Indeed, Software as a Service (Saas) is the most attractive business model nowadays. It provides Saas entrepreneurs with quality code and a scalable application environment that satisfies customer needs with no investment risk.
However, there is a slight clarification. You can unlock the true value of Saas only by combining it with DevOps, ensuring process efficiency and continuous improvement to deliver infrastructure-ready solutions.
DevOps for SaaS bridge the existing gap between development and operations, accelerate time to market, lower operational costs, and, according to 48% of companies surveyed, is extremely important for business development. These benefits are driving the global DevOps software market to sustainable growth. It will reach $57.90 billion by 2030, up from $2.9 billion in 2017.
Since Relevant is a SaaS software company and an experienced DevOps service provider, we will explain why we use DevOps from a technical and practical standpoint and why DevOps outsourcing is an excellent investment for the future.
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DevOps, or merging development (Dev) and operations (Ops), is an organizational approach that speeds up application development and simplifies the maintenance of existing deployments. The paradigm brings together not only development and operations (DevOps) but also QA (QAOps), security (DevSecOps), processes, and tools.
DevOps is all about “fueling business transformation,” one of his authorities, Robert Stroud, once said. Implementing DevOps practices using specialized software solutions is the entire way to increase production without losing quality. This set of rules and techniques helps companies deliver services or products continuously, shortening the software development lifecycle.
More conceptually, you can define DevOps as an interdisciplinary community of practice focused on the study of building, developing, and operating flexible and agile systems at any scale. The emphasis on quality and service DevOps borrowed from Lean and Agile.
The goal of DevOps transformation is to empower companies to create more reliable environments for their products in a shorter time frame. Long-term analysis, published in the annual Accelerate State of DevOps Report, has shown that effective DevOps organizations develop and deploy software much faster while adhering to all critical operational requirements for end-user service availability.
High-performing DevOps teams, compared to low-performing colleagues or those who are still undecided about adopting DevOps
It’s no secret that most tech companies, startups, and multinationals use DevOps to meet the ever-growing demand for software and applications. All tech giants like Amazon, Etsy, Netflix, and Facebook have successfully implemented DevOps practices in their organizations.
DevOps is also essential for growing SaaS companies or startups to reach their strategic goal faster and gain an edge in the highly competitive SaaS market.
It is DevOps that can eliminate most of the delays in software development. The trick is that developers can respond to business needs in near real-time. They no longer need to sacrifice speed (deployment frequency; time to market;) in favor of product stability and vice versa. The DevOps paradigm assumes they maintain both parameters at a high level, applying appropriate DevOps SaaS best practices.
We can distinguish three groups of benefits:
While the benefits of DevOps are immense, adopting this approach is not a piece of cake. Creating a DevOps culture (such as shared responsibility) and implementing practices such as continuous delivery and deployment requires new organizational capabilities and innovative methods and tools for some if not all, software development activities.
We will list the DevOps best practices to optimize the development process.
The whole point of DevOps is to remove silos and improve collaboration between development, operations, and quality assurance teams. Achieving this level of cooperation requires a change in the culture and mindset of the entire development team and clarity on the overall goal and set of objectives.
In DevOps, development and operations become part of everyone’s responsibilities, regardless of their specific roles in the team. This allows you to accelerate the development and delivery of software to customers. You can read more about speeding up software development in our blog.
Whether using the classic waterfall model or the whole DevOps approach, the goal is to meet customer expectations, and this is constant updates and the rapid provision of new features. DevOps helps streamline the release process. Because the same people write the code and manage the releases, bringing new features to the client becomes easier.
The flexible design of small iterative development steps aligns well with the DevOps approach, leading to even faster deployments. By combining DevOps with an Agile approach, you can provide core functionality, feedback, and customer reviews. Instead of wasting time developing functionalities that you might not need, you can repeat them as you go.
Configuration management provides management and control of software changes using version control in a repeatable and standardized way. This practice has two key components: a standard strategy for managing a code repository and using version control software.
Continuous Integration (CI) is a core DevOps best practice to integrate code changes from different contributors into a central repository. CI allows you to merge code changes as needed and use automated tools to validate code correctness. CI is achieved using a source code version control system. The rationale behind CI is that it is easier to spot bugs and quality issues in less code than in a large codebase written over a long period.
