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Exploring 2023's Top DevOps Tools: Stay Ahead with New Tech!

In today's fast-paced and ever-evolving digital landscape, staying ahead of the curve is essential for businesses and individuals alike. As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented rate, so does the need for efficient and streamlined software development and operations processes. That's where DevOps comes into play, revolutionizing the way we build, deploy, and manage software systems. To achieve DevOps success, choosing the right tools is important. In this article, we will explore the latest DevOps Tools that will help businesses and individuals stay ahead in this rapidly evolving landscape.


DevOps is a collaborative approach that bridges the gap between software development teams and IT operations. It aims to foster seamless communication, automation, and integration between these traditionally separate functions, resulting in faster delivery of high-quality software.


Top DevOps Tools

Below we have the top 10 DevOps tools each with its own benefits:


1. GitHub Actions:

GitHub Actions is a feature of GitHub that allows you to automate, customize, and execute your software development workflows right in your repository. You can use GitHub Actions to perform any job you’d like, including continuous integration, continuous delivery, testing, deployment, and more. You can also discover, create, and share actions with other GitHub users and communities.


GitHub Actions works by using workflows, which are files that define a set of jobs that run on runners. Workflows are triggered by events, such as push, and pull requests, schedules, or manual triggers. Each job consists of a series of steps, which are commands or actions that run on the runner. Actions are reusable pieces of code that can be written in any programming language or packaged as Docker containers. You can use actions from the GitHub Marketplace or create your own actions.


Benefits:

  1. GitHub Actions is fully integrated into GitHub, eliminating the need for external sites.

  2. It provides a variety of pre-built CI templates for easy workflow setup.

  3. Workflows can be tested across multiple containers and operating systems such as Linux, Windows, MacOS, and ARM using self-hosted runners.

  4. GitHub Actions offers an attractive free plan which includes 2000 minutes of workflow execution per month for public repositories and 500 minutes per month for private repositories.

  5. You can use actions from the GitHub Marketplace or create your own actions.

  6. It can be integrated with other DevOps features and services such as GitHub Packages, GitHub CLI, and GitHub Code Scanning.


2. HashiCorp Harness:

HashiCorp Harness is a combination of products and integrations from both HashiCorp and Harness. HashiCorp provides open-source tools and commercial products for automating cloud infrastructure, such as Terraform, Vault, Consul, and Nomad. The harness provides a software delivery platform that uses AI to simplify DevOps processes, such as CI, CD, GitOps, feature flags, cloud costs, and more.


Some of the integrations between HashiCorp and Harness are:

  • Vault & Harness: Harness allows you to use HashiCorp Vault as your Harness secrets manager. Vault manages and stores all secrets used in your Harness account and deployments.

  • Terraform Provider for Harness: The Terraform Harness Provider allows you to manage resources in Harness CD.

  • Harness Terraform Cloud Connector: The Harness Terraform Cloud connector connects with your Terraform Cloud & Enterprise account that allows users to dynamically add steps into infrastructure workflow using their Provisioner Identifier.

  • Harness Cloud Cost Management: Harness Cloud Cost Management (CCM) is a cloud cost management solution that provides engineers and DevOps granular detail of their resource consumption hourly. CCM integrates with HashiCorp Terraform to provide cost estimates for infrastructure changes.

Benefits:

  1. It allows for faster and easier configuration of applications using YAML files and Git commits.

  2. Provides a web-based dashboard that allows you to monitor and control your delivery pipelines

  3. Automated verification and governance features ensure your applications meet the required standards and regulations.

  4. It has lower operations costs and a higher return on investment.


3. Thanos:

Thanos is an open-source project that extends the functionality of Prometheus by adding features such as high availability, global query view, unlimited retention, and downsampling. Thanos allows you to create multiple instances of Prometheus, deduplicate data, and archive data in long-term storage like AWS-S3 or other providers. Thanos introduces multiple key components in order to cover the shortcomings and take the monitoring to the next level.


Thanos works by adding several components to the Prometheus setup, such as:

  • Sidecar: A sidecar container that runs alongside each Prometheus instance and uploads its data to an object storage service, such as AWS S3, Google Cloud Storage, or Azure Blob Storage. The sidecar also exposes a gRPC API that allows querying the Prometheus data.

  • Store: A store gateway that serves as a proxy for the data stored in the object storage. It implements the same gRPC API as the sidecar and can handle deduplication, downsampling, and caching of the metrics.

