for beginners

Learn more about Nagios here.  

4. Zabbix

Similar to Nagios, Zabbix is an enterprise open source monitoring solution. Compared to Nagios, Zabbix is user-friendly and is comparatively easy to configure. The main disadvantage is that it doesn’t support plugins.

Learn more about Zabbix here.

5. Zenoss

Zenoss is a free, open-source tool used for services and network monitoring. It is written in Python language.

Click here to know more about Zenoss.

6. ELK Stack

"ELK" is the acronym for three free open source projects: Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. Elasticsearch is a search and analytics engine based on Java. Logstash is a server‑side data processing platform with the ability to clean, transform data and send it to Elasticsearch.

Kibana is a virtualization tool that helps to visualize data with charts and graphs in Elasticsearch.

The Elastic Stack is the next evolution of the ELK Stack.

Learn more about ELK Stack here.

SL NoTool NameProsConsAvailability
1.Prometheus
  • Easy to use

  • Easy integration with other DevOps tools

  • Bad user interface
Open source
2.Nagios
  • Number of plugins available in the market
  • Difficult configurations needed to make the system stable
Open source
3.Zabbix
  • Easy configuration based on a web-based user interface
  • Non-availability of plugins
Open source
4.Zenoss
  • Great community support
  • Limitation on the number of devices monitored
Open source
5.ELK Stack
  • Easy to install
  • Highly customisable
  • Difficult to configure
Open source
6Splunk
  • Easy to install
  • User-friendly
  • Easy to configure  simple graphs
  • For complex configurations, the learning curve is a bit steep

Paid


m. Analytics

Analytics tools give a clear picture of what is happening in the team, be it code development or team interaction, code coverage and efficiency etc. Some tools used are XebiaLabs XL Impact,New Relic,Dynatrace,Datadog,AppDynamics, ElasticSearch .

Bonus Information

3. Why is DevOps needed?

DevOps helps to remove silos in organisations and enable the creation of cross-functional teams, thus reducing reliance on any one person or team during the delivery process. Frequent communication between teams improves the confidence and efficiency of the team members. Through automation, DevOps team increase their productivity making satisfied customers. According to State of DevOps report 2016 “Teams that practice DevOps deploy 30x more frequently, have 60x fewer failures, and recover 160x faster“. It also provides better work environments with increased trust, better management of issues reducing unplanned works.

4. How to implement DevOps?

The “DevOps Handbook” defines the “Three Ways: The principles of underpinning DevOps” as a way to implement DevOps in large enterprises. In this session, we will detail these three ways and three core pillars.

The First Way: Systems Thinking

The First Way emphasizes the need for global optimisation as opposed to local optimisation, hence the focus is on optimising all business value streams enabled by IT.

The Second Way: Amplify feedback loops

The Second Way is about discovering and injecting right feedback loops so that necessary corrections can be made before it’s too late.

The Third Way: Culture of Experimentation and learning

The third way is all about creating the right culture that fosters two things, continual experimentation and learning from failures. It emphasises the understanding that repetition and practice make teams perfect.

While the three ways focus on the key principles, we also have three pillars which are keys to any successful DevOps adoption.

The three pillars of any DevOps adoption are,

  1. Culture and People
  2. Tools and Technology
  3. Processes and practices

4.1 Important DevOps practices

Important DevOps practices

a. Continuous Integration

Continuous integration is a software engineering practice where software development team members frequently merge and build their code changes. The key benefit is to detect and fix code merge conflicts and integration bugs in the early stages of software development. Hence reducing the cost to detect and fix the issues.

b. Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery is a software engineering practice in which changes are automatically built, tested, and made release ready to production. In order to get into a continuous delivery state, it is very crucial to define a test strategy. The main goal is to identify functional and non-functional defects at a much earlier stage thus reducing the cost to fix defects. It also enables teams to come up with working software as defined in the agile manifesto. Continuous delivery as a practice depends on continuous integration and test automation. Hence it is crucial that teams need to ensure that they practice continuous integration along with test automation religiously, to effectively practice continuous delivery.

c. Continuous Deployment

Continuous deployment is a software engineering practice in which codes committed by the developers are automatically built, tested and deployed to production. Continuous deployment as a practice, require that teams have already adopted continuous integration and continuous delivery approach. The primary advantage of this practice is reducing time-to-market and early feedback from users.

d. Continuous Testing

Continuous Testing can be defined as a software testing practice that involves a process of testing early, testing often and test automation. The primary goal of Continuous Testing is to shift left the test phase as much as possible to identify defects and reduce the cost of fixing.