Continuous delivery (CD) begins where continuous integration stops. Continuous delivery is a DevOps practice that allows you to get code from constant integration into a production environment. It makes software deployment painless, low-risk, and can be done quickly.
This practice requires software engineers to create automated tests before writing the actual code validated by tests. With TDD, software engineers follow a short development cycle:
TDD dramatically reduces the risks of software errors associated with each release, allowing you to release your product quickly.
Automated testing diminishes the load associated with manually running tests by specialized software to manage test execution, compare results, and help you speed up complex tasks with ease.
While monolith is still a default mode for many enterprise-grade software products, developing SaaS products demands microservices architecture. Loose coupling of services helps potentially massive products with scaling ambitions grow quicker – with fewer resources and downtime.
The shift to microservices from the monolith is unstoppable for SaaS systems. These products serve millions of clients and can’t afford downtime, so they need easy scalability and require multi-region and multi-currency payment systems.
It is an approach to infrastructure management in which resources such as networks and servers are provisioned and managed using machine-readable definition files.
Adding SaaS-managed DevOps to your team allows you to leverage the skills and experience of multiple solution architects and leverage SaaS DevOps strategies without high cost over the long term. For example, Infrastructure as Code allows you to duplicate infrastructure 1: 1, and then you can sell it and run it under a unique brand.
Automating software creation, testing, and release is at the heart of successful DevOps practices. It makes life easier for developers and SaaS operations engineers who collaborate in a DevOps organization. DevOps tools help you track SaaS growth metrics, generate alerts when something goes wrong, or provide overall visibility into your software’s progress.
Continuous performance monitoring is one of the best DevOps practices. You can only measure the effectiveness of a DevOps approach by tracking correct performance metrics, such as lead time, the average time to discovery, and problem severity.
Monitoring these metrics is also valuable because it allows you to determine when something is going wrong. In DevOps, the tracking metrics will depend on the goals and expectations of the organization. Some metrics, such as unit cost, are helpful for any engineering team because they are tied to profitability.
As a DevOps metric, it is good practice to monitor unit costs. He helps you create cost-optimized software from the get-go, plan your projects carefully, and find trade-offs. Read our article to understand basic FinOps principles that could help your company save money.
The demand for a DevOps specialist arises from the beginning of the project, and there are many reasons for that. They can help and customize environments for development, testing, deployment, and other crucial tasks. They can also advise on the server architecture as they know how to build efficient performance.
The variety of DevOps objectives in a project is enormous. The goal of these examples is to give you a rough idea of
Case 1. In Sprint Zero, a DevOps specialist can help define a SaaS solution’s technology stack and architecture when planning for future functionality.
Case 2. Experts can set up different environments for testing and production.
Case 3. In an existing project, DevOps implementation begins by examining the system and its documentation. To perform specific tasks, such as setting up CI / CD, they need to:
This step is necessary to understand what needs to be improved or corrected. This stage takes several hours to a couple of days, depending on the case.
Case 4. Improved infrastructure and security are essential to a DevOps SaaS platform. Therefore, DevOps specialists first investigate what works well and what needs to be fixed. They conduct tests, analyze the infrastructure, and evaluate the security measures taken to protect the data.
Case 5. Against the backdrop of these improvements, DevOps engineers can build infrastructure as code (IaC). You can find out how to do this by contacting our DevOps team. But in a nutshell, IaC automates the development process and speeds up changes. For a SaaS company, this service means simplifying infrastructure management.
Case 6. DevOps consulting is also helpful when deciding to change the server class level. DevOps experts can suggest server performance options, benchmarkі, cost, risk, and more.
Case 7. Another task of DevOps is to monitor the server and check the system’s health constantly. That helps to respond promptly to system conditions – processor load, free space on the server, etc.
Case 8. Log management is one of the best practices for improving development efficiency. Fine-tuned log management is significant because it can help you quickly troubleshoot or resolve a problem.
As you can see, the range of tasks is different – from rebuilding the architecture, managing DNS and databases, moving your project to a new server, or troubleshooting in case of failure.
Each organization is built differently, and each faces unique influences from various external forces, so there is no united strategy that will guarantee the success of DevOps. But some points are essential to all players who decide to build scalability in DevOps.
