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DevOps testing strategy can be defined as more of a team effort as it categorizes the best working shift that is conclusive of both the timing and frequency of a developer’s testing practice in an automated fashion. Though such radical transformation might not be easy for some testers, proper use of strategies can be a game-changer. As a leading QA company, we always make sure to implement the best DevOps Testing Strategy to streamline our testing process. Such best strategies can be created by following the tips and tools that we will be exploring in this blog. So in this blog, we will be introducing you to the benefits of an effective DevOps Testing Strategy and the tips & tools you could use to implement that strategy for yourself.
Benefits of using an effective DevOps Testing Strategy:
A company can stay ahead of the pack in today’s competitive market by becoming more efficient with its process to offer the finest features to customers on time. Here are some of the major advantages that a firm may gain by implementing the DevOps methodology.
Higher Release Velocity:
DevOps practices help in increasing the release velocity which enables us to release the code to production at faster rates. But it is not just about the speed as we will be able to perform such releases with more confidence.
Shorter Development Cycle:
With the introduction of DevOps, the complete software development cycle starting right from the initial design up to the production deployment becomes shorter.
Earlier Defect Detection:
With the implementation of the DevOps approach, we will be able to identify defects much earlier and prevent them from getting released to production. So improved quality of software events becomes a natural byproduct of DevOps.
Easier Development Rollback:
In addition to earlier defect detection, we will also be able to predict possible failures due to any bug in the code or issue in production are analyzed in DevOps, we need not worry about the downtime for rollback. It either avoids the issue altogether or makes us better equipped to handle the situation. Even in the event of an unpredicted failure, a healthy DevOps process will make it easier for us to recover from it.
Curates a Collaborative Culture:
The core concept of DevOps itself is to enhance the collaboration between the Dev & Ops team so that they work together as one team with a common goal. The DevOps culture brings more than that to the table as it encourages employee engagement and increases employee satisfaction. So engineers will be more motivated to share their insight and continuously innovate, enabling continuous improvement.
DevOps can ensure an increase in your team’s performance as it encourages a performance-oriented approach. Coupling that with the collaborative culture, the teams become more productive and more innovative.
Since DevOps engineers share responsibility for key deliverables and goals, we will be able to witness an enhanced perspective that prevents siloed thinking and helps guarantee success.
DevOps cultures require a variety of skill sets and specializations for successful implementation. Studying DevOps is a lucrative career path for development staff, operations staff, and also a great advantage for digital & IT spheres.
On the whole, DevOps focuses on removing siloed perspectives that ensure pipelines are delivered with as much business value as possible.
Tips to create an effective DevOps Testing Strategy:
Now that we have seen all the benefits that an effective DevOps Testing Strategy has to offer, let’s explore a few tips that one would have to follow to reap such benefits.
1. Deploy small changes as often as possible:
Deploy small changes frequently as it allows for a more stable and controllable production environment. Even in the case of a crucial bug, it will be easier to identify it and come up with a solution.
2. Infrastructure as code:
An incentive to adopt infrastructure as code is to allow more governance of the deployment process between different environments to enable a faster, more efficient, and reliable deployment by automation management, rather than a manual process.
3. GIT log commit messages:
Viewing the GIT log can be very messy. A good way to make GIT log clear and understandable is to write a meaningful commit message. A good commit message consists of a clear title (first line) and a good description (body of the message).
4. Good read – “DevOps Handbook”:
Books are always one of the best ways to learn and the DevOps Handbook can answer a lot of questions you might have such as,
What is DevOps culture?
What are its origins?
How to evaluate DevOps work culture?
How to find the problems in your organization’s process and improve them?
5. Build Stuff:
Linux, Cloud, DevOps, coding, AWS Training, DevOps to AWS free tier, Docker play, KBS play, and code on Github.
Tools to make an effective DevOps Testing Strategy:
We have already established that the DevOps movement encourages IT departments to improve developer, sysadmin, and tester teamwork. So it’s more about changing processes and streamlining workflows between departments than it is about using new tools when it comes to “doing DevOps.” As a result, there will never be an all-in-one DevOps tool.
However, if you have the correct tools, you can always benefit. DevOps tools are divided into five categories based on their intended use at each stage of the DevOps life cycle.
First off, we have configuration management and it is about managing all the configurations of all environments of a software application. To implement continuous delivery, use an automated process for version control. Even with the manual process, apply all changes automatically. It will be deployed through automation by checking the scripts.
Configuration management is classified in two ways:-
1. Infrastructure as code
2. Configuration as code
Infrastructure as code:
It is defining the entire environment definition as a code or script. Environment definition generally includes setting up the servers for comparing & configuring the networks and setting up other computing resources. Basically, they are part of the IT infrastructure setup. All these details would be written out as a text file or in the form of code. They are then checked out into a version control tool where they would become the single source of defining the environments or even updating the environments. This crushes the need for a developer or tester to be a system admin expert to set up their servers for development or testing activity. So the infrastructure setup process in DevOps would be completely automated.
Configuration as code:
It is defining the configuration of the servers and the components as a script and checking them into version control. It either includes parameters that define the recommended settings for software to run successfully or a set of commands to be done initially to set up the software applications or it even could be a configuration of each of the components of the software that are set up. It could also be any specific user rules or a user privilege.
Puppet is a well-established Configuration Management platform. When we talk about configuration management in terms of servers (i.e.) when you have a lot of servers in a data center or in an in-house setup. You will want to keep your servers in a particular state. Since Puppet is also a deployment tool, a simple code can be written and deployed onto the servers to automatically deploy the software on the system. Puppet implements infrastructure as code. The policies and configurations are also written as code.
