Application Release Automation.

Dec 21, 2021. By S V Aditya

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Application Release Automation

Agility is the keyword for all modern enterprises that create software products. It promises fast adoption, fast delivery, and efficient organization. It is the key to beating your competitors. It is the need of the hour. Enterprises are constantly pushing to keep up with the rapid changes in technology. Take Kubernetes, for instance. It was released first in 2014 - just over 6 years ago - and is almost universal in modern software architecture. Concepts are evolving fast and being adopted fast. Modern software practices require enterprises to respond at a rapid pace, integrate practices quickly, and react with, well, agility. This means automating all processes where possible to cut down on manual delays and unnecessary speed bumps. And one of the biggest speed-bumps is the application release cycle. The challenge of modern software deployment Most enterprises now deploy software faster - with micro-updates and small fixes pushed as often as weekly or even bi-weekly. This requires coordination with multiple teams while ensuring the updates are well-tested, integrate seamlessly into the overall product, and are completely maintainable. This is a mammoth task for all DevOps teams that are constantly pushed to their limits with many challenges. Firstly, the development environment is almost always different from a production environment. Code that is tested in a development environment must be tested again by QA in a testing environment and a staging environment before production. Any changes - like dependencies or environment variables must be replicated across the board. This adds delays when people are involved with frequent miscommunications. It is also not uncommon in large enterprises to have the developer test a different version from the tester, leading to more unnecessary back and forth. Moreover, there could be changes to databases that must be replicated in staging and production. These changes must be carried over through all testing and production databases as well, adding further delays. There is also the matter of external services. A lot of modern software is built using external services like third-party gateways or Content Delivery Networks. These services can be region-specific and create issues when the code is tested or deployed in another region. Finally, most enterprises use a multi-cloud deployment. DevOps teams have to track application releases differently for each provider and maintain separate configurations for each release automation tool with these providers. To be efficient, to be effective in release, DevOps needs Application Release Automation. Application Release Automation with AIOps Application Release Automation smoothens out the bottleneck of the release management process by automating all the core aspects of the release process. Once the developer-tested code is ready, an automation engine can first push the code into the version control system and enable code evaluation for process adherence. It can hence enforce adherence to the enterprise coding standards and rules. The workflow can then create an instance of the testing environment which mimics the development environment and run tests on the code against it. Next, it can push the code to the staging environment. Here is where AIOps takes a giant leap forward from current Application Release Automation tools. Most staging environments are built to be as close to production as possible. With AIOps, it is possible to monitor the code in the staging environment and diagnose potential problems far better than with current Application monitoring tools. AI models for Incident Recognition and Anomaly Detection are built to predict events before they happen, they are also capable of analyzing unusual entries in logs, correlating them to KPIs to find erratic behavior. By using the production-level models in a staging environment, DevOps teams can quickly identify potential future issues in production and prevent them before the release stage. On clearing the staging phase (no events generated), the new release can directly be pushed to all the different servers or deployment clusters in production. Release Automation with AI The most key requirement of modern software is high availability and response. With Application Release Automation, it is possible to manage releases with practically no downtime. Moreover, AIOps based observability can quickly spot events generated due to unforeseen bugs and live traffic and initiate an automated rollback in the case of critical events. It can also alert the developers immediately, allowing them to examine the issue more thoroughly, patch it, and then release it. With the use of a neutral platform, enterprises can integrate with any of the cloud providers for their deployment without being locked into a single family of tools when selecting a single provider. AIOps with Application Release Automation adds more insight into the automated release process, simplifies error handling, rolls back errors, and removes the bottleneck enabling a smooth release process for DevOps teams.

To learn more about Algomox AIOps, please visit our application automation page

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