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10 Tools For DevOps Success

  • As the DevOps movement drives IT departments into improving collaboration between developers, infrastructure pros, QA and test, and even security folks, tech leaders are learning that DevOps is above all else an IT culture shift. "Doing DevOps" is more about changing processes and simplifying workflows between groups than it is about employing new tools or services. That's why there will never be a magical DevOps-in-a-box tool.

    But at the same time, that's not to say that DevOps shops can't get some major benefits out of the right set of tools. These are tools that make it easier to share information and tasks, and to automate the heck out of processes, cutting down on time to deploy and ultimately helping organizations get closer to the continuous integration and deployment ideals that DevOps has evolved around.  

    Some of the most visible tools in the DevOps toolbox are configuration management platforms that employ the idea of abstracting infrastructure components into code in order to automate and orchestrate continuous delivery's constant churn of new and old environments. Others are tools that help standardize builds, improve collaboration between infrastructure pros and developers, or monitor systems.

    We've included some no-brainer tools that have already garnered a ton of DevOps buzz, along with a few sleeper hits that are helping some DevOps organizations succeed.

    To learn more about DevOps and its impact on enterprise networks, attend the DevOps for Networking Summit led by network automation guru Jason Edelman at Interop Las Vegas this spring. Don't miss out! Register now for Interop,  May 2-6, and receive $200 off.

  • Puppet Labs


    Puppet is arguably the most well-established of these configuration management platforms. It tends to be favored by organizations whose DevOps push was driven by ops people who like the simplicity of its declarative programming language and gentler learning curve.

  • Chef


    Following close behind is Chef, the other heavyweight option in a growing field of DevOps- friendly configuration management tools, which also include choices like Saltstack, Ansible and CFEngine. For Chef's part, it tends to offer a greater degree of flexibility than Puppet for those who have the chops to program infrastructure via this Ruby-driven platform. As a result, Chef tends to be well-loved by organizations whose DevOps programs are more heavily championed by the developers.

  • Docker


    To "Dockerize" an app is almost becoming a legit verb for DevOps teams who use this containerization tool as an open platform that makes it easier for developers and sys admins to push code from development to production without the inevitable hiccups that come from using different, clashing environments during the entire application lifecycle. It offers standardizations to keep the ops folks happy and the flexibility to use just about any language or tool chain to keep the dev team satisfied.

  • Jenkins


    This open source continuous integration server is gaining steam quickly in the DevOps community for the help it offers developers in building and testing software continuously as well as its ability to monitor externally-run jobs such as cron jobs and procmail to see when things go wrong -- an invaluable tool for DevOps organizations increasing the scale of automation to enable continuous delivery.

  • Git

    As organizations glom onto DevOps and accelerate the speed of their delivery, maintaining better control of versioning grows proportionally in importance. Git is quickly becoming a go-to version control system for DevOps shops looking to do a better job at sharing and tracking changes to code and configurations.

  • Nagios


    Like a lot of the tools listed here, Nagios is hardly a "DevOps tool" in and of itself. IT departments were using it to monitor infrastructure for performance and conflicts long before DevOps came along. However, Nagios helps DevOps organizations as the model increases the criticality of looking for infrastructure problems quickly in their rapid-fire development cycles.

  • New Relic


    Meanwhile, on the application performance monitoring front, New Relic fits the bill for a lot of DevOps and Agile teams. With information pumped out into highly visual dashboards, teams get a view of how well applications are doing in production, along with a host of alerting capabilities based on key metrics.

  • ScriptRock GuardRail


    The idea behind ScriptRock's GuardRail platform is to help centralize information in the inherently distributed world of DevOps. It give teams the ability to pool configuration information in a single repository to give them the power to develop pre-defined packages for common systems and minimize configuration drift while maintaining the breakneck pace of continuous delivery.

  • Logstash

    Part of the beauty of DevOps is the ability to speed up the feedback loop to developers on how well their applications are performing in the real world of live production. Many teams are using Logstash to help organizations condense and analyze log file information to glean performance and behavioral metrics. Many organizations are amplifying the benefit by tying them into the Elasticsearch analytics engine and the Graphite visualization tool.