e. Microservices

Microservices architecture helps to create an application as a set of small services independent of each other. Any language could be used to create microservices and typically an HTTP based API is used to interact between services. Microservices as a design approach helps to achieve fewer risk deployments and enables continuous delivery.

f. Infrastructure as code

Infrastructure as a code is an engineering practice in which infrastructure is developed and managed through code. Thus creating a consistent, reproducible and versioned infrastructure. Since the infrastructure is implemented as the code it’s easy for the team members to update and change it. Infrastructure as a code no more considers scaling as a major problem.

g. Policy as code

Policy as a code is a software engineering practice where compliance rules or policies of the organisation could be monitored and verified. Policy as code enables organizations to enforce the compliance rules more strictly and helps to bring the non-compliant resource into compliance mode. This practice gained importance during the DevSecOps movement.

h. Continuous Monitoring and Logging

Monitoring and logging as a best practice to help organizations to analyse the products’ end user experience. This helps the software teams to get to know about the root cause of the defects and latencies in the software development process. More transparency into the actions performed by the team members causes increased responsibility among the teams causing increased performance.

i. Communication and collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration are one of the key values emphasised by DevOps.Devops tools in the field of communication and collaborations bring together collective responsibility for the products delivered.   

5. How to choose the right DevOps tools?

how to choose the right devops tools?

Today the DevOps market is overcrowded with tools across different stages of software development life cycle. As enterprises, it's extremely crucial to select the right tools in order to get maximum benefit. Saying so choosing the right tool is an extremely difficult and time-consuming process given the spectrum of tools available today. Hence enterprises should have a five-point strategy towards deciding the right tools. Five point strategy would include dimensions like

  1. Ability to integrate
  2. Scalability
  3. Security
  4. Technical know how
  5. Reliability

5.1. Ability to integrate

The ability to integrate is extremely crucial and is one of the fundamental requirements while checking out tools. Certain tools integrate smoothly with a particular technology stack in comparison with others. Hence it is vital for the DevOps architect to compare different tools on the basis of integration ability and ensure that tool that is been selected seamlessly integrates with the team’s technology stack. Another aspect that needs to be considered is how a particular tool integrates with other tools that are selected in the ecosystem. For eg., you would want your continuous integration system to constantly talk to the reporting system and alert prediction system in a smooth way. Hence integration between tools also becomes a very important factor while choosing tools.

5.2. Scalability

Scalability is the second most important factor in choosing the right tools. Based on the need for scalability an enterprise might choose an enterprise version over a community version. Scalability also is a key factor why certain companies go for SaaS-based products. SaaS-based products are easily scalable and hence without any overhead, it can be adopted across large enterprises.

5.3. Security

These days a lot of enterprises are emphasising on the need for security in the DevOps tooling space. Hence enterprise versions by various tooling companies have taken special care towards addressing these security-related issues. Thus enterprise versions are comparatively more preferred in comparison with that of open source solutions. Saying so this doesn't mean that all open source DevOps tools have security vulnerabilities. Certain open source DevOps tools fair much better than available enterprise versions

5.4. Technical know how

This people dimension is one of the factors that is typically overlooked by enterprises. Knowing the skill levels and capability of team members is a key towards choosing the right tool. Often the tools available in the market wouldn't work out of the box and would need a substantial level of customisation to smoothly integrate with existing systems and workflows. Also, certain tools require a certain specific skill set towards configuration and customisation. Typical eg. is Chef, which is chosen by developers who are comfortable in ruby language whereas Puppet is preferred by system admins as it does not require much of programming skills.

5.5. Reliability

Last but not the least, reliability is extremely crucial for any successful tool adoption. Most of the tools available in the market, both enterprise and open source needs to be checked using this quality wheel. Tools should be reliable even during large scale and complex operational conditions.

 Conclusion

In this paper, we discussed the what, why, and how of DevOps.We also deep dived into various tool categories and tools available across the spectrum in today's DevOps market. Tools are definitely the key ingredients in successful DevOps adoption but saying so a lot of companies only invest in tool part without focusing on cultural and people dimensions. In order for tools to bear fruit its vital that the people operating and analysing the tools/data understand and realise the true spirit of DevOps. To conclude, would like to resonate with the wise words “yes, we need all the tools that can help us, but just tools will not help us get there!”.

Profile

Anju M Dominic

Blog Author

Anju M Dominic is the Principal consultant and co-founder of QuadraLogics, a boutique consulting firm. She is also a professional corporate trainer and passionate conference speaker who specialises in DevOps practices and tools. In her tenure in the industry, she specialised in designing and developing applications in  Pharma and Telecom domains.