Home | Blog

CI/CD Best Practices for Infrastructure Deployment & Software Delivery Automation

Software services in general are intended to be very valuable, understood, and shared, and so, the business of software delivery is to release software out to users and consumers. Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) provide organisations with the capabilities to deliver software changes of all kinds to users, consistently. There are organisations who ship software/software updates in minutes, not hours, not weeks, months, or longer.  

Lets take a look at CI/CD in depth. 

The CI and CD of CI/CD . 

The CI in CI/CD stands for continuous integration. Continuous integration means that developers often attempt to merge their code changes to a shared repository. It is a system that lets multiple developers to contribute software components to the same project without causing integration issues. When a software change is merged into the repository, CI includes automated testing. 

Continuous Delivery (CD) or Continuous Deployment (CD) are two terms that can be used interchangeably. Both include taking constantly integrated code and making it deployable to a QA (quality assurance) or production environment. Continuous deployment takes the procedure a step further by deploying it to a target environment. 

What is the difference between CI and CD? (A typical question!) 

Software development teams and workflows, benefit from continuous integration (CI). Feature creation is the most difficult task for many development teams. Many businesses are under pressure to perform rapidly while maintaining high levels of quality and innovation. Working with code include writing code, resolving disputes, managing code, and testing, all of which contribute to long deployment lead times, infrequent deployments, and high change failure rates. The solution is to use CI to automate the integration of development changes, hence optimizing the cadence and process of feature development. 

Continuous delivery (CD) makes it possible for operational teams and workflows to be automate and to work together. The goal is to deliver an artifact into a production environment in a safe and repeatable manner. The CD process involves releasing, deploying, and monitoring programs to aid automate the operationalization of services. The rigor of the verification process is increased when an artifact is moved into production or higher settings. Adding more tests to the testing process and to each step or workflow for an environment allows to catch issues before clients notice them. 

What is a CI/CD Pipeline and how does it work?  

The backbone of the current DevOps environment is a CI/CD Pipeline solution, or Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment. It automates the building, testing, and deployment of applications, bridging the gap between development and operations teams. 

Let’s start with a basic grasp of DevOps before going on to the CI/CD pipeline. 

Diagram

Description automatically generated
(Beginner’s Guide to CI/CD Pipeline from Scratch – DZone DevOps, 2021) 

DevOps is a software development methodology that includes continuous development, testing, integration, deployment, and monitoring of software throughout its development lifecycle. All of the top firms use this technique to produce high-quality software with shorter development lifecycles, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, which is something that every company desires. 

Diagram

Description automatically generated
(Beginner’s Guide to CI/CD Pipeline from Scratch – DZone DevOps, 2021) 

The above pipeline depicts how software will progress through the various stages of this lifetime before being delivered to a client or being live in production. 

Let’s look at a CI/CD pipeline situation. Assume you’re developing a web application that will be deployed on live web servers. You will have a team of developers who will write the code and then go on to build the web application. Now, the team of developers will commit this code to a version control system (such as git or svn). The code then passes through the build phase, which is the initial phase of the pipeline, where developers input their code before sending it to a version control system with the appropriate version tag. 

Diagram

Description automatically generated
(Beginner’s Guide to CI/CD Pipeline from Scratch – DZone DevOps, 2021) 

Let us say we have Java code that needs to be built before it can be run. It then moves on to the build phase, where it is compiled, after passing through the version control step. You collect all the features of that code from different branches of the repository, merge them, and then compile it with a compiler. The build phase refers to the entire procedure. 

Diagram

Description automatically generated
(Beginner’s Guide to CI/CD Pipeline from Scratch – DZone DevOps, 2021) 

After the build step is completed, the testing phase begins. Various types of testing are carried out during this time. The unit test (where you test the chunk/unit of software or its sanity test) is one of them. 

Diagram

Description automatically generated
(Beginner’s Guide to CI/CD Pipeline from Scratch – DZone DevOps, 2021) 

After the test is over, you move on to the deploy phase, where you put the code on a staging or test server. You may look at the code or run the app in a simulator right here. 

Diagram

Description automatically generated
(Beginner’s Guide to CI/CD Pipeline from Scratch – DZone DevOps, 2021) 

Once the code is deployed successfully, you can run another sanity test. If everything is accepted, then it can be deployed to production. 

