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August 30, 2017

Implementing Dev-Ops Practices With Azure

Posted By
Aureus Tech Systems

Basics of Dev-Ops 

The relationship between developers and operations people is at the heart of good dev-ops practices.By taking the insights of the user-end side of implementing an application to the development team, communicating possibilities and limitations of developers, and creating a productive development cycle with high-velocity release of quality applications, dev-ops tools promise to improve both developer productivity and efficiency in implementing applications.While there are a number of tools that are helpful for implementing Dev-Ops, the most important piece of Dev-Ops practices is open and honest communication. Conversations about your dev-ops strategy should include operations people, developers, and corporate leadership. Such discussions should occur regularly as a part of your overall strategy.Finding the right cloud-based development and deployment environment that all parties can use is an important step. Azure is a great solution for this piece; Microsoft's development and deployment platform is one of the best and offers unprecedented flexibility and compatibility with legacy deployment environments.

Dev-Ops Tools with Azure

Microsoft Azure provides a consistent environment for Dev-Ops practices in application deployment.These are some of the many automated features that Azure offers to help streamline development with continuous testing and deployment.

Dynamic Development and Testing Environment

Azure provides a stable development and testing environment before deployment. As one might expect, in integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Visual Studio.The tools within the Azure platform enable performance testing and an in-browser integrated development environment (IDE) for web applications.The performance test feature allows developers to test application performance by performing simulated usage at any scale. This simulated deployment and usage testing allows Azure users to look at specific deployment usage and performance metrics, such as CPU time-per-task, average response time, and task-specific memory usage before ever deploying the product.The IDE enables changes to site files and folder from the Azure user portal, which boosts production efficiency by allowing developers to control project flow from the same interface. Changes made through the Azure IDE are immediately usable and testable, and are deployed in real-time if made to live applications.The metrics generated by Azure's performance testing is complimented by its static code testing features and can help isolate and address performance issues before product release.

Jenkins Integration

Azure is compatible with Jenkins and most other common Dev-ops platforms via a flexible virtual machine environment.To instantiate Jenkins in the Azure, use the CLI and configure the cloud-run VM for Jenkins by following this step-by-step tutorial by Microsoft.With a Github webhook interface, you can use your cloud-based Jenkins environment and automatically deploy changes to your application master branch to your application. This creates an easy-to-use alpha testing environment.A final beta-phase release can be run flexibly from the cloud with Docker, which will help your DevOps team manage version control, A-B tests, and optimization testing.

Continuous Deployment of Source Code from Repositories

Azure rapidly and automatically deploys web applications from any number of popular web repositories. This enables continuous deployment and rapid change implementation for applications. This feature makes legacy app migration simple.Once Azure is linked to a source code repository, it's enabled to continually deploy updates to that repository in real-time. This fundamental Dev-ops feature is simple to enable but is, of course, optional in the case of unstable updates to source code.

Version Control and Release Management Tools

Azure enables simultaneous deployments of the same source code for development of new features, enabling application administrators to test new features in a development instance while deploying stable source code in the live case. This same feature is easy to leverage for A-B testing of new features as well.Additionally, Azure offers flexible release control. Users can specify continuous release, build more complex release pipelines within the Azure framework, or leverage existing third-party release management systems. This enables development and operations teams to control versions and releases from the same Azule interface and is a powerful tool for boosting productivity and Dev-Ops synergy.

Web Application Development Environment

The benefit that Azure offers to development and operations teams is the ability to perform development, administrative, and operations tasks from the same framework. There are obvious memory performance, data sharing and security benefits to this approach. Additionally, collaboration between developers and administrators is smoother from within the same system.Azure fully supports legacy application migration and is enabled to run virtual machines, Linux or Windows server systems and supports almost any application environment. Additionally, it provides an excellent development environment for new products.Applications that are built within Azure's development environment are optimized to run on the Windows cloud service network or from a locally deployed instance of the Azure framework. When a company adopts the Azure framework, it's best to shift all development tasks to the Azure interface. To optimize application performance and scalability, it's usually a good idea to re-write applications from scratch on the Azure platform. It's simple to run a legacy application while developing its replacement.

Application Troubleshooting and Monitoring

Web applications running on Azure are enabled to run with Microsoft's diagnostics as a service and live support. It provides a number of customizable logging tools that enable event viewer, memory dump and HTTP logs.With the web server logging enabled for a specific application, Dev-Ops teams can benefit from Azure-generated browser-based diagnostic reports with relevant data for developers and operators to make informed decisions and prioritize project backlogs with insight.The Azure live application platform enables operators to monitor live application processes in real-time. This allows more specific insight about metrics of specific application processes that can pinpoint performance issues. Operators can perform tasks such as process recycling and can enable or disable data collection processes in real-time.Teams can upload diagnostic data to support the Azure diagnostic platform. Microsoft support offers streamlined diagnostics with its automated application troubleshooting and logging processes.

Live Application Management

For application administrators, Azure offers a number of runtime application management features such as backup data and recovery processes and user authentication and access controls.Live applications running on the Azure platform benefit from automated data backup processes. Backed-up data is simple for operators to restore instantly. This makes it easy for a Dev-Ops team to build a fast "disaster recovery" system that can minimize application downtime in the event of unexpected data loss.Application user identity and authentication services are simple to manage in Azure. It connects automatically with a number of identity provider websites ,such as popular social media services, to allow operators to easily control user authentication, as well as an easy interface to administer a native user authentication protocol.Operators perform role-based access control (RBAC) on up-and-running applications in Azure. This gives operators the ability to quickly address authentication and user access issues with instantaneous deployment.

Designed for Dev-Ops

The Azure platform is intuitive and gives both developers and operators a uniform interface to work on in-development, beta, or full-production applications.With the underlying strategy of bringing developers and operators together in a collaborative environment, Azure is an ideal platform for encouraging rapid and continuous deployment. It's flexible, enabling uniform metrics and reporting from both legacy and native applications.With design inspired by Dev-Ops practices, Azure is an ideal environment for continuous application deployment.