DevOps as a Service: Why Startups Consider DevOps Outsourcing | Eastern Peak
The software development market in 2021 is a high-pressure environment that demands startups to deliver products at top speeds without losing in quality or innovation. One of the key ways to achieve that is DevOps.
By bringing IT operations and development together, this methodology enables businesses to establish short production life cycles and maximum efficiency from the very beginning, get a headstart on the market, and secure the best tools for future scaling.
DevOps for startups offers a unique possibility to launch into the journey as a well-oiled machine. It accelerates the time-to-market, reduces operating costs, and, according to more than 48% of surveyed companies , it also proves to be essential in growing your business in the future.
Keep reading if you want to learn more about what DevOps is and how it works, why DevOps outsourcing is a vital investment, and how to try it for yourself.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is not a single technology or framework — it’s a set of practices and methods called to help businesses provide services or products continuously and shorten the software development life cycle. At the core, it’s a paradigm that unifies several departments at a company. Most of the time, DevOps brings together development and operations (hence the name), but the approach has also spread to QA (QAOps), security (DevSecOps), and other similar branches.
This methodology works by implementing DevOps practices with the help of specialized software solutions. We’ll take a closer look at what these practices and technologies entail in the next two sections.
From all the currently available tools, this approach presents the most comprehensive way for startups to boost their production without a drop in quality. DevOps focuses on optimization and coordination — and startups are constantly on the lookout for methods to develop and deliver their products fast while reducing operating costs.
What is DevOps as a Service?
Although many businesses feel more confident working with an in-house team, building your own DevOps department can be a costly and extremely time-consuming venture. In addition to significant expenses, you may encounter a shortage of talent and the necessity to spend some time training new hires.
Startups, in particular, find it effective to hand DevOps services over to an already experienced party and save critical time and resources.
When you opt for using DevOps as a Service (DaaS), you entrust the development and implementation process to a provider company. The provider gathers a competent and experienced team to design, develop, and integrate DevOps solutions and practices into your business, tailoring them specifically to your goals.
Let’s take a look at the main practices DaaS providers typically offer.
Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)
A DevOps strategy normally includes three core practices: continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment. Working together, they help you reduce the costs of testing, automate certain QA and deployment processes, and enable faster release building.
Continuous integration refers to updating your code repository frequently. This practice suggests merging every significant code change with the master branch while running automated tests to check the validity of the modifications.
Continuous delivery comes into play when a build of your software is ready. The main objective of this practice is to upload the build and all its subsequent changes to an environment for testing and production.
Continuous deployment signifies the process of automated releases of software to customers. If the DaaS you choose offers continuous deployment functionality, all software changes will be released as soon as they complete all the previously discussed stages.
CD is effective for preventing your developers from going into the deadline frenzy, since there is no single due date anymore, and it also enables you to receive user feedback more frequently.
Infrastructure as Code
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a practice that helps maintain your infrastructures (virtual machines, networks, etc.) more effectively and prevent the so-called environment drift. The drift is a dissonance between your testing environment and production conditions. It can result in virtually invisible bugs that pass the testing but cause problems in production, delaying the whole cycle and costing additional funds to fix.
When a DevOps services provider implements IaC, you can expect a large reduction in sudden undocumented inconsistencies between environments. The practice syncs your infrastructures and enables fast and accurate testing.
Infrastructure automation and management
In addition to implementing IaC, DaaS providers supply the necessary tools to conduct automation and seamless management of your infrastructures.
This mainly helps to
- Free up employees’ time. IT specialists, system administrators, DevOps professionals, and other staff members regularly spend time on tasks that can be easily automated. By taking care of routine or repetitive objectives, infrastructure automation enables employees to focus on more complex, critical, and urgent issues.
- Ensure better management. Infrastructure management solutions can generate automatic notifications during emergencies or system changes, helping spot and resolve issues as soon as they appear. Automation greatly helps manage complex infrastructures without diminishing their scalability.
Another significant transformation that a DevOps provider can help you achieve is the automation of testing. Robust and reliable QA is at the core of success for any startup, and DevOps puts a special emphasis on this practice.
Effective testing automation allows you to
- increase the frequency of testing, enabling faster deployment;
- remove a lot of errors that come out of manual repetitive testing; and
- free up the QA team to focus on projects and tasks that cannot be automated, thus optimizing the allocation of resources and cutting down on development time.
Cloud computing is at the forefront of effective data management and enhanced development speed for any startup in 2021. A powerful tool by itself, the cloud becomes an even stronger solution when used to facilitate the implementation of DevOps into your business.
