DevOps Toolbox: Jenkins, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Vagrant, & SaltStack

Written by: , Mar. 16, 2018

Jira, Confluence, Trello, CloudApp, Zoom, & Slack - Top 12 DevOps Apps for 2018

DevOps represents the best practices in project management for the development & operation of web/mobile applications in a public, private, or hybrid cloud hosting environment. The main requirement of DevOps is the synchronization of code changes from remote team members through version control standards in programming or maintaining web/mobile SaaS applications in production. A complimentary aspect is the provisioning of full-stack web server software packages for virtualization frameworks in cloud hosting. DevOps software can automate web server provisioning using Git and remote disk image repositories on cloud data center hardware. Containers, VPS, & VM standards have proliferated, where programming teams now support a wider range of languages, databases, APIs, & platform integration requirements. Open source and proprietary cloud software solutions compete for users between large companies, independent web publishers, programmers, and developers. DevOps is based on the best practices from academic computing and CS research departments in creating new code on open source standards, as well as Fortune 500 IT companies which establish working solutions for project management tool integration, web server configurations, & internet programming standards. DevOps tools largely rely on the use of Git for version control in software development between distributed teams of programmers with coding & sandbox environments synchronized on local machines to remote production hardware in the cloud. Containers, VPS, VMs, & elastic servers are all used in production operations for a large number of web/mobile apps which require support for auto-configuration of node clusters in cloud networks. Docker Swarm, Rancher, OpenStack, CoreOS, & Kubernetes are the leading open source standards for elastic cloud web server orchestration that compete with AWS EC2 functionality in the hosting marketplace. DevOps tools form a wide ecosystem with many independent third-party software development firms competing in the sector for market share in cloud hosting. This review presents the Top 12 & Top 100 DevOps Tools for 2018.

CI/CD: "Jenkins can easily distribute work across multiple machines, helping drive builds, tests and deployments across multiple platforms faster. Jenkins can be extended via its plugin architecture, providing nearly infinite possibilities for what Jenkins can do. With hundreds of plugins in the Update Center, Jenkins integrates with practically every tool in the continuous integration and continuous delivery toolchain." Learn More About Jenkins.

DevOps Toolbox: Top 12 Recommended DevOps Apps for 2018

DevOps Toolbox will look at the leading software applications used in both open source and proprietary-licensed programming teams for bringing new web & mobile applications to publication with cloud hosting support in order to meet the user traffic requirements of the largest or most innovative internet companies. The main categories of DevOps tools are:

  • Web Server Configuration Management & Automated Provisioning
  • Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) of Applications
  • Elastic Cloud Server Orchestration for Web/Mobile App Development
  • Source Control Management (SCM) & Version Control Systems (VCS)
  • Distributed Programming Team Collaboration Tools & Chat Apps
  • Knowledge Sharing (KS) Apps for Distributed/Agile Teamwork
  • Web/Mobile Application Lifecycle Management Applications
  • Business Intelligence, Monitoring, & Analytics Software
  • Artifact Management, Build Tools, Database Management, & Testing

Thousands of the most innovative companies in software development work in these areas of concentration, where internet evolution proceeds through quick adoption of new programming and networking standards. From these categories, DevOps Toolbox has created a list of the top 12 DevOps software applications for 2018 to use in programming web/mobile application software for cloud deployments. These DevOps tools may also be used by programming teams building new modules, plugins, and themes for popular CMS, CRM, or ecommerce platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Joomla, Moodle, etc. Open source developers and corporate programming teams have different requirements but may share code, resources, tools, etc. on major frameworks and platforms with ecosystem support. These tools allow programming teams to collaborate while configuring advanced web server support for custom coded applications that bring new software features to IT clients across many sectors.

