Definitive Guide to DevOps Toolchain: The What, Why, and How

DevOps toolchain is not a new term on the horizon. Instead, it is a core part of the DevOps ecosystem. Understanding DevOps is easier for everyone, but implementing it at a startup or enterprise is the most challenging thing. That’s where the DevOps toolchain can prove handy for various organizations. It can become the ammunition through which you can win the battle.

In today’s highly competitive environment, delivering high-quality software faster has become paramount. That’s where DevOps methodology comes into the picture, and to implement DevOps methodology, knowing the DevOps toolchain is essential. This article will cover the DevOps toolchain's what, why, and how in detail. So, let’s get the things moving.!

What is the DevOps toolchain?

DevOps toolchain is an ecosystem of tools that can work together to design, develop, test, manage, measure, and operate software systems. It considers the core fundamentals of DevOps philosophy, such as continuous integration, continuous delivery, automation, and collaboration. The DevOps toolchain will help you maintain a stable software development pipeline and transform the DevOps dream into reality by keeping these principles in mind.

There can’t be any single tool representing all the principles or best practices of DevOps. That’s why it becomes essential to have a set of tools that do the work for you, and the DevOps toolchain exactly fits into that requirement. Having a well-planned DevOps toolchain for your organization will help you to simplify complex tasks and make team members' jobs easier. It will also help you accomplish your goals and establish an ecosystem of growth and sustainability.

You must have a basic understanding of the DevOps toolchain and how it will work. But, the question is, why do you need a DevOps toolchain, or what are its benefits? So, let’s analyze that aspect in our upcoming section.

Why do you need a DevOps toolchain?

There are many benefits of having a DevOps toolchain. Let’s discuss some of them in detail:

  • Increased Collaboration: You need strong communication and collaboration for a successful DevOps implementation. The DevOps toolchain will divide the tools for each phase of a DevOps lifecycle. Due to that, there will be no operational friction. Each team would know its role in the overall ecosystem, which means greater collaboration.
  • Faster Delivery: With the help of the DevOps toolchain, you can automate most stages of a software development lifecycle. If that’s the case, then you can ensure faster delivery of your products and stay ahead of your competitors in the market.
  • Resource Optimization: Automation will allow you to reduce the amount of resource utilization required for manual efforts. Also, there’s less chance of errors when there's automation in place. In this way, you can manage the budget and optimize resources.
  • Quality Assurance: Manually track and eliminate every bug during the software development life cycle. However, you can automate the development and deployment processes with the DevOps toolchain. Also, with the best resources available, you can ensure a high-quality product for your customer base.
  • Efficient Development: DevOps toolchain aims to eliminate unnecessary delays between various development aspects, making the process efficient. Also, with the DevOps toolchain, no team, i.e., Development or Operations, need to wait for each other to finish their work. Instead, they can work simultaneously to produce better results.

These were some of the significant benefits of having a DevOps toolchain. First, we have addressed the “what” and “why” of a DevOps toolchain. Now, the focus shift to how. So, let’s analyze how to create a DevOps toolchain in our upcoming section.

How to create a DevOps toolchain?

There are two major approaches for creating a DevOps toolchain. Let’s analyze them in detail:

All-in-One DevOps toolchain

It is ideal for companies or organizations starting with DevOps or teams starting their software development project. It comprises all the primary tools required for different phases of the DevOps lifecycle, such as source code management, ticketing/issue tracking, pipelines, artifact storage, and more. However, the major downside of this approach is that most established teams may have their preferred set of tools, and you can’t integrate them with this toolchain. Another issue is the lack of customization if the unit requires a different tool.

Custom DevOps toolchain

In the custom DevOps toolchain approach, you will create a DevOps toolchain that suits your organization's methodology. This approach will allow the team members to integrate the existing tools into the DevOps ecosystem with the utmost ease. Here, the choice of the tools can vary from project to project or from team to team. So, the custom DevOps toolchain approach would provide more flexibility and adaptability than the all-in-one DevOps toolchain approach.

These were the two major approaches for the DevOps toolchain, along with their pros and cons. Now, with everything in place, you should know the tools you can use for different purposes in a DevOps toolchain. So, let’s look at the must-have tools for the DevOps toolchain.

Must-have tools for DevOps toolchain

  • Collaboration: Slack, Campfire, Skype, etc.
  • Source Control: Git, Subversion, SVT, etc.
  • Issue Tracking: Jira, ZenDesk, Backlog, etc.
  • Configuration Management: Chef, Puppet, Ansible, etc.
  • Continuous Integration: Bamboo, TeamCity, Jenkins, etc.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Akamai mPulse, AppDynamics, BigPanda, etc.
  • Automated Testing: Selenium, TestComplete, QTP, etc.

In a nutshell

Implementing DevOps philosophy into your ecosystem requires a complete change of mindset and following best practices and principles. For this purpose, various tools are available that could prove helpful during multiple phases of a DevOps lifecycle. How about having all that tools under one roof? That’s where the concept of the DevOps toolchain comes into the picture.

Here, we have discussed the what, why, and how. We hope it will provide you with comprehensive details needed to understand it in a better way. What are your thoughts on this subject? Do let us know in the comments section.