DevOps with Azure: Top 5 Implementation Challenges & Solutions

Software Development, Technology

With the rising popularity of DevOps, many companies are expected to shift from the traditional waterfall methodology to DevOps. But with this transition arises the most basic question- “What obstacles I need to cross while embracing it and what possible solutions I might have to resolve these them?” According to surveys, there is a lack of awareness and governance when the matter is of establishing new application environments. And therefore, to ease the matter, we have decided to address this issue. In this article, we will talk about DevOps, MS Azure, the major challenges a company faces while adopting DevOps and their possible measures. 

So, what are you waiting for?, let’s dive deep into the world of DevOps-

What is DevOps?

What is DevOps

DevOps is the union of development(Dev) and operations(Ops), which emphasizes a change in mindset and better collaboration. DevOps automates operations between IT and software development teams for quicker and more reliable software delivery. At its core, DevOps is nothing but a movement, a culture, a philosophy. This culture combines agile, delivery automation, and other methodologies for helping a company deliver qualitative and reliable products. By embracing DevOps, IT and development teams can better respond to customer queries and solve critical issues quickly.

What is Azure DevOps?

Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps, is nothing but an evolution of Visual Studio Team Services(VSTS). It is a Software as a service (SaaS) platform from Microsoft, which gives an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for designing and deploying solutions. The platform very well integrates with the standard tools in the market and is also an excellent choice for orchestrating a DevOps toolchain. Azure DevOps has a wide range of features that allow the team to automate their workflow for higher productivity.

Some of the services which Azure DevOps cover are as follows:

1. Azure Boards

Work team tracking, Agile planning, Reporting, and Visualisation toolkit.

2. Azure Pipelines

A language, and cloud-agnostic CI/CD platform supporting containers or Kubernetes.

3. Azure Repos

It enables cloud-hosted private git repos.

4. Azure Artifacts

It gives integrated package management with support for npm, Maven, Python, and NuGet package feeds from private or public sources.

5. Azure Artifacts

It provides planned and exploratory testing solutions.

 Benefits of DevOps

The teams who have adopted DevOps practices, tools, or say the culture, on the whole, have witnessed a better performance, faster product delivery, and higher customer satisfaction. The handshake between Operation and Development was done to achieve goals like these:

  1. Speedier time to market
  2. Adaptation with Market standards
  3. System stability maintenance
  4. Improvising the meantime for recovery

5 Challenges in Implementing DevOps

Challenge #1 Development and Operations on the same page

Development and Operations on the same page

Best Practice Focus on the common target

Development and Operations both works a different way, and it might get challenging to merge these two cultures into one. Both of these structures vary a lot, and asking the two to give up on their way of life may result in a lot of hostility. So what would be the fairer thing? Get both the teams to see the common target and make them understand that it would be easier to achieve goals if they collaborate. Open communication is required, make sure that team member conveys their ideas freely. For better integration, you can make work a member of the development team directly inside the operations team and vice versa. It provides an opportunity to step into another person’s shoes in real-time. This procedure might reap better communication, greater understanding, and a highly qualitative product.

Challenge #2

Running an outdated system

Best Practice Introduce IaaS and Microservices

A primary challenge encountered by DevOps teams is facing legacy solutions which were developed without considering the DevOps culture. This not so problematic looking trick involves a lot of maintenance. These systems require constant monitoring, even if your focus is on new systems building with DevOps. Most of these outdated applications are plagued with performance issues such as slow loading/processing times, instability, security lapses, and much more. Later or sooner, it is essential to replace legacy applications. Availing outsourced IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) for the server, latest hardware, and data storage solutions, is a cost-efficient way of propelling your business processes into the 21st century. Microservices can also open the floodgates to faster development with beautiful innovations. It can make the software development process easy to build and scale.  

Challenge #3

Choose Devop for every project

Best PracticeBe diligent with your choices

For a team that has just stepped into Devops, they might opt for DevOps in every project falling into their basket, but that’s not a wise thing to do. DevOps, at times, can slow the pace of the entire project if it is not implemented appropriately. Therefore, be particular about choosing Devops for projects. When the question of relevance arises, then remember, DevOps is an operational strategy that doesn’t fit everywhere all the time. It is not the go-to solution at every problem that you may face. But yes, if you are working to scale your software speedily and want to acquire a push from its agility, then DevOps is a perfect choice. 

If you have an old system, it would be advised to stick to old approaches since automated systems are not easy to find. Also, designing and planning the work is a bad fit for DevOps owing to the consistent improvement approach.

Challenge #4

Integrating Devop tools from varied domains

Best PracticeOne Automates system for both Operations and Development

Processes like Development, Testing, and Deployment need to run in a continual and iterative loop. But it is quite tricky, especially if you have people from different sections availing different technologies. Also, making people adapt to new technologies is not an easy task in itself. Hence, the solution to this would be automating the systems for both the development and operations teams. Automation will minimize the time consumed in monotonous activities such as analytical and product research, data entry, and marketing. More you automate the interactions between operations and development, the better it does to your company. Also, combine two varying departmental processes into a single method that streamlines the whole production lifecycle and fosters better communication between both departments. Both Development and operations teams should be part of the selection process (Cloud-based or Open source solutions). 

Challenge #5

Increased Security requirements

Best PracticeInvest in Enhanced Security Practices

With so many advancements in technology- machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and others; software solutions are much more challenging to build. Also, with so many stories about security breaches in the news, it is difficult to make people believe in your product security. Hence, it is essential to hire experienced developers who know the inside-out of software development and can develop a bulletproof application. Remember, your product is your representative in this competitive arena. One minor slip and you are in the depths of the pit. Walk carefully!

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Bottom Line

Azure DevOps has a number of tools for meeting specific requirements in business operations. It automates many tasks in minimum time with far less skill set than expected. Owing to its numerous benefits, it is recommended to switch to this amazing culture. However, every transition brings a bag of challenges with itself. The ones listed above are the most primary obstacles an organization may come across when they have decided to shift. But overcoming these, one after another, will smoothen the journey in the long run. Once the metrics of the Operations and Development teams map, they shall collaborate with much more ease and quite closely. So, the time is to change as change is the only constant. Have we skipped something? Then don’t hesitate. At Matello, we are open to suggestions. Feel free to comment in the box below. Happy Changing!!