Every tech enterprise nowadays that aims to achieve maximum operational efficiency and top-notch product quality understands the importance of DevOps and CI/CD. Custom software development teams around the world use CI/CD best practices to deliver code changes reliably and quickly. Meanwhile, the collaboration of operations teams with development teams focuses mainly on streamlining every aspect of product development with the help of DevOps principles.
Often DevOps and CI/CD are considered interrelated concepts and are confused for having a common goal to make the software development process smooth and efficient. Here in this blog, we are going to do a DevOps vs CI/CD comparison against some common parameters to determine the differences between them.
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery is now popular practice in the software industry. It allows developers to deliver code changes smoothly and efficiently. CI/CD practices advocate the continuous monitoring and automation of the product lifecycle spanning from testing to deployment. CI/CD practices, when implemented, are referred to as ‘establishing a CI/CD pipeline’ which is a popular best practice of the DevOps teams.
When two terms, development and operations are combined, you get DevOps. This isn’t just the combination of two terms but rather the combination of the working cultures of both teams that enables you to streamline product development. DevOps ensures the delivery of high-quality products by driving the focus of both operations teams and development teams toward effective collaboration, communication, and integration.
CI is used obviously to integrate the set of codes developed by the team members more frequently. Automation tools are used for testing and building software products to establish a software-defined lifecycle. A successful CI practice ensures that the integration efforts are kept to a minimum and if any errors are found, they should be dealt with quickly.
Similar to CI, CD aims at increasing the efficiency of the packaging and deployment activities. If you implement continuous delivery practices for the design and development of software then you can reduce the costs and increase automation.
The prevailing culture of stovepiping and overspecialization has doomed both development and operations teams to respond rapidly to production issues when they arise. Implementing DevOps principles will help you render a rapid and effective response instead. Fluid communication channels and cross-training will help you break down the barriers between both development and operations teams. With effective communication and collaboration, DevOps practices give these team members a working idea of how another team functions.
Every update of the code can be compiled in a single repository using CI/CD to conduct automated tests on them to ensure that the product is ready to get deployed. The main purpose of the CI/CD is to allow the swift and automatic rollout of product updates without any defects.
The major purpose of DevOps practices is to bring two teams together who in most organizations stay disconnected. Filling that gap of communication and merging the functions of both teams can help beget a streamlined and agile software development process.
Having a shared working culture and business processes can help the team members achieve common business goals.
CI practices enable the developers to integrate their code changes into the main software application as quickly as possible without waiting for the app to be released. The code changes will be tested thoroughly before they are validated to merge with the main build.
CD or Continuous delivery is said to be an extension of CI where the teams get to test and deploy the product just with the single tap of a button as they are automated.
DevOps methodologies are used to automate every aspect of the software development process. It also enables the developers to increase the speed and frequency of deployment through iterative development. DevOps employs continuous testing to find issues and improve them before they are deployed. Fostering collaboration and communication between both teams enhances the quality of the end product.
Jenkins is an open-source automation server that is popularly used to implement CI/CD pipelines. Make sure that Jenkins is configured properly for all the necessary dependencies. Let us now discuss how you can implement CI/CD pipelines using Jenkins in a Windows Environment.
- Log into your Jenkins server
- Now select the ‘New Item’
- Now go to the menu and choose ‘Pipeline’. Name your Pipeline and click OK.
- You have to set up the build triggers and other options to configure your pipeline. You can define the stage of your pipeline in the ‘Pipeline Definition’. Use scripted or declarative syntaxes when you are setting up your pipeline. After you are done, click on ‘Apply’ and then ‘Save’.
- To execute the pipeline, select ‘Build Now’. after the successful execution, you can view the results in the ‘Stage View’ section. You can also verify if the execution of the pipeline is successful or not in the build’s console output.
- You can add more stages to expand the pipeline definition. Select ‘Configure’ to modify the pipeline definition. Then save your changes, and click on ‘Build Now’ to execute your new pipeline. You can check out the ‘Stage’ view to see every new stage after it is executed successfully. To verify whether the code is executed as per expectations or not, you can check the console log.
- Use the ‘Pipeline Timeline’ plugin to optimize the visualization of pipeline stages. Once you install the plugin, your build stage will show an option of ‘Build Timeline’. Select that option to see the timeline of your pipeline events.
- You can also expand Jenkins by integrating various deployment strategies, external code repositories, and test frameworks into it.
