Bridging the Gap between Development and Deployment

By standardizing infrastructure and app services across production and development, developers will be coding and DevOps building and testing in a consistent environment.

Lori MacVittie

January 20, 2020

3 Min Read
Bridging the Gap between Development and Deployment
(Source: Pixabay)

App deployment typically occurs after app delivery. While delivery is the purview of developers and DevOps practitioners, deployment falls squarely on the shoulders of IT Ops, NetOps, and SecOps. These teams are responsible for the deployment of the myriad app services that make up the data path responsible for scaling and securing the app.

Taken together, these two processes are responsible for taking an app from conception to completion, from code to the customer.

And while we see a rise in continuous deployment, 27% of developers still report that either code review or deploying to production is the biggest source of delay in delivering apps (2019 Global Software Engineering Report from Gitlab).

How can ops - who our research shows remain primarily responsible for deploying and operating app services in production - help address this delay without compromising on security?

We see in the rise of containers and open source one solution: standardization of infrastructure across development and deployment. There have been a plethora of studies that call out the discovery of issues when an app takes its first steps into production. This is often because the app has been developed in an environment that is not replicated in production. Differences in networking, app services, and infrastructure can introduce variables that were unaccounted for and lead to delays while issues are resolved.

This is frustrating for both ops and dev, who must put aside time to troubleshoot, test, and redeploy. This time takes away from innovation and from the development of apps that drive the business forward.

By standardizing infrastructure and app services across production and development, developers will be coding and DevOps building and testing in a consistent environment. This helps to discover quirks and issues earlier and ensure a smoother transition to the production environment.

This is especially critical for addressing security concerns, as all too often, it is security services that are eliminated or delayed in order to meet deadlines. Access control and app security are extremely app-centric and require configuration and policies designed for a single app. Those policies and configurations should be available to developers as early in the process as possible to ensure applications work seamlessly with the app services providing security and scale.

In the past, standardizing these components was expensive and difficult due to the nature of app services that were tethered to network appliances. But the rise of containers and open source have provided affordable, container-native options for app services that make it possible to ensure a consistent environment across production and development.

The rise of open-source, cloud-based repositories and toolsets for automation and orchestration, too, provide perfect platforms for enabling a seamless transition from delivery to deployment. We see tools such as GitLab, GitHub, and Jenkins increasingly making inroads into production environments as the means by which network and application services are deployed and operated.

This sharing of standardized infrastructure, app services, and toolsets is the best way for organizations to address the speed and frequency desired for delivery by developers without compromising on the security and stability demanded by the business to ensure the customer experience.

About the Author(s)

Lori MacVittie

Principal Technical Evangelist, Office of the CTO at F5 Networks

Lori MacVittie is the principal technical evangelist for cloud computing, cloud and application security, and application delivery and is responsible for education and evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University. She also serves on the Board of Regents for the DevOps Institute and CloudNOW, and has been named one of the top influential women in DevOps.

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights