SDLC Solutions for the Release Discipline
Traditionally, software application administrators or release managers kept track of which releases existed on the different environments. Controlling releases were difficult, with hotfixes going through extensive functional testing prior to upgrading production servers. In a DevOps cycle, the entire team works together to ensure each release performs according to the requirements over a period of time. Once software is updated, verified, and packaged, the DevOps team stages the release via a tool that tracks all approvals and automates the actual deployment.
Release management requires planning, build and configuration testing, quality assurance reviews, and security compliance to be in place. As agility remains the focus for DevOps teams, automating most of these (wherever possible) greatly improves the CI/CD process.
Release Management and Automation tools enable DevOps teams to orchestrate releases using pipelines across various point tools, environments, and from different teams. After a new release becomes available, the DevOps team plans, schedules, tracks, and deploys the software using automated tools.
Automated rollback plans ensure that teams can recover from unexpected results quickly and without large-scale operational disruptions. Additional features include strategy management for rolling releases, blue and green rollout paths, as well as canary deployments to ensure zero downtime during the release phase.
As part of the DevOps cycle, the team’s overall goal remains the continuous delivery of reliable software into the production environment frequently, often several times a day. Once the code passes the automated testing and quality assurance requirements, continuous delivery requires ongoing collaboration between teams involved in the process.
Continuous delivery requires the teams to stage the code and then for the business units to determine when the deployment should take place. As the business units remain in control of the release, the DevOps team stages the code in a tool where the BU can action the release.
Continuous deployment is a practice where DevOps teams automate every aspect of the release process. Instead of pushing releases, the production environment pulls the software as soon as it passes all the automated checks.
Automated continuous deployment tools have powerful automation features, which include comprehensive testing, policy management, configuration management, package management, and source version control.