Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) is about developing better software and delivering it more quickly. But for those early on in their journey, it can seem overwhelming.
Where do you start, and what do you need to succeed?
CloudBees put together an article outlining a few CI/CD and DevOps best practices. We’ve summarized seven of them here, so keep reading to learn more:
1. Focus on Security
This is a top concern for organizations of all types and sizes, as bigger breaches now seem to be happening more often. CI/CD databases are likely to be prime targets because they hold the keys to many locks. Often bad actors search for weak spots in open-source code that can be used to attack application that relies on that code. This is what happened in December 2021 when the Log4j vulnerability was used against global enterprises resulting in confidential data being compromised.
To protect yourself and your data, consider isolating CI/CD systems on secure internal networks, and make sure you are using VPNs, access management, two-factor identification, and other security protocols.
2. Implement Version Control and Tracking
There are a few tools you need to be able to do this effectively. Two of the most common are Git, which allows you to track changes in the code-base and makes rollbacks easier, and Jira, which gives you better visibility into project progress.
3. Commit to Daily Branching
One of the most time-consuming activities for developers tends to be merging a significant number of branches into the trunk just before release. To overcome this, developers need to commit to the mainbranch at least once per day—enabling them to spend more time on development and less on version control overall.
4. Build Once
As part of an effective and efficient CI/CD and DevOps framework, source code should only be built once. This will reduce oversight and minimize the risk that errors could be introduced later.
5. Determine What Will Be Automated First
Especially if you are new to DevOps, a gradual approach is often best. Many organizations choose to begin with automated functional testing, as that doesn’t require frequent updates to the script like UI testing does.
6. Release Often
The best practice here is to add a deployment stage that closely resembles your production environment. Common approaches include:
- Canary: Release to a subset of users, test there, and roll it out if it’s successful.
- Blue Green: Start with two identical production environments, one live in production and one idle. Push updates to the idle environment, and then switch them (idle becomes live and live becomes idle). The benefit of this method is that it’s easy to roll changes back if necessary.
- A/B: Test different features with a version A and a version B. The one that performs better is the winner.
Evaluate your needs to determine which option will be best for you.
7. Employ On-Demand Test Environments
Run tests in containers so QA teams can reduce the number of potential variables and changes between environments. This boosts agility, since your QA team no longer needs to build CI servers and install separate testing environments. It’s also easier to spin up containers and destroy them when they’re not needed.
Making the Most of Enterprise DevOps
A managed DevOps toolchain is the smarter solution for automating software development and delivery:
- Unified, Collaborative CI/CD ToolChain: We integrate configure and manage your favourite tools-as-a-service into one flexible toolchain to simplify and streamline development processes.
- DevOps Consulting Service: Our DevOps experts are here to understand your DevOps and business objectives so we can help make recommendations and implement changes to get you to the end goal quicker. We can also accelerate your team’s onboarding by providing DevOps toolchain and processes best practices.
- Overcome Resource Complexity and Challenges: Spend more time on your core business and rely on experts for your DevOps initiatives. We offer a turnkey toolchain-as-a-service as well as DevOps-as-a-service to be an extension of your DevOps team.