  • Query: A query component that can query multiple Prometheus instances, sidecars, and store gateways through their gRPC APIs. It provides a unified view of the metrics and supports the Prometheus query language (PromQL).

  • Compact: A compact component that performs compaction and downsampling of the data stored in the object storage. It also applies retention policies and deletes old data.

  • Ruler: A ruler component that evaluates Prometheus recording and alerting rules against the query API. It can send alerts to Alertmanager or write new metrics to a remote write endpoint.

By using Thanos, you can scale your Prometheus setup by enabling querying of your metrics across multiple Prometheus servers and clusters. You can also extend the system with the object storage of your choice to store your metrics for an unlimited time.


Benefits:

  1. It ensures that metrics are always available even if some of your Prometheus servers or clusters are unreachable.

  2. It reduces the size and resolution of historical data for faster query performance and lower storage costs.

  3. It uses the same data format and query language as Prometheus, so you can use the same tool and dashboards that you want such as Grafana and others.


4. HashiCorp Sentinel:

HashiCorp Sentinel is a policy as code framework that enables fine-grained, logic-based policy decisions for HashiCorp Enterprise products, such as Terraform, Vault, Consul, and Nomad. Sentinel allows you to treat policy like an application — version control, pull review, and automate tests. You can use real programming constructs to determine policy decisions beyond the limited constraints of typical ACL systems.


Sentinel works by embedding into the HashiCorp products and enforcing policies in front of their APIs. Policies are written in the Sentinel language, which is a high-level declarative language that supports conditional logic, iteration, functions, imports, and more. Policies can also source external information from other systems or services to make holistic policy decisions.


Benefits:

  1. You can reject actions on any available input rather than coarse-grained read, write, and admin policies.

  2. You can choose between advisory, soft-mandatory, and hard-mandatory levels to allow policy writers to warn about or reject offending behavior.

  3. You can use the same tools and workflows for application code to manage the policies.

  4. It can integrate with third-party DevOps software tools using the sentinel plug-in software developer's kit (SDK).


5. Pulumi:

Pulumi is an open-source infrastructure as a code tool that utilizes the most popular programming languages to simplify provisioning and managing cloud resources. Pulumi supports multiple cloud providers, such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Kubernetes, and more.


Pulumi works by using a cloud object model and an evaluation runtime to translate code written in languages like Python, TypeScript, Go, or C# into cloud API calls. Pulumi also provides a CLI and a web console to interact with your infrastructure.


Benefits:

  1. You can leverage existing libraries and frameworks to reuse code and logic.

  2. You can easily use the features like loops, conditionals, functions, and classes to reduce the complexity.

  3. Pulumi's state management and concurrency control will help you to handle dependencies and updates.

  4. View the history, status, and configuration of your stacks using Pulumi's web console.


6. Maven:

Maven is a popular open-source build tool developed by the Apache Group to build, publish, and deploy several projects at once for better project management. Maven is based on the concept of a project object model (POM), which is an XML file that describes the project structure, dependencies, plugins, goals, and more.


Maven works by following a standard build lifecycle that consists of several phases, such as compile, test, package, install, and deploy. Each phase can be associated with one or more goals, which are tasks that Maven can execute. Maven also supports plugins that can extend the functionality of Maven and provide custom goals.


Benefits:

  1. Provides a uniform way of building and managing projects across different languages, platforms, and frameworks.

  2. You can use the same commands and configuration files for any Maven project.

  3. It can help you to automate the entire process of building, testing, and deploying your applications.

  4. It can be integrated with other DevOps tools such as Jenkins, Azure DevOps, or GitHub Actions.

  5. It can automatically download and resolve the dependencies of your project from a central repository or a custom one.


7. Jenkins:

Jenkins is an open-source automation platform that can help companies significantly speed up their software or application development processes. Jenkins is one of the most popular DevOps tools for continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD).


Jenkins works by using pipelines, which are sequences of steps that define how to build, test, and deploy the code. Pipelines can be written in a declarative or scripted syntax, or using a graphical user interface (GUI). Jenkins also supports plugins that can extend their functionality and integrate with other DevOps tools, such as Git, Docker, Maven, and more.


Benefits:

  1. It can handle any kind of software project, regardless of the language, framework, or platform.

  2. You can customize it as per your specific needs and preferences.

  3. It can run on any machine, from a single server to a distributed cluster.

  4. You can use Jenkins agents to distribute the workload across multiple machines and environments.

  5. It will help you to automate the recovery and rollback processes.


8. Selenium:

Selenium is an open-source automated testing tool that works on a web framework and only tests web applications. Selenium is one of the most popular DevOps tools for continuous testing, as it supports automation testing of a wide range of browsers.


