Connecting Your Cloud & DevOps Tools to Enable CI/CD

The Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline must seamlessly integrate cloud and DevOps tools to ensure that application creation, compiling, testing, and release are accomplished efficiently and without friction.

Application architectures, internal processes, and personal preferences mean that organizations and teams set up their CI/CD pipeline differently, resulting in a diversity of infrastructure and tools across software delivery lines. While innovation requires the freedom to use whatever is needed to deliver applications, the resulting diversity can be a major challenge for integration. What is needed is a platform built for DevOps that seamlessly connects the DevOps ecosystem and CI/CD pipeline tools.

There are two ways to do this.

One is the use of REST APIs. REST is a popular choice due to its simplicity and the fact that it is based on existing HTTP systems and features. It avoids the need to create new standards, frameworks and technologies. Another benefit of using an integrated REST-based approach is that many developers are familiar with key elements of the REST architecture, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption and Transport Layer Security (TLS). Additionally, REST is language independent. As such, developers can use any language that uses HTTP when building REST APIs so that developers can choose the technologies they are familiar with and that best suit their needs.

Another approach is to look for a platform that supports out-of-the-box integration with commonly used cloud and DevOps tools. Naturally, every DevOps company and team uses a specific set of tools. But it is safe to assume that there are widely used tools that should be included in any list. Some useful plugin integrations to look for include those for Amazon S3, Azure DevOps, Bamboo, CircleCI, Github, Jenkins, TeamCity, Terraform, and more.

The benefits of integration and how to amplify them

Integrating cloud tools and DevOps into a CI/CD pipeline offers many benefits.

The built-in integration will help developers get the most value out of the pipeline. For example, off-the-shelf integration can be leveraged to help provide more automated testing and faster release time. why? If tools are not integrated, developers need to go through a slow manual process to deploy, configure, and optimize tools for their development environment. This is a time consuming process. Those who are involved in the process waste time on their real work. In the absence of integration, multiple teams across the organization may waste time doing the same processes to get the tools to work. Perhaps the most worrisome tools are manual integration that can lead to potential errors and vulnerabilities.

Highly integrated tools help encourage collaboration. In many companies, it’s easy for different projects and different development teams to fall into isolated working patterns. Different groups will use different tools. Integrating cloud tools and DevOps into the CI/CD pipeline allows for realistic standardization of operations. It is in this sense that best practices usually emerge from familiarity with the use of the same tools. Smart companies will capitalize on lessons learned and ensure that corporate knowledge is shared across teams. Once a basic level of participation is achieved, the different groups are more likely to directly query each other and work together to get the most out of the tools.

What is required?

Realizing the benefits of integrating Cloud and DevOps tools into a CI/CD pipeline requires a proper platform. The right platform should effortlessly provide infrastructure and application resources to development teams.

A solution that provides self-service access to infrastructure needs more than just automation. The solution should help the company monitor resource usage and costs. Specifically, providing a way to link costs to business units, projects, and individual developers.

With this offering, the company gets the full benefits that arise when cloud tools and DevOps are integrated into the CI/CD pipeline.

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