There are numerous software development models available today, including the waterfall approach, the V-shaped model, Agile,… Each approach has benefits and drawbacks of its own. Particularly, the CI/CD paradigm is regarded as a very powerful technological business solution. What then is CI/CD DevOps? What advantages does this model offer your company? Let’s find out the answers to all of your questions in the article below!
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What is CI/CD?
Continuous integration and continuous delivery/continuous deployment are abbreviated as CI and CD, respectively. So, what is CI/CD in DevOps? What is pipeline in DevOps?
The CI/CD DevOps pipeline is a term used in the software industry to describe the automation that allows incremental code changes from developers’ desktops to be delivered rapidly and reliably to production. Specifically, CI/CD adds continuous automation and monitoring across the software lifecycle, from integration and testing through delivery and deployment. These linked processes are commonly referred to as a “CI/CD pipeline” and are supported by agile development and operations teams using either a DevOps or site reliability engineering (SRE) methodology.
Successful firms in a DevOps environment use a technique known as DevSecOps to “bake security in” to all stages of the software development life cycle. Integrating security into all DevOps activities is the fundamental principle of DevSecOps. For security technologies to stay up with DevOps and not impede the speed of development, they must now integrate seamlessly with developer workflows and the CI/CD DevOps pipeline.
The DevOps/DevSecOps paradigm as a whole includes the CI/CD DevOps pipeline. Organizations require tools to avoid points of friction that slow down integration and delivery in order to properly install and manage a CI/CD pipeline. To support collaborative and unhindered development operations, teams need a fully integrated toolchain of technologies.
The benefits of CI/CD DevOps
- Continuous delivery is enabled by automated testing, which ensures software quality and security while increasing the profitability of code in production.
- CI/CD pipelines allow for substantially faster time to market for new product features, which leads to happier customers and less burden on development.
- The significant increase in overall delivery speed allowed by CI/CD pipelines strengthens an organization’s competitive advantage.
- Automation allows team members to concentrate on what they do best, resulting in the greatest final results.
- Companies with a strong CI/CD pipeline can recruit top personnel. Engineers and developers are no longer bogged down with repetitive procedures that are frequently highly dependent on the fulfillment of other tasks by abandoning traditional waterfall approaches.
CI vs CD: What are the differences?
Before understanding CI/CD DevOps, you need to understand what is CI CD in software development. Continuous integration and continuous delivery/continuous deployment are abbreviated as CI and CD. The “CI” in CI/CD always refers to continuous integration, which is an automation technique for developers. CI-triggered automated build-and-test stages ensure that code changes being merged into the repository are reliable. The code is then distributed swiftly and smoothly as part of the CD process.
The “CD” in CI/CD stands for continuous delivery and/or continuous deployment, which are similar concepts that are frequently used interchangeably. Both are about automating further stages of the pipeline, but they’re sometimes used independently to show how much automation is taking place.
CI/CD can refer to either the connected practices of continuous integration and continuous delivery or all 3 related practices of continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment. To confuse matters further, “continuous delivery” is sometimes employed in a way that includes the procedures of continuous deployment as well.
What the phrases refer to depends on how much automation has been incorporated into the CI/CD pipeline in each situation. Many businesses begin with CI and then progress to automated delivery and deployment later on, such as as part of cloud-native apps.
Continuous integration in improves collaboration and code quality
Continuous integration is a software development strategy that is supported by process mechanics and automation. When using continuous integration, developers often commit their code to the version control repository; most teams commit code at least daily. The reasoning is that smaller code differentials are easier to uncover faults and other software quality issues than bigger ones developed over time. Furthermore, with shorter commit cycles, it is less probable that different developers would update the same code and require a merge when committing.
Teams that use continuous integration frequently begin by configuring version control and defining best practices. Although code is routinely checked in, agile teams create features and fixes across shorter and longer periods of time. To manage which features and code are prepared for production, development teams that use continuous integration employ a variety of strategies.
Feature flags are a configuration technique that many teams use to turn features and code on or off at runtime. The main branch is released to production together with any features that are still in development, and those features are then switched off until they are ready to be used. DevOps teams that used feature flags saw a ninefold increase in development frequency, according to recent research.
Continuous delivery stages
Continuous delivery is the automation of pushing applications to one or more delivery environments. Typically, development teams have many settings where application updates may be tested and reviewed. A typical continuous delivery pipeline includes build, test, and deploy stages. So what is CI/CD process in DevOps? The following activities could be incorporated at various stages:
- Getting code from version control and running a build.
- Enabling stage gates for automated security, quality, and compliance checks, as well as supporting approvals when needed.
- Executing any infrastructure procedures that must be automated as code in order to set up or tear down cloud infrastructure.
- Transferring code to the destination computing environment.
- Managing and customizing environment variables for the target environment.
- Application components are pushed to their respective services, such as web servers, APIs, and database services.
- Executing any necessary procedures to restart services or call service endpoints for fresh code pushes.
- Continuous testing and rollback environments are used if tests fail.
- Providing log data and warnings on the delivery’s status.
- On finished deployments, update configuration management databases and transmit notifications to IT service management procedures.
- Additional steps in a more sophisticated continuous delivery pipeline may include syncing data, archiving information resources, or patching programs and libraries.
Teams employing continuous deployment to deliver to production may use a variety of cutover strategies to minimize downtime and manage deployment risks. One alternative is to configure canary deployments with an orchestrated transition of traffic utilization from the older software version to the newer one.
Continuous deployment is the final stage of a mature CI/CD DevOps workflow. Continuous deployment is an extension of continuous delivery, which automates the release of a production-ready build to a code repository. It also automates the release of an app to production. Continuous deployment is largely reliant on well-designed test automation because there is no manual gate at the stage of the pipeline before production.
In practice, this means that a developer’s modification to a cloud application might go online within minutes of being written (assuming it passes automated testing). This makes it much easier to acquire and implement customer feedback on an ongoing basis. Taken collectively, all of these linked CI/CD DevOps approaches make application deployment less hazardous, making it easier to deliver updates to apps in discrete chunks rather than all at once. However, there will be a significant upfront investment because automated tests would need to be built to handle a range of testing and release phases in the CI/CD pipeline.
To summarize, understanding what is DevOps pipeline and creating a CI/CD pipeline is a best practice for companies that often enhance their applications and need a dependable delivery method. When the CI/CD pipeline is in place, the team can concentrate more on improving the applications rather than on the specifics of delivering them to different environments.
DevOps teams must work together on technology, procedures, and priorities before implementing CI/CD DevOps. Teams must come to an agreement on the best strategy for their industry and set of technology. The team should regularly adhere to CI/CD DevOps procedures after a pipeline is set up.