First of all, what is DevOps?
DevOps is short for Developer Operations and it is a newer approach that combines both development and operational tasks to automate and speed up software development practices and reduce release cycles for fast-growing companies.
DevOps is built on the concept of teamwork and aims to unite teams that were traditionally kept separate and siloed, and reduces the development lifecycle for faster scalability. Once companies have decided which their business needs and objectives are, they need to start small and work towards adopting the DevOps model across the entire enterprise.
Although there is no silver bullet for switching to DevOps, or universal solution that works for everyone, there are some software tools that can enable seamless collaboration and help with integration, delivery, testing, and monitoring.
DevOps automation tools built with the extensive know-how of many developers, programmers, and IT specialists are available to increase and improve productivity by keeping teams in sync, and make system delivery more agile.
When choosing which DevOps tools to integrate, a business not only has to consider its goals, but also its size and team. Before they can benefit from the full value DevOps has to offer, too many businesses struggle to understand and adapt the methodology and choose the right environment.
Whether they are development tools, continuous integration tools, deployment applications, or software for operations and monitoring, collaboration and planning, or continuous feedback or issue tracking, there are dozens of DevOps tools that companies can deploy for IT efficiency, depending on where they are in the development/delivery lifecycle. They are all designed to help with the key stages of continuous Integration, continuous delivery, continuous testing, and continuous monitoring.
We put together a list of the top DevOps tools to consider.
DevOps Categories and Tools
Development Tools and Environments
Development tools and environments are programming tools to build and test software. Some can be very sophisticated and integrate other categories such as continuous integration, deployment, or monitoring. Some leading tools in this category are:
- Docker - A tech suite that makes it easier for companies to build, distribute and run containers (distributed applications).
- Kubernetes – A container orchestration system used for coordination.
- Puppet Enterprise – A configuration management tool that runs the infrastructure as code.
- Ansible – A tool that automates the entire application lifecycle.
- Vagrant – A tool used to streamline software configuration management for virtualized environments.
- Chef – A cloud automation tool for configuration management.
- Gradle – An open-source build-automation system that uses a Groovy-based domain specific language (DSL) and Java, instead of XML.
- TypeScript - An open-source programming language developed by Microsoft for large application development.
- Angular – A tool used to develop mobile and desktop web applications.
- Django – An open-source Python web framework that takes over web development.
- Ionic 3 – A framework to develop web-apps.
Continuous Integration Tools
Continuous Integration (CI) tools help automate build testing and speed up reporting on glitches in real time in a code base thus eliminating manual software system integration. A few popular tools in this category are:
- GitLab – A complete DevOps platform that does everything from project planning and source code management to CI/CD and monitoring.
- Bamboo – A cloud or server-based tool developed by Atlassian that automates release management for continuous delivery.
- TeamCity – A complex Java tool with a wide range of free plugins used to run builds and tests at the same time in different environments.
- Apache Gump – An open-source Python tool that ensures projects are compatible at API level and have matching functionalities.
- Sublime Text – A source code editor with a Python API.
- Sumo Logic – A platform that delivers continuous real-time integration through security analytics and threat intelligence.
- Postman – A platform for API development and testing.
- Git extensions – A toolkit to make Git more intuitive, with extensions available for Linux and Mac OS X using Mono.
Deployment applications are tools for deployment automation and simplify application release to ensure continuous delivery. Some top tools in this category are:
- Jenkins – A sophisticated open source server tool also used to automate development and continuous integration.
- CA Release Automation – An enterprise-class solution to automate multi-tier release deployments.
- XebiaLabs – A tool used by large organizations for application release orchestration.
- UrbanCode – A continuous integration and build management server developed by IBM for customized frameworks.
Operations and DevOps Monitoring Tools
Operations and DevOps monitoring tools help gain better visibility in the ecosystem and achieve higher productivity with cross-functional teamwork. Well-known DevOps tools in this category include:
- Prometheus – A toolkit for containers and microservices with event monitoring and alerting.
- Nagios – Open-source software with system, network, and infrastructure monitoring capabilities.
- New Relic – A tool for real-time performance insights for web and mobile apps.
- PagerDuty – A popular SaaS incident response platform for operations management.
- Splunk – A platform that delivers web and business analytics, application management, security, and compliance.
- Raygun – A cloud-based tool for network monitoring and bug tracking.
- Plutora – A tool that provides visibility into and analysis of the software delivery pipeline.
- Loom Systems – A tool that predicts and prevents IT incidents during cloud migration or other changes in the enterprise.
Collaboration and Planning Tools
Collaboration and planning tools help different teams plan, track and collaborate on a project more efficiently. In this category, some popular tools include:
- Git – A tool that track changes in source code during software development.
- GitLab – Similar in name, but different from Git; it is a complete DevOps platform that does everything from project planning and source code management to CI/CD and monitoring.
- Clarizen – An SaaS project management tool.
- Slack – A messaging platform for real-time communication between teams.
- Basecamp – A tool used for project management and real-time communication between teams.
- Asana – A platform that organizes, tracks, and manages workflows.
- GitKraken – Helps developers work more efficiently with Git on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Visual Studio – A tool developed by Microsoft that helps build computer programs, websites, and apps.
- Trello – A team management application that helps keep track of all tasks and project progress.
Continuous Feedback Tools
Continuous feedback tools help keep all team members engaged and involved in the conversation, and also permit end-user interaction.
- Jira – One of the most popular feedback, issue tracking, and task management tools developed by Atlassian.
- MouseFlow – A tool that gives insights on how end-users interact with a website in terms of clicks, scrolls, and overall browsing experience.
- SurveyMonkey – An online survey tool.
Issue Tracking Software
Issue tracking software is very important for DevOps teams because it helps them keep track of bugs and how fast they are fixed. Top picks include:
- Jira – The standard in this category and is widely deployed by DevOps teams across multiple organizations.
- Mantis Bug Tracker – An agile open-source security and license compliance management tool that identifies real-time security and compliance issues with libraries.
- WhiteSource Bolt – A tool developed by Atlassian for Azure DevOps that manages open-source security and compliance.
- Snort – An open-source security tool for real-time traffic analysis.
- OverOps – A tool for data optimization and code analysis.
- Code Climate – A code review tool that automatically monitors code health from command line to cloud.
- Zendesk – Customer support software for better communication between end-users and support teams.
How Do I Choose the Best Tools?
In the next few years, nearly 40 percent of companies that have adopted DevOps methodology will secure their applications through application security self-testing, self-diagnosing, and self-protection technologies, according to research company Gartner.
However, not all businesses know how to adopt DevOps methodology or choose the best tools for their IT pipeline. Even fewer understand how to apply security measures to it.
A managed host can be a more cost-effective solution because it takes over infrastructure responsibilities and helps companies benefit from the agility of software lifecycle automation without having to create new technical roles or bother with continuous ownership, monitoring, and security.
See Why VMware Private Cloud is a Cost-Effective Option For SMBs
Andrew Hartnett helped to create an SRE organization and culture operating at the intersection of Development, Security, and Operations during his former role at Liquid Web as Head of Engineering, Infrastructure, and SRE. He has an extensive background working with startups, large institutions, and large corporations developing, running, and maintaining tools and infrastructure. Also, while at Rackspace, Andrew co-founded and led Engineering and Development for Managed Security.
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