Here’s what DevOps cloud services outsourcing can help you with:
- migrating your infrastructure to the cloud or moving from one cloud to another;
- enabling better automation and enhanced DevOps processes, such as CI;
- calculating cost optimization for your existing cloud infrastructure or assessing the benefits of migrating to the cloud;
- improving the security of your system;
- centralizing your development, testing, and deployment activity on one universally accessible platform;
- harnessing the computing power of the cloud to experiment with new features more efficiently; and
- making your infrastructure more flexible so you can easily scale it up or down.
DevOps as a Service has a separate branch responsible for providing security services. It’s frequently referred to as DevSecOps. The principles of DevSecOps is to guide provider companies to help their clients implement appropriate security measures at the beginning of the development cycle instead of at later stages, ensuring lower development costs and higher reliability of the system.
When you outsource DevSecOps, you typically receive
- detection and prevention of the top cloud security threats,
- DDoS attacks prevention,
- examination of the potential vulnerabilities in the system,
- regular security and compliance testing,
- firewall as a service, and
- configuration of a VPN firewall.
Automated monitoring and logging
In addition to automated testing, outsourced DevOps services implement monitoring and logging of errors that don’t require human supervision. Once established, the system will start collecting data about the performance of your corporate apps as well as released products, reducing Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time to Recover (MTTR).
These values show how rapidly you react to failures and errors. Automated monitoring helps significantly cut the time users have to experience issues, reduces future repair expenses, and generates reports you can use to find elements with the greatest potential for improvement.
One of the main reasons to outsource DevOps is that support lasts throughout the whole production cycle, including the release stage. DevOps release management helps streamline the process by virtue of tailored automation tools, precise scheduling, and team coordination software.
There are several testing environments that your app needs to pass before reaching its end-users. Each of these environments has a certain configuration that gets more complex as the software comes closer to the production stage, and conducting version control and management of these environments manually poses significant risks.
First of all, even the smallest inconsistency between the required and factual configurations can lead to unexpected bugs late in the production. Secondly, manual version control results in huge resource waste.
Adopting DevOps allows startups to automate configuration management from the get-go and significantly limit human intervention into this process. In DevOps practices, configurations for infrastructures are stored as code in a single tool. This way, both the development and operations teams can easily monitor, load, and control all configurations through a handy solution.
DevOps technology stack
Working with DevOps outsourcing services takes a huge part of the implementation burden off a company’s shoulders, but you can still benefit from familiarizing yourself with the most widely used technologies in the field.
It’s significantly easier to assess the performance of your solution, fix it, or optimize its functioning when you know what it runs on.
3 reasons for DevOps outsourcing for startups
Now that you’re familiar with what DevOps outsourcing services can offer, let’s take a look at how startups can benefit from outsourcing rather than gathering an in-house team.
More efficient hiring
One of the most significant advantages a DevOps outsourcing company presents is incredibly easy recruitment. If you need to hire DevOps engineers, the provider will take care of finding and interviewing suitable candidates, leaving you as much control over the process as you desire.
Depending on your chosen type of outsourcing, you can actively participate in the hiring process or leave it entirely in the hands of your chosen company.
Solid expertise and best practices
In addition to removing the recruitment hassle, the benefits of DevOps outsourcing include a superior level of proficiency of your future DevOps team. Outsourcing companies prioritize the quality of service and therefore ensure their engineers receive professional training, adhere to the latest standards, work well in teams, and possess relevant certifications.
Such providers also use the best practices and demonstrate a higher level of expertise, having tried many different approaches over the years. That’s why collaborating with outsourced DevOps engineers results in well-documented solutions that are easy to maintain after deployment.
Another perk of using DevOps as a Service is gaining access to a wide talent pool. While finding a DevOps engineer is difficult as is, discovering professionals with narrow or rare competencies may be next to impossible when gathering a team locally.
Outsourcing helps tackle this challenge. DaaS providers supply engineers, tools, developers, and DevOps consulting services according to your needs from the very beginning.
In addition to providing extra skills, the possibility to choose from a range of developers’ levels helps you distribute tasks better. You can dedicate the best specialists to the most complex assignments and leave more general tasks to employees with less experience.
How to get started with DevOps
Outsourced DevOps services present an excellent opportunity for startups to begin implementing DevOps without committing excessive resources. A DevOps as a Service provider supplies you with the essentials: integrated methodologies for transforming your practices and custom-made software solutions to make your operations more efficient and robust.
To kickstart your DevOps journey, follow these simple steps:
- define your business objectives and gaps in productivity that you’d like to bridge,
- identify the main benefits DevOps outsourcing can bring your startup, and
- find a trusted company to work with.
If you are considering taking the DevOps route, Eastern Peak specialists would love to help you boost the speed of production and deliver better quality to your customers. Shoot us a message to schedule a free consultation and discuss your aspirations.
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