“Many of the teams that are ‘doing DevOps’ well don’t even talk about DevOps anymore—it’s simply how they work.”
– Puppet, The DevOps Institute
About a decade ago, startups and tech companies integrated digitalization as they were aware of the importance of speed for the success of businesses.
However, with the advent of digital transformation, things became far more complex and the need for flexibility, speed and responsiveness became the need of the hour. Businessmen even tried to run business with a distributed agile team to promote flexibility but that wasn’t enough.
The survival of the fittest became the ultimate mantra and pressure was never greater than in the age of digital transformation. The customers were going somewhere else because companies were not able to innovate and deliver fast.
Soon, the DevOps (merely a buzzword) model appeared as a blessing to those who were facing challenges among others in regards to faster development & operations as well as an on-time product release.
Businessmen/Entrepreneurs who taught DevOps only as a tool later applied it religiously for its approach, philosophy and objectives. According to a report published in November 2019 by DZone, ‘The DevOps market generated $2.9 billion in 2017, and this number is projected to reach around $6.6 billion by 2022.’
DevOps is not just an applied science but rather a set of open source DevOps tools that facilitate seamless collaboration between engineers, developers, operators and others in the team. Not only does it promote faster project delivery but also limits friction among team members.
Also Read | Agile VS DevOps
However, despite its continuous adoption in organizations in different industries and of different scales, many are still not familiarized with the actual meaning of DevOps tools.
This blog will go over the top open source DevOps tools, their features, how to find the best DevOps tools along with the importance of implementing DevOps in your organization and the best way to go about it.
But before we delve into the specifics, let’s first understand what DevOps tools are.
Table Of Contents:
What Are DevOps Tools?
DevOps, a portmanteau of “development” and “operations”, operates in the cross-functional mode by utilizing the tools of various kinds and purposes.
Also known as DevOps toolchains, the DevOps tools encourage a well-ordered software production lifecycle including development, digital asset management and delivery.
Most of the mobile app development companies are using best DevOps practices for their production activities including planning, creating, packaging, verifying, configuring, monitoring and version control.
The following section walks you through a comprehensive list of top open-source DevOps tools that are everyone’s favourite.
Top 7 Open Source DevOps Tools
Ever since its inception, DevOps tools have been bridging gaps between development and operations teams, both of whom are the key to a successful IT project.
Rely on or more of the following open source DevOps tools to stimulate better problem-solving and collaboration across teams.
An open-source and free automation server for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), deploying and testing. Jenkins is the number one open source DevOps tool that has made it easy for teams to supervise repeated tasks, manage iterations easily and identify issues in the code quickly.
Not only this but it is also responsible for automating the delivery pipeline to allow the developer to test and report the changes in real-time.
Given its plugin-based ecosystem, Jenkins can be easily integrated with every other DevOps tool. It is the most preferred choice for a lot of companies because of its easy UX/Syntax for pipelines and Docker integration.
Jenkins has gained a strong foothold and has set an example for other DevOps tools because of its plugin support, mature ecosystem, documentation and community.
Features & Benefits:
- Supports more than 100 plugins to integrate with almost every tool available in the CI/CD DevOps toolchain.
- Easy to set and configure given its simple web interface with built-in error checks.
- It’s written in Java and operates across major platforms such as Windows, macOS, Linux and Unix systems.
- It is super extensible through plugins. This way the user can carry out a range of additional functionalities.
- Since Jenkins is a Java-based DevOps tool, you can easily dispense it over gadgets to speed up the process, tests, as well as implementations.
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It is an open-source and community-driven performance monitoring solution that also supports container monitoring, records metrics in real-time and creates alerts as per time series data.
To put it simply, Prometheus collects data and metrics from several services and preserves them based on a unique identifier – the metric name and a time stamp.
It’s a popular DevOps tool that is written in Go and monitors cloud-native applications and infrastructure.
Features & Benefits:
- Has the Apache License 2.0.
- Offers cross-platform compatibility.
- Has a flexible query language.
- Provides several easy-to-implement client libraries and supports 10+ languages.
- Has multiple modes of data visualization such as tables, graphs, etc. These modes make it easy for the DevOps team to analyze data.
- PromQL lets you segregate time-series data into smaller chunks for easier generation of data visualization’s modes.
- Encourages data exporting from 3rd party solutions. To name a few, JMX Metrics, StatsD and DevOps tools like Docker.
- Prometheus has the ability to store data on both local disks and memory that too in a tailored format efficiently. One can easily scale via functional sharding & federation.
#3- ELK Stack
ELK stack is a powerful DevOps tool that comprises three open-source projects i.e. Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana.
Elasticsearch is a RESTful, open-source, search and distributed analytics tool that is built on Apache license and supports multiple languages, offers robust performance and is perfect for search and log analytics.
Logstash is an open-source DevOps tool that is used to collect data, modify it and send it to wherever you want.
Kibana is another open-source visualization and data exploration tool that is used to review logs and events.