Chef is infrastructure as code. Chef ensures our configurations are applied consistently in every environment at any scale with the help of infrastructure automation. Chef is best suited for organizations that have a heterogeneous infrastructure and are looking for the following mature solutions.
1. Programmatically provision and configure components.
2. Treat it like any other codebase.
3. Recreate business from code repository, data backup, and compute resources.
4. Reduce management through abstraction.
5. Reserve the configuration of your infrastructure in version control.
Chef also ensures that each node compiles with the policy and the policy is determined by the configurations in each node’s run list.
Ansible has a lot going for itself as it’s configuration management, deployment, and orchestration tool. Since it is focused mainly on multiple profiles, we will be able to configure them automatically. After which, we can automate them and benefit from them with deployment purposes like Docker as we also have an authorization tool available in Ansible. We know that it is a “push-based” configuration management tool. When it comes to pushing, let’s say we want to apply changes on multiple servers, we can just push the changes and not configure the entire system or nodes. It automates your entire IT infrastructure by providing large productivity gains.
Continuous integration (CI):
Continuous integration is a DevOps software development practice that enables the developers to merge their code changes in the central repository so that the automated builds and tests can be run. Continuous integration is considered as such an important process due to the following reasons.
1. It avoids merge conflicts when we sync our source code from our systems to the shared repository. It helps different developers to collaborate their source code into a single shared repository without any issues.
2. The time we spend on code review is something that we can easily decrease with the help of this continuous integration process.
3. Since the developers can easily collaborate with each other, it speeds up the development process.
4. We will also be able to reduce project backlog as we will be able to make frequent changes in the repositories. So if any kind of product backlog is pending for a long time, it can be managed easily.
It is a continuous integration tool that allows continuous development, test, and deployment of newly created codes. It is an open-source automation server. Jenkins is a web-based application that is completely developed in Java. Jenkins script uses groovy in the back end. It is used for integrating all DevOps stages with the help of plugins to enable continuous delivery. There are actually two ways you can develop. You can either develop by using GUI or by groovy. The usage basically depends on the project. In a few of our projects, we would use a Jenkins file created in the project territory. This Jenkins file will be run on the job, and so would have to be written in the GUI. Some people will write everything in the GUI, and that is why it is called Jenkins.
Travis CI is undoubtedly one of the most straightforward CI servers to use. Travis CI is an open-source, distributed continuous integration solution for building and testing GitHub projects. It can be set up to run tests on a variety of machines, depending on the software that is installed.
Team City is a powerful, expandable, and all-in-one continuous integration server. The platform is provided through JetBrains and is written in Java. A total of 100 ready-to-use plugins support the platform in various frameworks and languages. The installation of TeamCity is very straightforward, and there are multiple installation packages for different operating systems.
Now let’s take a look at a few top tools used during Configuration Inspection. Any points to be added?
SonarQube is the central location for code quality management. It provides visual reporting on and across projects. It also has the ability to replay previous code in order to examine metrics evolution. Though it’s written in Java, it can decipher code from more than 20 different programming languages making it a tool you cannot avoid.
The Fortify Static Code Analyzer (SCA) assists you in verifying the integrity of your program, lowering expenses, increasing productivity, and implementing best practices for secure coding. It examines the source code, determines the source of software security flaws, then correlates and prioritizes the findings. As a result, you’ll have a line–of–code help for fixing security flaws.
Coverity identifies flaws that are actionable and have a low false-positive rate. The team is encouraged to develop better, cleaner, and more robust code as a result of their use of the tool. Coverity is a static analysis (SAST) solution for development and security teams that helps them resolve security and quality flaws early in the software development life cycle (SDLC), track & manage risks throughout the application portfolio, and assure security & coding standards compliance. Coverity offers security and quality checking support for over 70 frameworks and 21 languages.
The practice of distributing and deploying applications in a portable and predictable manner is known as containerization. We can achieve this by packing application code and its dependencies into containers that are standardized, isolated, and lightweight process environments.
Docker is an open platform used by DevOps teams to make it easier for developers and sysadmins to push code from development to production without having to use multiple conflicting environments throughout the application life cycle. Docker’s containerization technology gives apps mobility by allowing them to run in self-contained pieces that can be moved around.
A vagrant is a virtual machine manager that is available as an open-source project. It’s a fantastic tool that allows you to script and package the VM configuration and provisioning setup for several VMs, each with its own puppet and/or chef setups.
Multiple independent services can be deployed on a single platform using virtualization. Virtualization refers to the simultaneous use of multiple operating systems on a single machine. Virtualization is made feasible by a software layer known as a “hypervisor.” Virtual Machine contains dependencies, libraries, and configurations. It is an operating system that allows one server to share its resources. They have their own infrastructure and are cut off from the rest of the world. Virtual machines run applications on different operating systems without the need for additional hardware.
The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) uses scalable processing capabilities in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud to deliver virtualization. By reducing the initial cost of hardware, Amazon EC2 reduces capital expenditure. Virtual servers, security and networking configurations, and storage management are all available to businesses.
Virtualization is provided by VMWare through a variety of products. Its vSphere product virtualizes server resources and provides crucial capacity and performance control capabilities. Network virtualization and software-defined storage are provided by VMware’s NSX virtualization and Virtual SAN, respectively.
So we have made a comprehensive coverage of many benefits we can get from DevOps, the tips to follow while implementing DevOps, and also the various tools you would need at every stage of the DevOps process. We hope you had an enjoyable read while still learning how these tips & tools make an effective DevOps Testing Strategy. We have been able to make large strides and grow with DevOps to provide some of the best automation testing services to our clients and felt it was necessary to share some valuable information that we have learned with experience.