What Is DevOps Pipeline | What's Its Difference from DevOps Lifecycle

What Is DevOps Pipeline | What's Its Difference from DevOps Lifecycle
Software development can be a durable and complicated process. At the same time, understanding the basic principles of its automation will accelerate DevOps. The article outlines what is DevOps pipeline and defines its difference with the DevOps lifecycle. Also, we will point out the basic principles of the DevOps pipeline for operations and code development and guide you through creating the pipeline with the most common open-source tools.

What is DevOps Pipeline

A DevOps pipeline is a set of automation tools or steps that can help navigate the DevOps processes and accelerate the delivery of new software versions. The critical elements in the pipeline are continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD). DevOps pipeline allows manual things automation that makes developers focus on achieving high-quality code.

The most commonly used DevOps pipeline example is Jenkins. This tool is built in Java language and can be used in different environments. Also, GitHub and Gitlab became innovation tools for automation CI/CD pipeline 2021.

Building a DevOps pipeline depends on the groups and teams that will create products. For example, it can be a team that works with infrastructure (Operations) or a Code Development team. The type of pipeline also depends on previous company experience, the number of employees, and the business structure or existing pipelines.

For example, suppose you work with a startup that does not have a pipeline. In that case, you need to find an operation and code development solution for automating some processes in the DevOps lifecycle. However, some procedures can already be automated in a big company, and you will need to focus on building a DevOps pipeline only for some stages in product delivery.

MORE ON TOPIC: What is DevOps Engineer | Responsibilities, Principles, Tools, Lifecycle, and More

Is There Only One DevOps Pipeline?

The DevOps pipeline has a few components that are focused on different processes in software development.

Furthermore, it would be unfair to say that there is only one DevOps pipeline. There can be different DevOps pipeline examples for different types of work with software delivery. That is why we define DevOps pipeline for infrastructure and DevOps pipeline for application developers.

  1. DevOps pipeline for infrastructure. DevOps or operational engineer is responsible for building an appropriate environment to host and run the app. Moreover, there is a list of activities and tasks that can be automated with a pipeline. Among them are provisioning, implementing changes, or deleting the cluster. You can also automate building VM or container images, back up the running environment, or change the network in the cluster.
  2. DevOps pipeline for application development. This type of pipeline is built to make software updates as often as possible. The technology stack for this pipeline is almost the same as for the infrastructure pipeline. At the same time, such tools as SonarQube, Semmle, Checkstyle, or Lint are usually used for coding this type of automation.

As can be seen, there is no one DevOps pipeline for the whole process, but there can be different pipelines according to the focus and type of operations.

DevOps Pipeline vs. DevOps Lifecycle: Are They the Same?

There can be some confusion in using those two terms, but understanding the difference between the DevOps pipeline and DevOps lifecycle will clarify the whole DevOps process.

DevOps lifecycle is a step-by-step process for creating a valuable product. It consists of seven DevOps lifecycle phases:

  • Continuous development
  • Continuous integration
  • Continuous testing
  • Continuous feedback
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Continuous deployment
  • Continuous operations

These phases are typical for most product software developments. At the same time, some DevOps pipeline stages can be forced, accelerate the product design and automate some steps for increasing the quality of the final product. As you can see, the DevOps lifecycle and DevOps pipeline are not the same processes, but they are usually related. DevOps lifecycle tools are similar to pipeline tools in some cases, but they are used for different goal achieving.

In other words, the DevOps pipeline makes all the phases in its lifecycle more accurate in achieving the goal through automation of some operations.

Typical Steps in DevOps Pipeline Design

To build a DevOps pipeline, you need to focus on the final product and define what activities can be automated. Based on Cprime | Archer's expertise, we figure out five common steps in this process.

Step #1. Establish CI/CD framework

First, you need to outline CI/CD tools. One of the most common is Jenkins, a Java-based open-source stack. In this step, you need to choose the tool and run it in your local host.

Step #2. Integrate your tool with Source control management (SCM)

It is the best way to check that your tool works appropriately and helps you achieve the goal. You need an SCM to ensure that your source code will not conflict with other codes during mutual teamwork with product design. This instrument will help to store your code in a repository and coordinate among project members.

Step #3. Build automation tool

The next step is focused on creating a web version of your application. Next, you need to enter the build automation tool and run the process. This tool aims to automate the cleaning, compelling testing, and deployment to a specific location. There can be some differences in build tools that depend on the programming language.

Step #4. Install web application server

Your product needs to have an interface for future use. You will need an HTTP server and another environment (it can be a virtual machine).

Step #5. Cover the code testing

Many open-source tools can help you test your code, fix errors, and improve pipeline in DevOps. It is the last step before running the app.

Conclusion

This article explains the specific DevOps pipeline and delineates the difference with the DevOps lifecycle. If you have a clear understanding of implementing DevOps pipeline tools in practice, you will make teamwork much more accessible. DevOps pipeline is a powerful technology that automates lifecycle phases. The most common tool for building a pipeline is open source. It allows teams to find the software solutions for the most complicated project development.

We also outlined the basic steps in coding the DevOps pipeline. At the same time, there can be some additional steps in this process that will depend on specific goals.

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