Also Read | Everything You Need To Know About Apache Kafka
Working together, this stack allows the DevOps and SecOps teams to collect, aggregate, transform and visualize log data in a DevOps environment.
When deployed together, Logstash gathers log information and sends that data to Elasticsearch, which makes use of Kibana to visualize and consider the data.
Kibana further allows the team to build attractive visualizations for infrastructure that provide a better understanding of running applications and systems.
Features & Benefits:
- Each software component of ELK is free and open-source. There are no ongoing software licensing fees and no need for any up-front purchases.
- Multiple hosting options to choose from.
- Offers centralized logging capabilities that allow users to aggregate logs from complex cloud environments into a single searchable index.
- Provides support for all of its official clients, error-resolving and responding to support queries whenever needed.
- Real-time data analysis and visualization.
A leading open-source DevOps tool, Ansible is among the simplest yet effective tools for orchestration, deployment and configuration management.
Compared to its competitors, say Chef and Puppet, which are packed with features, Ansible provides an easy way out and doesn’t put any load on your device’s resources in the background.
This best DevOps tool provides simple IT automation that eliminates tedious routine tasks to let teams focus on more strategic work.
Features and Benefits:
- Written in Python, Shell, Ruby and PowerShell.
- Runs on multiple devices including Windows, macOS, Linux and Unix systems.
- Works agentless and connects via SSH/remote PowerShell to carry out the tasks.
- Facilitates easy scalability and faster productivity.
- Ansible can take care of complicated deployments effortlessly.
- Eliminates repetitive tasks via YAML templates.
- Ideal for small teams.
Docker is an undisputed leader in the category of Container Management open-source DevOps tools that is used by more than 11 million developers across the world.
A lightweight open-source DevOps tool, Docker lets developers build, package and deploy the codes easily and quickly via containers with the help of needed dependencies instead of virtual machines.
A leading popular tool for DevOps, Docker is everyone’s favourite tool for containers and schedulers. In fact, this tool played a key role in popularizing containerization.
It eliminates the headache of repetitive configuration activities and can even easily integrate with automation tools like Bamboo and Jenkins. From development to staging to production, Docker promises to be the ultimate software development partner that maintains the same environment across every stage of the DevOps cycle.
Features and Benefits:
- This open-source DevOps tool uses OS-level virtualization to deliver applications in packages (also known as containers). Each container is maintained separately from one another.
- It simplifies and accelerates various workflows in SDLC following an integrated approach.
- It facilitates distributed development.
- Fosters effective team collaboration.
- Runs in Windows, macOS and Linux.
- Works easily with GCP and AWS and simplifies cloud migration.
- Integrates well with deployment pipeline tools such as CircleCI and GitHub.
- Easy to add features and fix errors
One of the oldest open-source DevOps tools, Chef is a configuration management solution that was released in 2009.
Chef is based on the master-agent model as the clients of Chef run on each client machine (via “knife” tool and communication via SSH).
But what makes Chef different from other DevOps tools? Its extra layer i.e. Workstation that contains all the configurations. The configurations are first tested automatically on local machines and later pushed to the server.
Chef is among popular tools for DevOps mainly given its automation capabilities that can maintain larger networks via services like AWS OpsWorks. It can be utilized to streamline the configuration and maintenance of your servers as well as can be integrated with various cloud-based solutions such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2 and Google Cloud Platform.
Features and Benefits:
- It is written in Ruby and Erlang and utilizes a Domain Specific Language (DSL).
- Ensures high server availability.
- Is able to manage several cloud environments and data centres.
- Helps users adapt to ever-evolving business requirements with speed, scale and consistency.
- Chef supports several platforms. To name a few; Windows, Ubuntu, macOS, Solaris, FreeBSD, RHEL/CentOS, Fedora and Debian.
Read | AWS VS Azure VS Google Cloud
Last but not least on our DevOps tools list is Kubernetes – An orchestration platform that lets you manage hundreds of containers.
Not only one of the best DevOps automation tools, but Kubernetes is also one of the latest open source DevOps tools under the container orchestration category. It is used to automate the deployment and management of containerized applications.
With Kubernetes, the DevOps team can deploy the containerized apps to a group of computers. It further automates the distribution and scheduling of those containerized apps.
Introduced by Google in 2014, it is a highly popular open source DevOps tool of its kind at present.
Features and Benefits:
- It rolls out & rolls back changes steadily to software and/or its configuration to keep track of its health.
- Offers an IP address to Pods and one DNS name to a bunch of Pods while load-balancing between them.
- Manages batch CI and batch workloads.
- Enables service traffic routing based on cluster topology.
- Offers multiple storage options as well as horizontal scaling using a UI or according to CPU usage.
- Allocates IPv6 & IPv4 addresses to services and pods.
- It can place containers automatically based on resource requirements.
- Has self-healing capabilities
Additional DevOps Tools To Pay Attention To
Open source DevOps tools have been witnessing a substantial increase in their adoption in recent years given the ability of faster, better product delivery, greater scalability, reduced complexity and better resource utilization.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, the following DevOps tools list is also widely used for collaboration, planning, security, etc.
