DevOps is an approach to culture, automation, and platform design intended to deliver increased business value and responsiveness through rapid, high-quality service delivery. This is all made possible through fast-paced, iterative IT service delivery. DevOps means linking legacy apps with newer cloud-native apps and infrastructure.
The word “DevOps” is a mashup of “development’ and “operations” but it represents a set of ideas and practices much larger than those two terms alone, or together. DevOps includes security, collaborative ways of working, data analytics, and many other things. But what is it?
DevOps describes approaches to speeding up the processes by which an idea (like a new software feature, a request for enhancement, or a bug fix) goes from development to deployment in a production environment where it can provide value to the user. These approaches require that development teams and operations teams communicate frequently and approach their work with empathy for their teammates. Scalability and flexible provisioning are also necessary. With DevOps, those that need power the most, get it—through self-service and automation. Developers, usually coding in a standard development environment, work closely with IT operations to speed software builds, tests, and releases—without sacrificing reliability.
Of course, this means more frequent changes to code and more dynamic infrastructure usage. Traditional management strategies can’t keep up with this kind of demand. You’re going to need to change a few things to give you an edge.
A major outcome of implementing DevOps is a continuous integration and continuous deployment pipeline (CI/CD). CI/CD helps you deliver apps to customers frequently and validate software quality with minimal human intervention.
Specifically, CI/CD introduces ongoing automation and continuous monitoring throughout the lifecycle of apps, from integration and testing phases to delivery and deployment, so you can quickly identify and correct problems and defects. Taken together, these connected practices are often referred to as a "CI/CD pipeline" and are supported by development and operations teams working together in an agile way.
As we mentioned earlier, DevOps isn’t just about development and operations teams. In order to take full advantage of a DevOps approach, organizations must consider how security plays a role in the life cycle of their apps. This means thinking about core security from the planning phase onward. It also means automating some security features to keep the DevOps workflow from slowing down. Selecting the right tools to integrate security can help meet your DevOps security goals.
But effective DevOps security requires more than new tools—it builds on the cultural changes of DevOps to integrate the work of security teams sooner rather than later. DevOps speeds things up by closing the gap between development and operations, but the speed gained can be undermined by poor security planning.
Security used to be the exclusive responsibility of an isolated team—tacked on in the final stage of development. Now, in a collaborative DevOps framework, security is a shared responsibility, integrated from the start.