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Rev up IT with continuous delivery and DevOps

Last updated:September 2018

Editor's note

Humans love to go fast. That thrill can extend to software code with the pairing of continuous integration/continuous delivery and DevOps.

Continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery (CD) and continuous deployment all focus on getting newly created code onto production systems as quickly as possible -- without breaking anything. The terms can be segmented by steps:

  • CI facilitates and automates code creation, verification and management before it is an executable product.
  • CD brings executable code through automated and manual tests and release steps to prepare it for production.
  • Continuous deployment takes code through testing and onto production systems.

DevOps doesn't perform any of these steps, exactly. Instead, the methodology guides developers, testers and IT operations teams to create code that's easy to test, builds that are easy to deploy and production IT systems that are easy to manage. The CI/CD process gives DevOps the tools to accomplish these goals.

1The tools and principles of CD

CD isn't easy. New adopters should understand the principles of continuous delivery and DevOps culture and the benefits of a CD pipeline. If you already have a strategic mindset and are ready for the next step, review CI/CD tool options. Compare your CD maturity to the five levels described at the end of this section to decide where to go next.

2Move the needle with continuous deployment

Continuous delivery and DevOps are enough to give most software product teams the speed and production readiness they need. But for those advanced teams that crave automation and top-speed releases, the next step is continuous deployment and related measures, such as continuous security and testing.

3Supporting technology spotlight: Containers

For DevOps to work, developers, testers and operations managers all have to see the same thing with the code. DevOps aims to destroy the works-on-my-machine syndrome that throws up walls between these steps in software delivery.

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