Our top 12 DevOps Toolbox Apps for 2018 recommendations are:

  1. Jenkins: "The leading open source automation server, Jenkins provides hundreds of plugins to support building, deploying and automating any project."
  2. Ansible: "App deployment, configuration management and orchestration - all from one system. Ansible is powerful automation that you can learn quickly."
  3. Chef: "With Chef you can manage servers – 5 or 5,000 of them – by turning your infrastructure into code. Time-consuming activities like manual patching, configuration updates, and service installations for every server will no longer exist."
  4. Puppet: "Learn more about the Puppet open source projects that are used by more than 35,000 companies worldwide, including 75% of the Fortune 100."
  5. Vagrant: "Vagrant aims to mirror production environments by providing the same operating system, packages, users, and configurations... giving users the flexibility to use their favorite editor, IDE, and browser."
  6. SaltStack: "SaltStack software manages heterogeneous computing environments, orchestrates any cloud and automates deployment of just about any infrastructure and software stack used to create modern cloud, enterprise IT and Web scale."
  7. Jira: "Integrate with the tools you already use. Upgrade your workflow with Confluence, Bitbucket, Stride, and hundreds of other developer tools."
  8. Confluence: "Work together on a whole new level. Create, share, and collaborate on projects all in one place to keep your projects moving forward, faster."
  9. Trello: "Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way."
  10. CloudApp: "CloudApp enhances visual communication with a simple interface that lets you easily create and share a wide variety of files: screen recordings, GIFs, annotated screenshots, webcam recordings, zip files, and more."
  11. Zoom: "Zoom Meetings: Enterprise Video Conferencing and Web Conferencing."
  12. Slack: "Slack brings all your team's communication together, giving everyone a shared workspace where conversations are organized and accessible."

These picks for top 12 DevOps Tools for 2018 favor configuration management & web server provisioning utilities for cloud hosting deployments as well as knowledge sharing and team communication apps. CFEngine, Basecamp, Dropbox, Spinnaker, HipChat, & Terraform just missed joining the list. Overall, there are thousands of independent software applications competing in these categories for market share in the professional programming and development tool sector and these represent some of the most innovative web/mobile development software toolkits available to distributed teams. DevOps tools include PaaS, SaaS, IaaS, CaaS, & DBaaS solutions.

The use of Agile project management methods, version control standards, web server disk images, and local development frameworks for programmers to sandbox code versions and release according to CI/CD guidelines all can be accomplished in production for complex organizations using these top 12 DevOps Tools for 2018 in different ways. The key aspect of DevOps is managing both development of web/mobile apps through distributed programming teams of experts using Agile/Scrum methods, while also operating these apps in production at scale on cloud hardware under CI/CD requirements for some of the largest companies in the world. The operation aspects involve web server systems administration which include cloud orchestration, where developers then push code changes to live apps in versions using rolling upgrades. The web development, custom programming, database management, systems administration, and web/mobile app design may all be done by different experts in a team who need to communicate through project management and knowledge sharing tools, including live chat apps, where Skype & IRC are still most popular internationally, or the use of Google Docs, gMail, & Dropbox has become standard.

CloudBees: The Hub of Enterprise Jenkins & DevOps: "CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise is available to customers of VMware Cloud™ on AWS. VMware Cloud on AWS brings together VMware’s enterprise-class Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) software and dedicated, elastic, bare-metal infrastructure from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to give organizations consistent operating model and application mobility for private and public cloud." Learn More About CloudBees.

The Accenture DevOps Platform (aka ADOP): "Out of the box, the platform contains tools to store, version, build, test and release application and infrastructure code via continuous delivery pipelines. The platform also supports two forms of extensibility: platform extensions to add more tools; cartridges to load into the platform example code; and automation jobs for a particular application." Learn More About the Accenture DevOps Platform.

Key Features and Benefits of Pipelines: "In the new 2.0 version, Jenkins offers pipeline as code, a new setup experience, and several UI improvements. The Pipeline plugin introduces a domain-specific language (DSL) that helps users model their software delivery pipeline as code. Jenkins 2.0 will also help you choose the plugins that match your needs." Learn More About Jenkins 2.0.

The NetApp Docker Volume Plugin: "nDVP provides direct integration with the Docker ecosystem for NetApp’s ONTAP, SolidFire, and E-Series storage platforms. The nDVP package supports the provisioning and management of storage resources from the storage platform to Docker hosts, with a robust framework for adding additional platforms in the future." Learn More About nDVP.

CI/CD: "Continuous integration (CI) servers coordinate a wide variety of activities, such as checking out and building new versions of code, running tests, and deploying software. These integrations are handled by automated build and testing systems, which means that your developers are alerted to issues such as code clashes or broken unit tests as early as possible. The most popular CI tool today is Jenkins. Jenkins is an open-source, server-based system that provides a straightforward platform for automating build testing and integration and for supporting a wide selection of version control systems." Learn More About Jenkins.

The IBM DevOps Solution: "Continuous engineering is an enterprise capability that speeds delivery of increasingly sophisticated and connected products by helping businesses to evolve their engineering practices to adapt to the accelerating pace of business change. Continuous engineering includes three key practice areas: 1.) Unlocking engineering knowledge — Turn insight into outcomes; 2.) Continuous verification — Measure twice, cut once; 3.) Strategic reuse — Don't reinvent the wheel!" Learn More About DevOps at IBM.

Top 100 DevOps Tools for 2018 - GitHub, Artifactory, Cucumber, Bamboo, & DataDog

In addition to the top 12 DevOps Tools for 2018, the following software apps were selected as runners-up in the evaluation, where DevOps Toolbox will further review each framework, software application, & platform technology in subsequent articles in the series. The choice of programming language frameworks and DevOps tools to be used in Agile project management will contribute as a leading factor in the requirements of a cloud hosting plan. The following DevOps tools should be evaluated by programmers for use and adopted when working with distributed teams on complex web/mobile application code. Professionals need to train on using these tools in production to gain IT certifications for platform software administration in enterprise IT companies. Freelance programmers and web developers can also use these tools when managing online distributed teams for client projects. Future editions of DevOps Toolbox will include more detailed reviews and information about these applications for web hosting.

Code & Commit:

Build & Config:

Scan & Test:

Release:

Deploy:

The SUSE DevOps Framework: "In order for organizations to realize the value of a software-defined infrastructure, they need to embrace new methodologies, like DevOps. And, in order to get the most out of a DevOps model or process, you must also have the right infrastructure and tools to support it. SUSE not only provides the open source infrastructure technologies you need, but we also share the IP & tools that we are developing and using for DevOps (Open Build Service & openQA) and that are integrated with other standard DevOps tools (e.g. Jenkins) with the community. SUSE solutions help to support your adoption of a DevOps model by providing and supporting the tools you need to transform your infrastructure for application lifecycle management and CI/CD reducing time to market, improving efficiency and meeting changing business demands." Learn More About SUSE DevOps.

Infra-as-Code:

CI/CD:

Test Automation:

Containers:

Orchestration:

Deployment:

Measurement:


DevOps Transformation:
"The DevOps paradigm is a big shift from traditional methodologies. It requires new tools to succeed. But, choosing the right tools is equally important to reduce any chaos. Under DevOps canopy, different tools are used. This includes project management, source code management, continuous integration, automation, code review, orchestration and logging tools. So, get a clear understanding of which tools are right for which category... Your ultimate tools selection should also align with your processes to make release cycle faster, highly automated, and seamlessly collaborative." Learn More About DevOps Practices.

Author:
Eliran Ouzan is the Co. Founder and designer of HostAdvice and also owns Moonshot Marketing LTD, a leading web design & development firm and was a member at GreenPeace.

Widely known for his pixel-perfect and high conversion rate web designs. Over the course of his web experience he experimeneted with over 200 web hosting companies and have a superior knowledge on what defines a good hosting company.

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