by: Hemanth Panditi, Fintelics Content Writer
Roadmap To Becoming a DevOps Engineer
This article will explore a suggested roadmap to securing a Devops engineer role.
What is Devops?
It is a short form of “development” and “operations.” In an IT team, the development side consists of the team responsible for writing the software. Here, coders will create the software using a technical stack. This could include LAMP, JAM, MERN and MEAN stacks just to name a few. This part of the team will add code to a repository. The operations side will handle the clients and users. This causes too many tasks to be done by one individual team alone as it complicates the workflow. Devops is the solution to this. The devops engineer serves as the bridge between the development and operations team and focuses on aspects like integration and delivery.
The following are the main areas to know for a Devops role: operating systems, infrastructure servers, CI/CD, monitoring and logging.
Operating Systems: The main system to be familiar with is Linux. This is an operating system that is open-source and is also secure and effective. It is offered in various distributions, code from open-source projects that are compiled and ready to be downloaded and used for the user. Its scalability features allow engineers to perform configuring based on unique requirements. Common tasks that needed to be performed are alterations of file permissions, port research, functions of directories and SSH key management.
Source Control: This is essentially a way of keeping a track of any changes in code. It aids developers in seeing any alterations that were made to the software. An important tool for this task is Git. This is separate from GitHub, which is an online platform to storehouse code repositories. Git is used for code management and is available to all as it is open-source. One can perform tasks for code such as add, commit, push and pull. The usage of this tool is very common and a must for developers.
Networking: There are a handful of relevant concepts that are needed in this area. The first is basic concepts such as the layers of the OSI model, protocols, firewalls, load balancers and proxy servers. Particular attention should be given to layers 4–7 of the OSI model as it relates most closely to applicable tasks.
Cloud Providers: Cloud computing is virtual IT resources that are made available on a pay-as-you-go basis. The most popular cloud providers are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. There are others available such as Oracle Cloud, Digital Ocean, Alibaba Cloud and more. It is recommended that a student picks one cloud provider and become familiar with its core services. Cloud providers have an exhaustive list of services offered and it is not necessary to be aware of all of them. The main aspects to be familiar with are computing, storage and networking as these are most commonly used.
Infrastructure as Code: IaaS (infrastructure as a service) relates to management of aspects like virtual machines, load balancers, and network topology. It is also essential to be aware of microservices. Microservices are an architectural style of an application wherein an application is “broken down” into individual services. If used in the right circumstance, this can lead to a more efficient and cost-saving application structure. One main feature of IaaS are containers. Containers are software that packs together code along with dependencies. The main tool for this is Docker. In order to handle the orchestration of these containers, a tool called Kubernetes is necessary. It handles the management of containers and handles tasks like load balancing, storage orchestration, self-healing and more. Docker and Kubernetes both work in harmony together for effective application management. It is also important to know one major infrastructure provisioning tool like Ansible, Chef or Puppet.
CI/CD: This stands for continuous integration and continuous delivery. This is a collection of operating principles and practices that help bridge the development and operations team. Continuous integration is wherein the team adds the changes in code. Continuous delivery is where these changes are automatically sent to the relevant infrastructure. This is where automation with languages like Bash and Python are utilized. A popular tool for the CI/CD pipeline is Jenkins. The concept of CI/CD pipeline is a core feature of Devops.
Monitoring and Log Management: This is the area that caters to data analytics and assessment of effectiveness. A few common tools used include Splunk and Grafana. Splunk is a tool that converts machine data into a format that is understandable and used to derive business insight. It also offers ways to visualize the data in order to view the information more clearly.
This article briefly covered the main areas needed for a Devops role. If one were to follow a path, operating systems, source control, networking, cloud providers, infrastructure as code, CI/CD and monitoring and log management should be studied. This article only contains the essential aspects as each of these areas contain much more depth and further research is needed to be an effective Devops engineer!