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16 DevOps Automation Tools To Maximize Efficiency

16 devops tools maximize efficiency

Your team has embraced DevOps, and you’re ready to fully live the mantra of “you build it, you run it.” But “running it” gets repetitive. Your team needs specialized tools to automate, optimize, and run your DevOps systems. 

High-performing teams pay close attention to security, reliability, and culture. According to DORA’s State of DevOps report,  DevOps processes like continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) play a large role in predicting your team’s reliability metrics, and, ultimately, delivery performance.

Which DevOps processes should you automate first—and which tools should you use to automate them? We’ve got 16 suggestions—some broad and some specialized. 

What is a DevOps automation tool?

In the simplest terms, DevOps automation tools take over existing manual DevOps processes. In general, teams don’t add automation tools to add tasks; they’ll begin by manually performing tasks, then add automation to increase efficiency and reduce the potential for error.

Repetitive tasks, like pull requests or SSL certificate renewals, are likely candidates for automation.

Other DevOps automation use cases include:

  • Identifying and fixing bugs (especially for QA teams)
  • Deploying and configuring the software in a production environment
  • Running security scans on deployed code
  • Providing support, maintenance, and updates
  • Ensuring quality and compliance throughout the development process

How does automation work in DevOps?

DevOps automation supports the principles, processes, and results that prompted DevOps in the first place. Before DevOps, developers passed features on for deployment and maintenance. Making those tasks part of the development process means taking ownership of repetitive tasks and reducing the risks of manual deployment pipelines. 

Automation tools take care of the most routine DevOps tasks by creating CI/CD pipelines. In these instances, code is automatically built, tested, and merged to a shared repository before being automatically deployed. Automation tools can also handle provisioning tasks by automatically building code that functions as infrastructure.

Benefits of using DevOps automation tools

DevOps automation tools can benefit your business’s software development process in several ways, including:

Faster, error-free delivery

DevOps automation tools employ automated testing processes that meticulously analyze code in the development cycle and detect issues early.

Teams can customize the testing that needs to be done through automation, including:

  • Unit testing: Validating small code units (e.g., functions)
  • Integration testing: Verifying interactions between components
  • Functional testing: Ensuring alignment with specifications
  • Regression testing: Confirming existing functionality remains intact
  • Performance testing: Evaluating performance under varying conditions
  • Security testing: Identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses
  • User acceptance testing (UAT): Validating user needs and usability
  • Smoke testing: Checking critical functions post-update

More frequent releases

DevOps automation tools allow for more frequent releases in two ways: freeing up developer time by automating manual tasks, and accelerating delivery timelines by automatically handling the most time-consuming tasks.

When developers don’t have to handle tasks like manual regression testing or accounting for consistent provisioning, they have more time to spend on higher-value tasks like coding new features, addressing bugs, and professional development. In the meantime, DevOps automation tools handle basic pipeline tasks and create a true CI/CD environment. 

Consistent and standardized practices

Automated deployment ensures that the deployment process is consistent and repeatable. These automation tools make it easy for teams to stick to best practices regarding testing procedures and processes at every stage of the development cycle without manual intervention—which can introduce human error. 

Better collaboration across DevOps teams

DevOps automation tools have collaborative features that promote transparent communication and real-time feedback among team members, including:

  • Real-time chat and messaging
  • Issue tracking for visibility across teams
  • Collaborative task creation, assignment, and management
  • Documentation systems for increased collaboration
  • Automated alerts and notifications
  • Easily available metrics dashboards
  • Feedback and approval workflows

Automation tools provide visibility across team members and pipeline stages, but their usefulness goes well beyond merely automating manual tasks—they can also help make your team more collaborative.

Efficient use of resources 

DevOps automation tools optimize resource allocation based on real-time demand, which helps prevent over-provisioning, thereby reducing costs and resource waste.

By automating repetitive tasks, these tools also free up team members to focus on more important tasks that drive projects forward. This optimizes computational and human resources, which allows for budget allocation that maximizes the return on investment (ROI). 

16 examples of DevOps automation tools to check out

Here are 16 DevOps automation tools your business may consider to help optimize various workflows:

1. Terraform

Terraform is an infrastructure-as-code (IaC) tool that manages resources and optimizes provisioning. Abstracting infrastructure to code ensures repeatability and minimizes manual errors. 

With Terraform, you describe your desired infrastructure setup, and Terraform ensures the infrastructure matches the configuration. State files maintain the current state of infrastructure. The app is platform agnostic, so it’s great for organizations that want to automate AWS cloud infrastructure provisioning across multiple platforms.

2. Docker

Docker uses containerization technology to package an application and its required dependencies into a single unit. 

The tool eliminates the “it works on my machine” problem by isolating dependencies and providing a uniform environment from development to production. 

Docker ensures a uniform environment throughout the development pipeline in a lightweight, easy-to-use package. It also facilitates the creation, modification, and management of application images. 

Developers and organizations aiming to streamline application delivery and migration between systems will appreciate Docker’s help in building consistent behavior regardless of the deployment environment.

3. Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform. It automates containerized application deployment, scaling, and management. 

The tool is at its best when managing microservices architectures and excels in automatically creating an efficient environment for apps with many small components. 