The implementation of DevOps is to ensure maximum benefits and minimum disruption.
- Establish an agile development process.
- Adopt cloud computing for relevant processes.
- Implement continuous integration workflow
- Automate the software testing and deployment processes
- Implement continuous deployment.
An ideal DevOps environment is where every stage of the development process is completely automated and agile.
There are four main stages in a CI/CD pipeline. Successful completion of the previous stage is necessary to move to the next stage. Every stage is monitored continuously for bugs and issues. If it is detected, feedback is sent to the delivery time.
- In the first, source stage, you are allowed to trigger actions like code compilation and unit testing. If any kind of change is detected in the central code repository or the program, the actions are triggered immediately. Source and version controls are utilized to track changes in the first stage. The tools used at this stage include AWS, Azure Repos, GIT, and more.
- In the build stage, the source is transformed into an executable development instance by infusing it with the dependencies. All the variants of the buildable objects are managed at this stage including docker containers, build artifact handling, software builds, and so on. If a build fails at this stage then it is because there is something wrong with the code. The storage procedures of the building artifacts can be managed using a consolidated artifact repository or cloud-based solutions like Azure Artifacts. So, if the problem arises, it helps in reverting to the previous version. Jenkins, Travis CI, AWS Code Build, and many more tools are used in this stage.
- At the testing stage, various automated tests are conducted to find and eliminate bugs present in the software. Multiple types of integration and functional testing are performed in software. All the errors are highlighted in this stage. Tools such as PHPUnit. Appium, Jest, Selenium, and more are used for testing purposes.
- A package reaches the fourth and final stage only if it passes the first three stages. After reaching here, it will be deployed to a staging environment where a quality assessment will be held. Then it is deployed in the production environment to the end users. You can observe that every single deployment strategy is utilized in this stage.
- Tools like Kubernetes, Terraform Puppet, and more are used for the configuration, containerization, and provisioning of the infrastructure.
In comparison, to CI/CD, DevOps has more stages in its lifecycle.
- The vision of the project is decided in this stage by stakeholders which marks the beginning of the creation of application code. Both planning and coding are performed in this stage called continuous development.
- In this stage of continuous integration, code is created for new functionalities of the application which is later integrated with the existing code of the main build. The frequency of integration depends on the teams. It can either be held weekly or even daily. Compilation, reviews, and tests are conducted for code in this stage. It’s an easier way to find and eliminate bugs.
- The next is the continuous testing stage where tools like Selenium are used to thoroughly and continuously test the software for bugs. Dockers containers are used by Quality analysts to simulate the testing environment. The testing and report generation is done automatically.
- Every operation factor of the DevOps process is covered in the continuous monitoring stage. Records of the software used are generated and processed to detect trends and problems. If you are facing errors like ‘low memory’ or ‘server not reachable’ then they can be resolved in this stage.
- In this continuous feedback stage, the software is improved afghan and again. A mechanism is set up to collect feedback about the daily operations of the software. They are analyzed to provide a more efficient version next time.
- You can finally deploy your code of teh application to the production servers in the continuous deployment stage. Continuous deployment enables the developers to frequently deploy code changes and new releases. Configuration tools like CFEngine, and Ansible, Containerization tools like Vagrant and Docker are used in this stage.
- To ensure the continuity of continuous operations, the release process is automated from end-to-end. You can say that this stage is successfully executed if your app has a faster time-to-market and is running on two servers, one for DevOps and one to go live. This also helps in reducing downtime as the users can be easily routed to another server.
- Automated testing means fewer bugs
- The simplified release building process
- Instant alerts for bugs and other issues
- Minimized requirements for context switching
- Reduced testing costs
- Reduced complexities in software deployment
- Increased release frequency
- Faster iteration process
- Early detection and addressal of errors and bugs.
- Reduced risk of miscommunication and misalignment
- Faster time to market
- Enhanced quality, agility, and efficiency
- Improved ROI
- Enhanced user satisfaction
The goal of both DevOps and CI/CD principles is rather the same, to make the software development process more robust yet swift. Meanwhile, CI/CD pipeline mostly covers the core activities of the delivery process, and DevOps practices are focused on enhancing the quality of the development process.
As we saw in this article, there are a few overlaps between both concepts, but there lie significant differences between both of them in terms of their scope, purpose, process, and implementations. I hope this article has been helpful to you. Thanks for reading!