DevOps is a methodology or a philosophy. It’s a way of improving the friction between development and operations. But while we could talk about what DevOps is and isn’t for decades (and people probably will), there are a range of DevOps tools that are integral to putting its principles into practice.
So, while it’s true that adopting a DevOps mindset will make the way you build software more efficiently, it’s pretty hard to put DevOps into practice without the right tools. Let’s take a look at some of the best DevOps tools out there in 2018. You might not use all of them, but you’re sure to find something useful in at least one of them – probably a combination of them.
DevOps tools that help put the DevOps mindset into practice
Docker is a software that performs OS-level virtualization, also known as containerization. Docker uses containers to package up all the requirements and dependencies of an application making it shippable to on-premises devices, data center VMs or even Cloud.
It was developed by Docker, Inc, back in 2013 with complete support for Linux and limited support for Windows. By 2016 Microsoft had already announced integration of Docker with Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. As a result, Docker enables developers to easily pack, ship, and run any application as a lightweight, portable container, which can run virtually anywhere.
Jenkins is an open source continuous integration server in Java. When it comes to integrating DevOps processes, continuous integration plays the most important part and this is where Jenkins comes into picture. It was released in 2011 to help developers integrate DevOps stages with a variety of in-built plugins. Jenkins is one of those prominent tools that helps developers find and solve code bugs quickly and also automates the testing of their builds.
Ansible was developed by the Ansible community back in 2012 to automate network configuration, software provisioning, development environment, and application deployment. In a nutshell, it is responsible for delivering simple IT automation that puts a stop to repetitive task. This eventually helps DevOps teams to focus on more strategic work. Ansible is completely agentless where in it uses syntax written in YAML and follows a master-slave architecture.
Puppet is an open source software configuration management tool written in C++ and Closure. It was released back in 2005 licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) until version 2.7.0. Later it was licensed under Apache License 2.0. Puppet is an open-source configuration management tool used to deploy, configure and manage servers. It uses a Master Slave architecture where the Master and Slave use secure encrypted channels to communicate. Puppet runs on any platform that supports Ruby, for example CentOS, Windows Server, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Microsoft, and more.
Git is a version control system that allows you to track file changes which in turn helps in coordinating with team members working on those files. Git was released in 2005 where it was majorly used for Linux Kernel development. Its primary use case is source code management in software development. Git is a distributed version control system where every contributor can create a local repository by cloning the entire main repository. The main advantage of this system is that contributors can update their local repository without any interference to the main repository.
Vagrant is an open source tool released in 2010 by HashiCorp and it used to build and maintain virtual environments. It provides a simple command-line interface to manage virtual machines with custom configurations so that DevOps team members have an identical development environment. While Vagrant is written in Ruby, it supports development in all major languages. It works seamlessly on Mac, Windows, and all popular Linux distributions. If you are considering building and configuring a portable, scalable, and lightweight environment, Vagrant is your solution.
Chef is a powerful configuration management tool used to transform infrastructure into code. It was released back in 2009 and is written in Ruby and Erlang. Chef uses a pure-ruby domain specific language (DSL) to write system configuration ‘recipes’ which are put together as cookbook for easier management. Unlike Puppet’s master-slave architecture Chef uses a client-server architecture. Chef supports multiple cloud environments which makes it easy for infrastructures to manage data centers and maintain high availability.
Think carefully about the DevOps tools you use
To increase efficiency and productivity, the right tool is key. In a fast-paced world where DevOps engineers and their entire teams do all the extensive work, it is really hard to find the right tool that fits your environment perfectly. Your best bet is to choose your tool based on the methodology you are going to adopt. Before making a hard decision it is worth taking a step back to analyze what would work best to increase your team’s productivity and efficiency. The above tools have been shortlisted based on current market adoptions. We hope you find a tool in this list that eventually saves a lot of your time in choosing the right one.
Here is a small selection of books and videos from our Devops portfolio to help you and your team master the DevOps tools that fit your requirements: