In this article, we’ll provide a clear understanding of DevOps, break down terminology and concepts associated with it, review the benefits and challenges of adoption, and go over the steps to adopting a DevOps model. 

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a software development approach that combines development and operations to improve collaboration and efficiency. It focuses on introducing automated processes and fostering continuous integration and delivery.

Imagine you’re making a pizza. The developers are like the chefs creating the pizza dough and toppings (code). The operations team is like the delivery drivers, ensuring the pizza gets to the customer (users). DevOps brings them together like a well-oiled pizza-making machine.

What is a DevOps Engineer?

A DevOps engineer doesn’t have a simple definition, as their role doesn’t accurately fall into one career track. Professionals from various backgrounds are welcome in the industry, assuming they have the necessary skills, although most entry-level openings require a degree in computer science or a related field. Some tasks that a DevOps engineer may perform include:

    • Automating the process of scaling resources up or down based on application demand to optimize costs and performance
    • Maintaining documentation for systems, processes, and best practices and facilitating knowledge sharing among team members
    • Implementing automated backup and recovery solutions to safeguard data and minimize downtime in case of failures
    • Implementing secure secret management for sensitive data like API keys, database passwords, and certificates

Note that this list is not exhaustive, and what a DevOps engineer is supposed to do usually varies from organization to organization.

Why DevOps Matters

When DevOps engineering is implemented it increases visibility and decreases the risk of uncertainty because it ensures that development and operations teams are more tightly aligned and have insight into what each other is working on, upcoming projects, and more.

It also improves critical processes such of detecting and addressing errors, bugs, and other issues.

How DevOps Works

The DevOps model is beneficial because it allows the Dev (Development) and Ops (Operations) teams to work in tandem, in comparison to traditional models where both teams are working in silos.

This cooperation between both stakeholders boosts the overall software delivery lifecycle. For instance, if the dev team has control over the deployments, they can spin up new demo environments without much intervention from the ops team, thus increasing the team’s velocity.

Benefits of DevOps Adoption

Without the barrier between the development team and ops, both departments no longer work in silosFor example, DevOps adoption could help prevent miscommunication between developers and QAs regarding production bug RCA, avoiding potential conflict.

Without wait times, manual processes, and lengthy reviews, a DevOps project moves faster from requirements to live software. Shorter cycle times keep requirements from shifting so that the product delivers what customers want.

DevOps practices can improve the overall scalability of a system since they allow software to scale up or down as business needs change.

Challenges of DevOps Adoption

Introducing a DevOps culture means undergoing organizational and IT departmental changes, which could require current team members to upskill or even necessitate hiring new team members.

Some organizations consider introducing microservices architecture to help redistribute work across teams as the business scales. Adopting a microservices architecture means increasing release frequency, leading to significantly more deployments. Microservices could present operational challenges like handling the complexities of interconnected services and setting up monitoring and logging infrastructure for individual services.

How to Adopt a DevOps Model

You should adopt certain principles, methodologies, and tools to make the DevOps model work for your organization. Let’s explore them one by one in more detail:



Collaboration among different teams is one of the core principles that emphasize the breaking down of traditional silos between development, IT, and operations teams.

Working together creates an atmosphere where everyone comes together to achieve the same goals. Everyone is responsible for the product delivery.


Automation centers on reducing manual, repetitive tasks by using tools and scripts to streamline workflows.

Relying on automated workflows minimizes human error, speeds up tasks, and allows teams to focus on more creative and strategic aspects of their work.


Agile Development

Agile emphasizes collaboration, adaptability, and value delivery in small increments. These practices promote flexibility and responsiveness, ensuring teams can quickly adapt to changing requirements.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

With continuous integration, the dev team aims to regularly merge, build, and test code in a central repository (VCS). CI aims to improve the code quality, address any bugs earlier in the software delivery life cycle, and reduce the time it takes for QA to validate the release.

On the other hand, continuous delivery or deployment builds on top of the CI stage by deploying the code in different environments. A common example is deploying the new release to a UAT (User Acceptance Testing) environment, where the product owners can provide necessary last-minute feedback.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

The practice of infrastructure as code involves the provisioning and management of infrastructure using code and software development methods. IaC enables the ops team to interact with infrastructure programmatically instead of manually setting up and configuring resources.

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)

SRE is where you apply software engineering principles to IT infrastructure and operations. Site reliability engineers conduct security incident reviews, proactive monitoring, and SLAs.

SRE promotes a culture of shared responsibility and fosters greater collaboration between teams. 


DevSecOps integrates security practices into the DevOps pipeline, ensuring that identifying and mitigating security issues and software compliance becomes an integral part of the product delivery lifecycle.

With increased security breaches and incidents, taking control of how you build and deliver software is becoming more important. Synopsys’s Open Source Security and Risk Analysis Report shows a 232% increase in high-risk vulnerabilities during 2018 – 2022 across all major industries like aerospace, aviation, automotive, transportation, and logistics.


In addition to adopting the principles and methodologies listed above, it’s important to use certain tools to embrace a DevOps approach fully. These tools can be both proprietary or OSS. Let’s go through some basic tool sets DevOps professionals regularly use.

CI/CD Pipeline Engines

The DevTools market for automated code deployment has flourished over the years. From tools like GitLab CI and GitHub Actions to Jenkins and CircleCI, developers have many options to streamline their development processes and ensure efficient and reliable code deployment.


The backbone of modern software delivery, containers are considered the linchpin of modern times. When you look at organizations that use cloud-native approaches, 76% use containers for most applications. 

Examples of containerization tools include Kubernetes, Docker, and Red Hat OpenShift


Monitoring tools are like the “watcher”. They help monitor your entire software development infrastructure, including deployment pipelines, performance, and security. 

Examples of monitoring tools include Sensu, Prometheus, New Relic, and Splunk.


DevOps is a software development approach that helps ensure speed, quality, and collaboration. By embracing DevOps, organizations can streamline their software development and deployment processes, ultimately delivering higher-quality products to their customers. DevOps can play a pivotal role in achieving your software development goals, whether you’re a developer, a sysadmin, or a business leader.


Posted by Couchbase Product Marketing

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