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The DevOps deployment checklist


DevOps practices are employed in organizations to break down existing silos and create a better environment for collaborations between teams to happen. DevOps isn’t a technology but rather a cultural practice that relies on technology to optimize operations. As opposed to the waterfall or agile method of production with DevOps, engineers can run multiple processes together hence, its capability to speed up production processes.

An efficient DevOps team has members who prioritize learning and innovation. DevOps engineers are expected to be knowledgeable in infrastructure provisioning and have in-depth knowledge of how the systems function. Ensuring the team has members with different expertise is essential to breaking down silos.

Getting familiar with a deployment checklist would help a release engineer ensure that deployment is done correctly. This list contains practices and processes that the DevOps engineer needs to check before, during, and after deploying the software. The checklist would help new teams set up operations and improve the efficiency of older teams.

Know the business goals:

The minute the DevOps team is set up, getting the team members acquainted with the business’s goals is the next step. The team would be the driving force of operations in the organization, and knowing this helps them steer the company in the right direction. Knowing the business plans

  • This helps the engineers on the team come up with new products or product features and avoids the back and forth.
  • It prevents the occurrence of needing to make changes during the build
  • This keeps all teams on the same track and
  • It also saves time during production.

Source-control, everything!

Using a source control tool like Git to track versions and changes made to a repository during build accelerates the release rate. It makes collaboration more convenient between teams and also improves productivity. Source and revision control helps to track all changes made by the members of the group. It makes documentation more manageable and provides knowledge for troubleshooting and bug fixing.

In modern DevOps teams, not only code is versioned but also infrastructure, configurations, and sometimes even databases.

Versioning, your infrastructure, your configurations, and your database allow you to roll back without problems. An experienced release engineer considers rollback as important as deployment, sometimes even more important.

Understanding the software’s life cycle:

The application life cycle shows the software development process. It should include the plan, development sequence, test data, and operation processes. Understanding the application’s life cycle helps the team members understand what they should be doing at every point during the production process. When the engineer is well informed about the applications life cycle, they can make preparations for the future and suggest or implement strategies that improve and shorten the production cycle.

Building CI/CD pipelines:

DevOps teams use CI/CD pipelines to integrate continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment. CI/CD is as important as code itself. It’s even one of the pillars of DevOps and modern application development and deployment. Continuous integration involves the constant merging of all developer code to a centralized codebase. Different developers can work on separate tasks at the same time and merge into one center. An effective CI build runs at least once a day.

Adding a tool that constantly tests, monitors, and alerts for code discrepancies as production continues. Doing this manually can lead to many errors and can take time. With continuous testing, the software in the build is always in a deployable state. It is part of the processes that ensure continuous delivery. Adding a testing tool allows you to plug vulnerabilities immediately they are noticed, and updates can happen faster.

The last part of the CI/CD pipeline is continuous deployment. An efficient CI/CD pipeline includes tools that automate deployment. Automating deployment continuously, speeds releases, and checks for inconsistencies with rollouts. This article helps you understand the difference between continuous delivery and continuous deployment.

Measure performance:

Every app built by the development team has different key indicators that show how well the app is doing. However, some metrics cut across all applications. Having a log of all critical performance gives essential knowledge of the software to the developer. They know what to improve and can gather knowledge on ways to speed up the application’s performance. Key performance indicators can include hardware metrics, processing time, and database performance metrics.

Beware of vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are the ones that make you look good in the eyes of others but don’t assist you to examine the real performance.

What’s the importance of measuring your IOPS in a stateless application?

Build a feedback pipeline:

DevOps = Feedback.

Building a product that doesn’t align with the business is terrible, but producing a product nobody wants is worse. Having a feedback pipeline keeps the developers informed of the customer’s choices. It is a customer-centered mode of operation, and a sound DevOps engineer understands customer needs and builds from the customers’ viewpoint.  An organization with a strong feedback pipeline has loyal customers, and it helps when thinking of new features that are to be integrated. Documenting feedback improves collaboration with the ops team and positions the company for growth.

Monitor the application after deployment:

Engineering is about building things, but most people forget that it’s also about observing things.

After choosing your right KPIs, monitor them continuously.

The performance of the app and the application environment should be observed during the deployment and after it. All servers and services used should be kept in optimum health, beware of degradation caused by new deployments as they sometimes happen after a few days and not just instantly.

Monitoring all key performance indicators, logs, and traces with an automated tracking system would prevent the product from recurring errors. A DevOps team should always have information on the release health documented.

Database queries should also be monitored to ensure they load results quickly. Keep the database at optimal performance and take steps to prevent unwanted spikes in traffic. Application queues should also be monitored to ensure a good flow..etc

Wildcard is an app-centric platform enabling you to set up the lifecycle and deployment settings of your app. This supports a plethora of programming languages, including Javascript, Dotnet, Golang, e.t.c; it helps you set up a CI/CD pipeline for your app. It also supports Kubernetes clusters and is simple to use. Wildcard offers a free plan with limited usage and the option to upgrade for different programs with no hidden cost.

Start building your CI/CD pipelines in less than 5 minutes. Use GitHub or GitLab to start for free.

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