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InfoQ eMag: DevOps Toolchain for Beginners


Culture, collaboration and sharing are keywords for enabling DevOps in any organization. Adopting tools doesn’t magically create a DevOps culture, but designing and sharing the right tool chain for the organization can bring about important benefits. Time to deliver is reduced and perhaps more importantly becomes predictable. Automation saves time in the long run which can be used for forging a DevOps culture and improving collaboration.

Furthermore, a clearly laid out toolchain illustrates the flow of work from inception to operations thus improving visibility of work to be done and promoting continuous feedback. Typically such a toolchain requires infrastructure, provisioning and configuration management tools for testing and deployment, but also build/delivery pipelines to move code from source control all the way to running in production. And let's not forget the need for some monitoring love!

This eMag aims at providing an overview of an example set of tools that would constitute a typical toolchain. These are popular tools today, but you should look at them as illustrations of the kind of tasks and workflows you might need to perform in your organization as you move along a DevOps path.

The crucial part is understanding your own journey, your system requirements and getting all the teams sharing a workflow that is conducive to continuous delivery and feedback.

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Contents of the DevOps Toolchain for Beginners eMag include:

  • Orchestrating Your Delivery Pipelines with Jenkins - Andrew Phillips and Jenkins creator Kohsuke Kawaguchi review state-of-the-art plugins and solutions in the Jenkins ecosystem for achieving efficient, reproducible and secure delivery pipelines.
  • Docker: Using Linux Containers to Support Portable Application Deployment - Docker is an open source tool to run applications inside of a Linux container, a kind of light-weight virtual machine. In addition to running, it also offers tools to distribute containerized applications through the Docker index -- or your own hosted Docker registry -- simplifying the process of deploying complex applications.
  • Chef and Cookbook Development Flow - “Infrastructure as Code” is a tenet of the DevOps community. But treating Infrastructure as Code is a tall order. Development practices have also evolved rapidly and nowadays that means continuous integration, automated tests and more. We’ll make a brief introdution to Chef, a well-known IT automation tool, and use it to illustrate the state of the art.
  • Introduction to Puppet - In this article Susannah Axelrod, gives an overview of both Puppet, the language, and Puppet, the platform, discussing all the main concepts around them. Susannah also writes about how to start an Infrastructure as Code initiative as well as sharing additional learning resources for those who want to know Puppet in-depth.
  • Interview and Book Review: The LogStash Book, Log Management Made Easy - James Turnbull makes a compelling case for using Logstash for centralizing logging by explaining the implementation details of Logstash within the context of a logging project. The book targets both small companies and large enterprises through a two sided case; both for the low barrier to entry and the scaling capabilities.
  • Getting Started with Monitoring using Graphite - Setting up a new monitoring system might seem daunting at first. Franklin guides us through the first steps and explains the architecture and inner workings of a Graphite-based monitoring system. Key takeaways are understanding time series data and configuration, datapoint formats, aggregation methods and retention.

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InfoQ eMags are professionally designed, downloadable collections of popular InfoQ content - articles, interviews, presentations, and research - covering the latest software development technologies, trends, and topics.