The continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) process is all about developing better software and delivering it more quickly. But for those early on in their journey, it can seem overwhelming. Where do you start, and what do you need to do to succeed?

CloudBees put together an article outlining a few CI/CD and DevOps best practices. We’ve summarized seven of them here, so keep reading to learn more:

1. Focus on Security

This is a top concern for organizations of all types and sizes, as bigger breaches now seem to be happening more often. CI/CD databases are likely to be prime targets because, in short, they hold the keys to many locks. This is what happened to Uber in October 2016 when hackers accessed the company’s AWS credentials via its GitHub repository and went on to steal the personal information of more than 55 million users and 600,000 drivers.

To protect yourself and your data, consider isolating CI/CD systems on secure internal networks, and make sure you are using VPNs, access management, two-factor identification, and other security protocols.

2. Implement Version Control and Tracking

There are a few tools you need to be able to do this effectively. Two of the most common are Git, which allows you to track changes in the code-base and makes rollbacks easier, and Jira, which gives you better visibility into project progress.

3. Commit to Daily Branching

One of the most time-consuming activities for developers tends to be merging a significant number of branches into the trunk just before release. To overcome this, developers need to commit to the main branch at least once per day—enabling them to spend more time on development and less on version control overall.

4. Build Once

As part of an effective and efficient CI/CD and DevOps framework, source code should only be built once. This will reduce oversight and minimize the risk that errors could be introduced later.

5. Determine What Will Be Automated First

Especially if you are new to DevOps, a gradual approach is often best. Many organizations choose to begin with automated functional testing, as that doesn’t require frequent updates to the script like UI testing does.

6. Release Often

The best practice here is to add a deployment stage that closely resembles your production environment. Common approaches include:

  • Canary: Release to a subset of users, test there, and roll it out if it’s successful.
  • Blue Green: Start with two identical production environments, one live in production and one idle. Push updates to the idle environment, and then switch them (idle becomes live and live becomes idle). The benefit of this method is that it’s easy to roll changes back if necessary.
  • A/B: Test different features with a version A and a version B. The one that performs better is the winner.

Evaluate your needs to determine which option will be best for you.

7. Employ On-Demand Test Environments

Run tests in containers so QA teams can reduce the number of potential variables and changes between environments. This boosts agility, since your QA team no longer needs to build CI servers and install separate testing environments. It’s also easier to spin up containers and destroy them when they’re not needed.

Making the Most of Enterprise DevOps

A managed DevOps toolchain is the smarter solution for automating software development and delivery:

  • Unified, Collaborative CI/CD Tool Chain: We integrate configure, and manage your favourite tools-as-a-service into one flexible toolchain to simplify and streamline development processes.
  • DevOps Consulting Service: Our DevOps experts are here to understand your DevOps and business objectives so we can help make recommendations and implement changes to get you to the end goal quicker. We can also accelerate your team’s onboarding by providing DevOps tool chain and processes best practices.
  • Overcome Resource Complexity and Challenges: Spend more time on your core business and rely on experts for your DevOps initiatives. We offer a DevOps SaaS Platform, a turnkey toolchain-as-a-service as well as DevOps-as-a-service solution to enable you to deliver your software faster and with higher quality through our automation processes, partner-certified expertise and best practices.

About iTMethods:

iTMethods helps companies accelerate software delivery capabilities through their Cloud-native DevOps SaaS Platform. The Enterprise SaaS offering features a toolchain catalog comprised of best-of-breed DevOps tools including CloudBees Jenkins, Github, Atlassian, Sonatype, and many more. These tools are deployed to each customer’s specific requirements, including security, scalability, and 24/7 customer support. Learn more at itmethods.com.

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Darya Winters

Darya is a passionate marketer who loves writing about Technology, distill SaaS benefits and research the most current Cloud enablement tools. With 5 years in B2B and Tech sector, Darya provides actionable insight on DevOps and Continuous Delivery trends.