Diagram

Description automatically generated
(Beginner’s Guide to CI/CD Pipeline from Scratch – DZone DevOps, 2021) 

Meanwhile, if a problem occurs at any point during the process, send an email to the development team so that they can correct it. They’ll then commit it to the version control system, and it’ll return to the pipeline. 

If an error is discovered during testing, the input is sent back to the development team, who repair it, and the procedure is repeated if necessary. 

Diagram

Description automatically generated
(Beginner’s Guide to CI/CD Pipeline from Scratch – DZone DevOps, 2021) 

This lifecycle is repeated until we have code/a product that can be deployed to a production server, where the code is measured and validated.


Why CI/CD Pipeline is Great for Code Execution inside CSP Organiations 

  • Software development that is efficient. Testing is easier and more efficient when iterations (steps) are less. Each successive iteration’s narrow scope of code, as well as the scope of testing it, makes it easier to detect and repair issues. Additions are more quickly assessed for utility and user acceptance, and less useful features are easily altered or even abandoned before more development time is lost. 
  • Software that is competitive. Traditional software development methods can take months or even years to complete, and defined specs and requirements aren’t well suited to changing user demands and expectations. Developers can easily react to new and changing needs with CI/CD development, allowing them to make modifications in following iterations. Products developed with CI/CD have a better chance of making it to market faster and with more success. 
  • It’s okay to fail. Because of its quick cyclicality, CI/CD allows developers to try out new coding styles and algorithms with significantly less risk than traditional software development paradigms. If an experiment fails, it will almost certainly never be produced and can be undone in the future iteration. The possibility for competitive innovation is a major motivation for firms to embrace CI/CD. 
  • Improved software upkeep. In traditional software development, issues can take weeks or months to fix, but the continuous flow of a CI/CD pipeline makes it easier to address and repair bugs faster and with greater certainty. Over time, the product has become more stable and reliable. 
  • Better support for operations. Software releases on a regular basis keep operations staff up to date on the software’s requirements and monitoring requirements. Administrators can deliver software upgrades and rollbacks more efficiently, with fewer deployment problems and unnecessary debugging. Similarly, IT automation solutions can aid in the speeding up of deployments while also decreasing setup and configuration problems. 

How CI/CD Pipeline in ahasa ® is used for fast tracking Automation 

ahasa is a cloud service for designing, integrating, and orchestrating containerized applications. It has a robust design studio that enables DevOps teams to integrate applications in a low-code/no-code environment. It has a built-in K8 Engine that allows it to deploy numerous Kubernetes clusters across any infrastructure. It provides integrated tools for monitoring and running containerized workloads to DevSecOps teams. 

Ahasa allows vendors to manage release versions of onboarded products via product versions, allowing them to add new versions, as well as new configurations and API endpoints. Customers will be notified when the vendor releases new versions on Ahasa, and they will be able to update solutions with a single click. 

Using CI/CD in ahasa to Deliver Faster Software Delivery  

The reason for using CI/CD in the product ahasa is because ahasa is CI/CD agnostic, which means it can be used with any available CI/CD. ahasa streamlines operations using true CI/CD integration for applications, notify in real time of application updates and with a single click, you will be able to update the application clusters. 

In order to automate the software delivery process, the implementation of a CI/CD pipeline will be facilitated accordingly and to minimize downtime, ahasa is deploying a new version utilizing the Blue Green deployment approach. Security audits of software artifacts are performed on a regular basis to ensure compliance with OWASP criteria. 

Jenkins 

Jenkins is a free and open-source automation server that manages the central build and continuous integration process. It’s a Java-based tool that comes with packages for Windows, Mac OS X, and other Unix-like operating systems. Jenkins helps building, delivering, and automating software development projects with hundreds of plugins. This tool is used as the deployment automation in product ahasa. 

Key elements of Jenkins include: 

  • On a variety of operating systems, installation and upgrading are simple. 
  • Interface that is simple and easy to use. 
  • Extensible thanks to a large number of community-contributed plugins. 
  • In the user interface, you can easily configure the environment. 
  • Supports master-slave architecture for distributed builds. 
  • Create schedules using expressions. 
  • In pre-build steps, shells and Windows command execution are supported. 
  • Supports build status notification. 

If you have more questions about CI/CD or ahasa, contact us here. Every organization is looking for continuous delivery and software delivery. Why not build, test, deploy and verify your services on-demand with Wavenet ahasa – trial it here.

Reference 

 

Share your thoughts