As a startup, the synergy between your software development team and IT operations department is one of the most important keys to growing your business. Establishing solid DevOps practices at the very outset of the startup lifecycle is vital to your long-term success.
When your development and operations teams are working hand-in-hand in an atmosphere focused on continuous improvement, you will deliver a better product in a much shorter time-frame. Plus, when it comes to scaling quickly, having the right DevOps tools in place can separate you from the 90% of startups that fail and put you on the fast track to unicorn status.
At iTechArt, we’ve been helping startups with their DevOps for over a decade. In this article, we’ll talk about why DevOps is such an integral part of success and share five essential tools you’ll need to scale your startup.
Let’s get started.
Why startups need good DevOps practices
DevOps is all about efficiency and automation – both of which can save a startup two of its most important assets: time and money.
According to a recent report by the SANS Institute, high performing DevOps organizations:
- Deploy 200x more often
- Spend 22% less time on unplanned work
- Recover from deployment failures 24x faster
- Spend 29% more time on new work
- Fail one-third as often
In the ultra-competitive startup market, time is of the essence. You need to beat your competitors to the finish line, but you don’t want to skimp on the quality of the product in order to finish faster. That’s where DevOps comes in.
DevOps is based on the Agile development philosophy, before which programmers and operations engineers worked separately. Developers would finish their coding and then hand it over to IT operations to implement. All of the business processes were siloed into the two different departments. This led to extremely long development timelines and a lower quality product.
DevOps for startups focuses on both departments working together throughout the entire process of product development. Having everyone on the same page from the very beginning is faster, more efficient and delivers better results.
How DevOps make startups more stable and scalable
There are basically four ways that DevOps can help make a startup more stable and scalable. They are: continuous monitoring, continuous integration, continuous deployment, and automated data backup.
Let’s take a look at each in more detail.
Continuous monitoring: The sooner you catch a problem, the easier it will be to fix and the less damage it can do to the rest of your programming. By continually monitoring your production environment and setting up automatic alerts for any potential bugs, errors or situations that could cause your app to crash, you can cut down on costly technical debt.
Continuous integration: This is the process of having all developers integrate their code at its current state into a shared repository many times throughout the day. By doing so, the development team is able to detect problems and errors instantly and work them out prior to the next day’s development.
Continuous deployment: Continuous deployment allows you to release code into production automatically after it has passed through the testing phase. This is another way to improve the overall quality of the software in real time so that users are always accessing and benefiting from the latest version.
Automatic data backup: Backing up critical data automatically ensures the integrity and security of your information. You should implement an automated data backup and restoration process for your staging environment to protect your code and save yourself the headache, time, and expense it would take to recreate.
The 5 most essential DevOps monitoring tools for startups
There are hundreds of useful tech tools available to amp up your DevOps environment. The ones you choose will depend on your specific project and the team you are working with.
Based on our experience, these are the top five devops tools for early stage startups you should consider implementing.
Docker is a popular containerization platform that helps developers easily build, deploy, ship and operate applications without having to use a separate virtual machine for each app. Built on Kubernetes, Docker provides a single hub from which to manage and run all apps across all systems, including hybrid and cloud. Docker is currently used by millions of developers and features a library with over 100,000 container images from its devoted community.
Puppet is an open-source configuration management solution used for automation in software development. The platform saves developers time by automating a lot of manual coding and daily grunt work. According to the company’s website, over 40,000 companies, including more than 75% of the Fortune 100 – have used or are currently using Puppet as part of their DevOps practices.
Ansible is a product from RedHat that is similar to Puppet and is used for automation, infrastructure, and deployment configuration. Ansible makes it easy to automate cloud provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and more. Many developers prefer Ansible over Puppet because they find it easier to use.
Git is an open-source code management tool that lets developers track the progress of their project and save different versions of their code for reference. These versions are stored in repositories that are hosted in the cloud, such as on GitHub. Other team members working on the project are able to access the files and receive updates in real time.
Terraform is a tool used to improve software development infrastructure. It allows you to write infrastructure as code, plan and preview changes before applying, and create reproducible infrastructure – all while communicating each step with your entire team.
Every startup wants to grow up to be strong and eventually reach unicorn status. Solid DevOps practices are like Popeye’s spinach when it comes to growing and scaling. They’re the magic ingredient that can make your product bigger, stronger, faster and better than all your competitors.