Best DevOps Tools of 2021 | Enterprise Networking Planet

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In virtually every business technology scenario, a disconnect develops between the teams that develop the tools and the teams that use them daily, either due to mismanaged priorities or a total lack of communication and accountability. DevOps, or the methodology for combining the iterative plans and communication of both development and IT operations teams, works to bridge the gap between teams that traditionally think and work in silos. As DevOps practices grow in popularity, a number of DevOps tools and software solutions have entered the market to reinforce this enterprise relationship through automation, democratization, and communication.

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Finding the Right DevOps Solution for Your Enterprise

What is DevOps?

DevOps is the idea that although their skill sets and daily work look different, development and IT operations teams work better together because their input determines the output of the other team. Without the feedback of the operations team that uses the tool, the development team won’t evolve the most relevant solutions or troubleshoot the most urgent bugs. Without the expertise of the development team, the operations team will not always know what’s possible to develop and automate in their toolkit. With a DevOps approach, these disparate teams come together on an iterant basis to ensure that software is developed to optimize for current needs and to brainstorm for future needs.

Many people falsely assume that DevOps is always a type of software, when in reality, it’s more of a methodology that supports technology development and deployment. The following list of tools optimizes several facets of DevOps collaboration, but it’s important to remember that DevOps is more about the methodology and the culture it creates for the enterprise.

Types of DevOps Tools

Many enterprises that adopt the DevOps methodology also adopt tools that enable real-time collaboration and updates, co-management of configuration, and transparent access to security and compliance monitoring. Some of the main types of tools on the market are:

  • Version control: helps teams to track historical changes to code
  • Container management: organizes and optimizes containers used for container-based application development
  • Application performance monitoring (APM): applications and processes that allow users to check performance metrics and alerts for applications
  • Configuration management: primarily focuses on managing and configuring the source code that makes a development project work
  • CI/CD Automation: continuous integration and continuous delivery are the focuses of these tools that automate software deployment
  • Collaboration platforms: either traditional chat platforms or Kanban-style boards used for group communication

More on Containerization: Virtualization vs. Containerization: What is the Difference?

More on APM: The Importance of Application Performance Management (APM) for Cloud-based Networks

Top DevOps Market Solutions

Docker Docker LogoDocker Logo

With its tagline “built for developers, by developers,” Docker introduced its industry standard container setup to the market in 2013. Docker offers one of the most popular container management solutions on the market, with millions of developers optimizing their open-source software development through collaboration in the Docker Community. Docker’s ultimate goal is to eliminate the application development problem where certain apps work better on certain machines or operating systems.

Type: Container management

Features:

  • Docker Desktop native application is compatible with Mac and Windows
  • Docker Hub for sharing container images with internal teams and external users
  • Frequently updated public roadmap for Docker Products and Services on GitHub
  • Docker CLI interface for container management commands
  • Docker CLI plugins for building, testing, and sharing containerized applications and microservices

Top Pro: Play with Docker is a strong, interactive testing environment for Docker commands. It runs on a Linux terminal with no downloads necessary.

Top Con: Documentation for new or updated solutions does not always keep up with changes in Docker development.

Red Hat Ansible Red Hat Ansible LogoRed Hat Ansible Logo

The Red Hat Ansible suite of configuration management, application deployment, and network automation tools is a top solution for many enterprises, most loved for its simplicity. Ansible’s tools look at both sides of the equation and work to address development-side concerns and operations-side concerns simultaneously through feedback loop acceleration, optimized bug detection and fixes, and an increased focus on democratizing system knowledge and configuration codes for both teams. Beyond creating a platform that makes configuration management a team effort, Ansible also threads security features throughout the tool.

Type: Configuration management, application deployment

Features:

  • Ansible Playbooks and YAML as the first “human-readable” automation language
  • automate the entire application lifecycle and continuous delivery pipeline
  • Manages all systems and their relationships for multi-tier deployments
  • Compatible with multiple sources of truth, with sources like EC2, Rackspace, and OpenStack
  • Able to create identical QA, dev, and prod environments for deployment preparation

Top Pro: Ansible Playbooks offer templates and how-tos in plain English, making it possible for all users to understand and manage configuration codes.

Top Con: Ansible offers enterprise solutions, such as Enterprise Tower and Premium Tower, but competitors like Puppets and Chef are more seasoned enterprise partners.

Puppet Puppet Enterprise LogoPuppet Enterprise Logo

Unlike many of the other solutions on this list, Puppet develops a platform-specific solution for enterprises through infrastructure as code, but they also offer consulting services for organizations that want to better align with the DevOps methodology. They start with a DevOps maturity assessment called “CAMS” (Culture Automation Measurement Sharing) to see where your team is starting from in building a DevOps culture. The Puppet team then works with their customers on a DevOps toil assessment which identifies needs and creates a concrete plan for an organization’s deployment needs. Throughout an organization’s work with Puppet, they can also access a Puppet Solutions Architect for real-time coaching on their DevOps implementation.

Type: Configuration management, infrastructure automation, consulting

Features:

  • Choice between agent-based or agentless automation
  • Model-based and task-based scaling
  • Consulting with assessment and coaching support from the Puppet team
  • Puppet Forge workflow automation
  • Puppet Comply security and compliance enforcement

Top Pro: Puppet publishes the State of DevOps Report, recognized as the longest-running and most widely referenced DevOps research in the industry, making them a recognized leader in both innovation and partnerships.

Top Con: As an open-source tool, Puppet Enterprise offers little in the support arena, which is especially difficult for users who aren’t familiar with the Ruby programming language.

Bamboo Bamboo LogoBamboo Logo

Bamboo, a member of the Atlassian suite of business technology, is a server that focuses on continuous integration, continuous delivery/deployment, and transparency in the production life cycle. Bamboo uses agents for its integrations and deployments, and users pay based on the number of agents that they need. Customers can choose between local agents run on a Bamboo server or remote agents run on any computer or server environment. Although the tool is helpful on its own, it works best when used in partnership with other Atlassian products like JIRA, BitBucket, Confluence, and Crowd.

Type: CI/CD automation

Features:

  • Bamboo Data Center continuous delivery pipeline, with Docker and AWS CodeDeploy
  • Agile development focus with automated workflows
  • Built-in disaster recovery features
  • Opsgenie integration for incident investigation and troubleshooting
  • Knowledge Base, Atlassian Community, and technical support available

Top Pro: Bamboo’s development workflow sets it apart; its integration with BitBucket and JIRA makes for a transparent, holistic view of the production and deployment lifecycle.

Top Con: Bamboo integrates well with tools in its portfolio and other Java tools, but users have had some trouble integrating with non-Java tools.

GitHub GitHub LogoGitHub Logo

Known as the tool “where the world builds software,” GitHub is an open-source community where…

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Best DevOps Tools of 2021 | Enterprise Networking Planet