DevOps-as-a-service is a means (either a delivery model or set of tools) for a company’s software development and operations teams to work together efficiently. It aims to track each move the software development team makes to ensure that project delivery goes smoothly.

DevOps-as-a-service vendors typically provide customers with the tools they need to monitor and track the progress of all software development and operations processes so teams can work as one toward achieving a common goal—providing business value.

Other interesting terms…

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Understanding DevOps-as-a-service requires knowing what DevOps is first.

What Is DevOps?

DevOps refers to practices that combine software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) to shorten systems development life cycles and provide continuous delivery while ensuring high software quality. As such, DevOps complements agile software development, primarily since the agile methodology influenced several DevOps aspects.

Here’s a video that shows how DevOps works in simple words:

DevOps-as-a-Service Practices

DevOps-as-a-service vendors usually give customers the ability to manage nine DevOps practices, namely:

  • Continuous integration/Continuous delivery (CI/CD)
  • Infrastructure as code
  • Infrastructure automation and management
  • Testing automation
  • Cloud services
  • Security management
  • Automated monitoring and logging
  • Release management
  • Configuration management

These practices (some of which are discussed in greater detail below) highlight the benefits of DevOps-as-a-service.

Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery

DevOps typically involves continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD). Together, these practices help companies reduce testing costs, automate some quality assurance (QA) and deployment processes, and enable faster building and release.

CI merges all developers’ working copies to a shared mainline several times a day in developing software. That keeps everyone updated on what’s happening. CD, meanwhile, lets teams build software in short cycles so they can release reliable products anytime without doing so manually. It aims to build, test, and release software faster and more frequently.

Infrastructure as Code

Infrastructure as code allows DevOps engineers to manage machines in data centers using machine-readable definition files instead of going there physically to configure hardware. They can use scripts or declarative definitions rather than go through manual processes.

Infrastructure Automation and Management

Infrastructure automation simply means using technology to perform tasks without much human intervention to control hardware, software, networking components, operating systems (OSs), and data storage components. DevOps engineers typically employ this tactic so devices continue to deliver IT services and solutions without hitches.

Testing Automation

DevOps-as-a-service providers help companies automate testing. That is especially important for startups, as they need a product that should beat the competition if they are to succeed. Doing that is only possible if their offering is constantly tested for bugs.

Using DevOps-as-a-service focuses on providing testing automation so customers can increase their testing frequency to deploy products faster. It removes many errors that can result from manual testing while giving the QA team enough time to focus on projects and tasks that can’t be automated. In effect, DevOps-as-a-service optimizes resource allocation while cutting down development time.

Security Management

Many DevOps-as-a-service vendors have specific teams whose sole responsibility is to provide customers with security services. This approach is more popularly known as “DevSecOps.” With this approach, providers help clients implement the appropriate security measures as soon as software development starts instead of later to ensure lower development costs and higher system reliability.

DevOps-as-a-service that comes with DevSecOps gives users the ability to:

  • Detect and block cloud security threats
  • Prevent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks
  • Analyze potential system vulnerabilities
  • Perform security and compliance testing regularly
  • Benefit from firewall-as-a-service
  • Break free from configuring their virtual private network (VPN) firewalls

Cloud Services

Any company that relies on cloud computing can benefit from DevOps-as-a-service in that it allows it to migrate its infrastructure from one cloud to another. It also enables automation and enhances DevOps processes, lets you optimize costs, improves system security, and centralizes development, testing, and deployment activities in a single platform that everyone can access. DevOps-as-a-service also lets users experiment with new features in the cloud more efficiently without affecting running processes. Finally, it makes your infrastructure more flexible, so you can quickly scale it up or down.

DevOps-as-a-service improves collaboration, monitoring, management, and reporting in a company. It enables users to adopt a more flexible approach to product development, one that considers market changes.