Selenium works by using drivers that interact with different browsers and run the test scripts. Selenium supports multiple programming languages, such as Java, Python, C#, Ruby, and more. Selenium also supports parallel test execution, which reduces the time taken in test execution.


Benefits:

  1. It is a free tool. It does not require any licensing fees or maintenance costs.

  2. You can use it on multiple operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Linux, and more.

  3. Can test web applications on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.

  4. It allows you to use your preferred programming languages and IDE to write and execute your test scripts.

  5. It can handle complex and large-scale web applications with ease.


9. Docker:

Docker is a container-based software that allows developers to package, deploy, and run applications without having to configure servers and virtual machines. Docker uses a Docker engine to automate the development, deployment, and management of containerized applications on single nodes. Docker also supports multi-platform development and deployment, including cloud platforms.


Docker works by creating isolated environments called containers for each application. Containers contain the application’s code, libraries, frameworks, and dependencies. Containers can run independently from the host operating system and can be easily moved across different environments. This improves the portability, security, and scalability of applications.


Benefits:

  1. It will reduce the overhead of managing servers and virtual machines, and optimize the resource usage of the underlying operating system.

  2. It enables faster development cycles, the highest software quality, and better collaborations.

  3. Docker ensures that the applications run consistently across different environments, reducing compatibility issues and bugs.

  4. It can integrate with other DevOps tools such as Jenkins, Maven, Puppet, and Kubernetes.

  5. Docker allows for seamless portability of applications across different environments, such as development, testing, staging, and production.


10. Puppet:

Puppet is an open-source tool that is widely used for infrastructure automation and configuration management. Puppet uses declarative language to define infrastructure resources and has a powerful workflow engine that allows you to manage complex infrastructure deployments. Puppet supports a wide range of platforms and cloud providers, making it a versatile tool.


Puppet works by using a master-agent architecture, where the master server stores the desired state of the infrastructure and the agents run on the nodes that need to be configured. The agents periodically check with the master server for any changes and apply them to their nodes using Puppet modules, which are reusable collections of code and data. Puppet also provides a web-based dashboard that allows you to monitor and control your infrastructure.


Benefits:

  1. It enables you to define your infrastructure as code (IAC) with the ease of coding a few puppet scripts. IAC includes version control, peer review, automated testing and deployment, and continuous delivery.

  2. Provides flexibility to handle different scenarios and environments using modules, classes, variables, and hiera data.

  3. It will improve security by keeping track of configuration changes at regular intervals, enforcing policies, and auditing actions.

  4. It can be integrated with other DevOps tools such as Docker, Jenkins, Terraform, and Ansible.


Key consideration while Selecting the best DevOps Tool

When selecting the best DevOps tool for your organization, there are several key considerations to keep in mind. These considerations can help ensure that the tool you choose aligns with your specific requirements and maximizes the benefits of your DevOps practices. Here are some essential factors to consider:

  1. Scalability: Assess whether the tool can scale effectively to accommodate your organization's growth and increasing demands. It should handle larger workloads without compromising performance or stability.

  2. Integration Capabilities: Determine how well the tool integrates with your existing infrastructure, applications, and technologies. Seamless integration is crucial for streamlining workflows and ensuring smooth collaboration between different teams.

  3. Flexibility and Customization: Look for a tool that offers flexibility and customization options to tailor it to your organization's unique processes and requirements. This allows you to adapt and evolve your DevOps practices without limitations.

  4. Automation and Orchestration: Evaluate the tool's automation and orchestration capabilities. It should automate repetitive tasks, enable efficient deployment pipelines, and provide comprehensive management and monitoring of your software systems.

  5. Security and Compliance: Prioritize tools that prioritize security features and compliance with industry standards and regulations. Protecting sensitive data and maintaining compliance is essential for the success of your DevOps operations.

  6. Community and Support: Consider the strength of the tool's community and the availability of support resources. A vibrant community can provide valuable insights, resources, and opportunities for collaboration, while robust support ensures prompt assistance when needed.

  7. Cost and ROI: Assess the tool's cost in relation to the value it brings to your organization. Consider the return on investment (ROI) and weigh the benefits against the associated expenses to make an informed decision.

Conclusion

Selecting the top DevOps tools for your organization is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your software development and operations processes. By considering key factors such as scalability, integration capabilities, flexibility, automation, security, community support, and cost, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your specific needs.

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