- Collaboration: Asana, Slack, Basecamp, etc.
- Planning: Planview, Targetprocess, Trello, etc.
- Continuous feedback: Mouseflow, SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo, etc.
- Cloud DevOps tools: OpenStack, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Azure, IBM Cloud, etc.
Read | How Much Does Slack App Cost?
Instead of comparing one tool against another, be clear and think more broadly about what you need.
If you are having trouble deciding the best open source DevOps tools, our DevOps engineer team can guide you through them. Connect with us to find yourself the best business intelligence tools for your organization.
How To Find The Right DevOps Tools For Your Team?
DevOps tools focus on methodology and the culture it builds for the organization. If you have decided to use DevOps tools, first know the types of DevOps tools available in the market to narrow down your choice.
- Version Control
Such types of DevOps tools help to track historical changes to code.
- Collaboration Platforms
These are the traditional chat platforms or Kanban-style boards that are extensively used for group communication.
- CI/CD Automation
CI/CD focuses on continuous integration and continuous delivery to automate software deployment.
- Configuration Management
Configuration management DevOps tools focus on managing and configuring the source code to make the development project work effortlessly.
- Container Management
The prime focus lies in organizing and optimizing containers that are used during the container-based mobile app development lifecycle.
- Application Performance Monitoring (APM)
APM DevOps tools are the applications and processes used to check performance metrics and alerts for mobile applications.
Now that you are well-acquainted with the best open-source DevOps tools, know how to approach the implementation of your DevOps tools.
#1- Choose Tools That Facilitate Collaboration Between Teams
Teams that are highly collaborative are crucial for DevOps. You might think you need to buy a dedicated, particular collaboration tool to fulfill this but there are several alternatives you can use to enhance collaboration.
#2- Favour Tools With APIs
Modern mobile app development challenges require modern delivery tools that are highly self-operating yet customizable. For this, you would require a fully-featured API for each tool – ideally an HTTP-based. When you blend compose capabilities with API-rich tools, you facilitate easy wiring for alerts and other events.
Don’t go for DevOps tools that are able to perform a limited number of tasks within their own frames of reference. Vouch for those that can perform multiple tasks well and integrate easily with other tools.
We are your next-door software development partner who can help you choose tools that expose APIs.
Also read our guide to API development.
#3- Tools That Can Store Configuration In Version Control
Another deciding feature of DevOps tools is that you should be able to keep all configuration settings in version control (GitHub, BitBucket, etc.) or store the configurations in a text file so that it is easily exposable to version control. Do note that the configuration is not just for your custom software applications, but also for software delivery and IT operations tools you use.
#4- Utilize Tools In A Way That Encourages Learning
DevOps tools can be intricate, especially for the Luddites. So when you bring the DevOps toolchain into the picture, let users embrace it at their own pace. Give them time and space to become familiar with the DevOps tools.
Assess the skills of your team and then decide upon the one for improved ways of working. Hold frequent team show-and-tell sessions to display tools and techniques.
#5- Promote Continuous Feedback Between The Teams To Spot Loopholes
The right DevOps tools should be able to identify the issues or gaps using either manual or automated processes for the developers or operators to figure out what happened, why it happened and where it happened.
The selected tool should also be able to rectify the problem together with the team.
How Does Appventurez’s DevOps Engineers Help Your Organization Seamlessly Adopt DevOps?
The mentioned DevOps tools were just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of tools out there that promise to make your DevOps journey easier. However, we have hand-picked those open source DevOps tools that are resourceful to use throughout the entire DevOps software lifecycle.
If we have been successful in triggering your interest in the DevOps tools and you are planning to welcome one into your business, we can help you.
Our DevOps engineer team will choose only the best for you keeping in mind your organization’s goals and strategy to help you gain a leg up on your tool decision journey!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q.1- What are the benefits of DevOps tools?
With DevOps tools, the process becomes seamless and increasingly transparent between the team. Faster deployment, quick problem-solving abilities, cross-team collaboration, improved software performance and significant improvement in product quality are some of its known benefits.
Q.2- What are the top challenges involved in DevOps implementation?
One of the prime challenges to DevOps implementation is missing cultural balance between Development and Operations teams.
Q.3- What’s the difference between Kubernetes and Docker?
The fundamental difference between Kubernetes and Docker is that the former runs across a cluster whereas the latter runs on a single node. Though they both are the best container solution, they make a powerful combination.
Q.4- Who Uses DevOps and for What Purpose?
DevOps is being adopted by IT companies of every size including enterprise-level to early-stage start-ups. Some of the organizations/industries that have implemented DevOps are:
- Web-native businesses
- Medical devices
- Media companies
- Financial services
- Industrial automation
- Government and Semi-government organizations
Co-Founder and AVP Technology at Appventurez Mobitech. A tech enthusiast who has broad expertise in delivering end to end software solutions. He is an expert technocrat ho has in-depth knowledge and is highly experienced in delivering solutions for Android, Xamarin, Ethereum Smart Contracts, ASP.net.
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