Kubernetes includes features for load balancing, automatic rollouts and rollbacks, storage orchestration, and self-healing. Businesses looking to scale their ability to deploy containerized apps with optimized resource usage will benefit most from this feature set.

4. Jenkins

Unlike other tools on this list, Jenkins is an open-source tool. It automates stages of the software delivery process, including building, testing, and deploying code. 

The tool is highly extensible, with plug-ins that enhance functionalities and integrate with other popular DevOps testing tools. These plug-ins help Jenkins build automated deployment pipelines and monitor external jobs. If your team is still learning to implement CD/CI pipelines, Jenkins is a great way to start.

5. Ansible

Ansible is a versatile configuration management and orchestration tool. It dictates configurations using “Playbooks” written in an easy-to-understand YAML format and supports application deployment, task automation, and AWS cloud provisioning. 

Ansible includes a vast library of modules and the capacity to manage complex IT workflows, and its intuitive design makes it best suited for teams that want to avoid steep learning curves.

6. Bamboo

Bamboo, developed by Atlassian, is a continuous integration and deployment server that automates software application release management. It integrates closely with other Atlassian products, including Jira and Bitbucket. 

Bamboo’s most useful feature is its ability to produce build pipelines, enabling automated application building, testing, and deployment. Features such as parallel automated tests reduce testing times and deliver feedback faster. Bamboo supports multi-branch workflows, ensuring that code from all branches is tested. 

DevOps teams taking advantage of Atlassian integrations and looking for a centralized solution should consider Bamboo.

7. Puppet

This configuration management tool automates infrastructure provisioning and management. 

Puppet uses a master-agent model, with agents fetching configurations from the master server. It allows IT teams to define the desired state of their systems using declarative language. With Puppet, you can ensure consistent environments while managing multiple servers and development stages.

The more diverse your environments, the more valuable Puppet becomes.

8. Raygun

Raygun offers application performance monitoring (APM) and error-tracking solutions to give teams real-time performance insights that help detect, diagnose, and resolve issues.

Raygun can trace errors to the exact line of code, user, or commit that caused the issue, adding efficiency to the debugging process.

9. Splunk

This app is tailored for monitoring, searching, and analyzing machine-generated data. Splunk converts this data pool into operational intelligence. Even unstructured data can be used to generate reports, visualizations, and alerts. 

Splunk is best for development teams that need in-depth data analysis to optimize operations, monitor systems, and fortify security measures.

10. Git

This version control system tracks changes in source code during software development. Git allows multiple developers to work on the same project without getting in each other’s way. It also takes a snapshot of the codebase every time a change is committed so teams have a thorough history of changes.  

Key features include branching and merging, so developers can create offshoots of primary code and reintegrate them later.

Git is best suited for teams that need frequent collaboration, iterative development, and an agile approach to software production.

11. Gradle

Gradle uses a domain-specific language based on Groovy or Kotlin rather than traditional XML, making its build scripts more concise and readable. The tool stands out for its ability to construct native binaries and mobile apps alongside Java, C++, and other applications. 

It speeds up build times by only building changed elements rather than full applications. This makes Gradle a good choice for projects operating in a mix of development languages. 

12. Vagrant

Vagrant provides lightweight, reproducible, and portable environments to improve both efficiency and consistency regardless of where software is deployed. 

One of Vagrant’s best features is its integration with various provisioners like Chef, Puppet, and Ansible, and support for multiple platforms such as VirtualBox, Hyper-V, and Docker.

Vagrant is especially useful when there’s a need to duplicate the production environment, share development environments with new team members, or rapidly switch between different projects.

13. Nagios

Nagios allows organizations to monitor their IT infrastructure components, including network protocols. It alerts system administrators about potential issues, ensuring your team members can address any service disruptions in real-time.

Nagios includes performance graphs, comprehensive reporting, and plug-ins, making it a good choice for teams that need access to performance metrics from IT environments.

14. Chef

Chef is a configuration management tool written in Ruby. Chef defines IaC using “Cookbooks.” These Cookbooks describe how to configure particular infrastructures. One of Chef’s best features is the ability to support both AWS cloud-based and on-premise infrastructure. 

Chef’s flexibility means it can be used by teams running small operations and large enterprise setups with infrastructure scaling. 

15. Selenium

With Selenium, users can simulate human-like interactions on web applications. Selenium supports multiple operating systems and browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and IE), offering cross-browser testing capabilities. It also allows testers to write scripts in various programming languages, including Java, Python, Groovy, Ruby, and C#. 

Selenium’s integration with browsers and frameworks like Robot Framework enhances its continuous testing capabilities. Teams working with web apps across different environments should consider Selenium.

16. Apache Maven

Apache Maven is used for Java projects, offering automation capabilities for build lifecycles. 

At its core is the “Project Object Model” (POM), which consists of XML files detailing project configurations, from dependencies to plug-ins. Maven enhances the efficiency of the build and deployment phases by automating the downloading of libraries and integrating with other tools.

Optimize your efficiency with DevOps automation tools and ProsperOps

DevOps automation tools are a great way to save time, but incorporating other automation solutions can save businesses even more time and money. 

That’s where ProsperOps comes in. ProsperOps continually analyzes your cloud spending and applies the best discounts, ensuring you only pay for the resources your business uses, with no manual intervention required.

Schedule a ProsperOps demo to find out how to leverage automation to maximize your savings with zero ongoing effort.

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