Most cloud development projects use DevOps for cloud projects, and the benefits are clear. DevOps speeds application development to meet the business unit and users; and lower coding, test, deployment, and operational costs.
DevOps cloud as a platform gives SaaS entrepreneurs new, better visibility about how their applications are performing. And a good DevOps service provider offers:
That is the foundation of a successful product. Adopting DevOps strategies can build your solution using leading software architectures, such as microservices and serverless architectures. In this way, the rest of the software development lifecycle, such as development testing, will become easier. For serverless architectures, cloud providers allocate resources to run your application.
DevOps does not have a specific or fixed set of tools. Determining the right set of tools is a core function of DevOps Strategy Consulting. For every step in DevOps, there are several tools with many options. Knowing your requirements, operating costs, and other factors is key to choosing the right tool.
For example, by utilizing Kubernetes and infrastructure as code, you can reduce the business costs of dynamic workloads (operations that require a lot of computing power in a short time). According to a recent CNCF survey, 96% of DevOpsSaaS companies use or evaluate Kubernetes.
Because software protection begins before the code is written, implementing DevSecOps principles ensures that the DevOps process is as secure as possible. Threat modeling and architecture reviews help set the course for security requirements and controls throughout the software development lifecycle.
The DevOps Three Way Principle also applies directly to DevSecOps. That means that:
Along with the DevOps movement, a new DevOps-as-a-service (DaaS) concept has emerged. DaaS from a trusted service provider is ideal for software development teams that don’t have the time/experience, or talent to manage a complex SaaS-based application infrastructure but need to do so. That frees up the best employees to focus on the tasks that are strategically important to your business.
DaaS collects development tools into a single cloud suite that helps teams maintain continuous delivery, continuous testing, and integration. That is why DevOps as a Service delivers improved scalability, performance, automation, and business value.
However, fast-growing grocery companies with over 150 employees have more complex business infrastructures. Therefore, they are encouraged to complement their in-house team with DevOps engineers. Now let’s look at how companies can benefit from outsourcing DevOps.
The most meaningful advantage of DevOps outsourcing companies is convenient recruitment. If you hire DevOps engineers, the vendor takes care of finding and interviewing the right candidates, leaving you control over the process as you wish. Depending on which type of outsourcing you choose, you can actively participate in the hiring process or completely outsource it to your chosen company.
Besides eliminating recruiting headaches, the benefits of outsourcing code development include the high skill level of your future DevOps team. Outsourcing companies prioritize service quality and ensure that their engineers are experienced, properly certified, adhere to the latest standards, and perform well in groups. That is why working with outsourced DevOps engineers results in well-documented solutions that are easy to maintain after deployment.
Another benefit of using DevOps as a service is gaining access to a broad talent pool. DevOps engineers are in short supply, and it is almost impossible to find professionals with narrow or rare competencies when assembling a team locally.
Outsourcing helps solve this problem. DaaS vendors provide engineers, tools, and developers, to meet your needs from the outset. In addition, the ability to select the developer level helps you better distribute tasks. You can choose the best talent for the toughest jobs and leave the common duties to less experienced employees. Thus, having DevOps shortens the development cycle and frees developers from non-core tasks.
DevOps outsourcing vendors follow DevOps best practices, so you don’t have to start from scratch. They already have all the necessary tools and resources to implement the DevOps model immediately. DevOps outsourcing shortens development cycles. The team constantly creates, releases, tests, and improves the code. That enables continuous integration and continuous product delivery.
Cost is a crucial aspect of the development process, as it determines the number of features in your SaaS solution and the price at which you will offer those features to customers. The advantage of outsourcing is the value for money, where offshore companies always win.
Outsourced DevOps Managed services provide an excellent opportunity for companies to implement DevOps without overwhelming resources. And the DevOps outsourcing company will supply you with everything you need: its proven practices, the best staff, selected methodologies, and advanced SaaS DevOps tools. All this will make your decisions more efficient and reliable. And you need:
At Relevant, we provide holistic SaaS product development services, implementing any components of a successful SaaS solution: mobile and web applications, APIs, efficient storage, and cloud hosting. DevOps allows us to deliver software as a service product as quickly as possible.
We practice an individual approach to each project – we flexibly solve infrastructure, support, and service issues and coordinate all aspects of the client’s needs and requirements.