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What is Pipeline in DevOps?

Want to increase knowledge of Pipelines in DevOps ? You’re in the right place. In this blog you will surely gain a deep understanding of Pipelines in DevOps. By going through this blog you will be able to understand the complete concept of Pipeline in DevOps, components of DevOps and steps to build your own pipeline along with its advantages and much more!

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Effective and optimized techniques are required to ensure the timely delivery of high-quality products. DevOps emphasizes integration and collaboration between development and operations teams. DevOps Pipelines are essential for automating and orchestrating the software delivery process.

Let's explore pipelines in the context of DevOps, components, and their significance in software delivery efficiency.

DevOps Pipeline - Table of Contents

What is a Pipeline in DevOps?

Pipelines are automated instances covering the entire process, from the first code commit to application deployment and monitoring. For example, you are building a house. Due to interdependence and communication gaps between the teams working on different areas of the house, construction progress may take time. A DevOps pipeline functions like an assembly line, speeding up and streamlining the process.

Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) are the crucial components of DevOps pipelines. The Continuous Integration server generates code and automatically runs tests to rectify errors in early stages of development. The CD server deploys the code to staging environments once it has fulfilled all of the requirements in the CI phase.

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Components of DevOps Pipeline

There are multiple components in the DevOps pipeline that help to ease the software development process. These components are as follows:

  • Continuous Integration Server (CI): A CI server is a critical component of DevOps pipelines since it automatically builds and tests new code modifications shared in the repository. It makes and tests code, letting you identify problems earlier and spend less time fixing them.
  • Version Control System (VCS): A VCS works as a central repository for code modifications made by developers. It allows collaboration, version control, and fast reversion to prior states of code. The central repository's data can be restored from the local repository.
  • Artifact Repository: The build artifacts (e.g., executable files,  configuration files, libraries) are stored in an artifact repository after a successful build and test passing. This repository is a reliable source for deployable packages used in the later stages of the pipeline.
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Managing and providing infrastructure (servers, databases, networks, etc.) using code is known as infrastructure as code. IaC plays an important role in a DevOps pipeline because it enables uniform and repeatable infrastructure setup, which results in reduction in manual errors and improves overall efficiency.
  • Automated Testing: The automated testing of the DevOps pipeline ensures the software's quality and reliability. It includes integration, unit, operational, security, and performance tests. These tests help detect errors and issues during the development process.
  • Continuous Deployment Automation (CD): The CD automation component controls deploying the application in multiple environments, such as staging and production. It assures that code modifications are safely and consistently distributed to the target environment. It also allows multiple production deployments.
  • Logging and Monitoring: Logging and monitoring tools are included in the DevOps pipeline to track the application's efficiency and health in real time. They enable proactive detection and solution of issues, assuring smooth production processes.
  • Configuration Management: Configuration management can be done using the tools like Chef, Ansible, or Puppet to handle and maintain the servers and application configuration. This component guarantees that all environments are correctly and consistently configured, enabling stability and reproducibility.
  • Continuous Collaboration and Feedback: DevOps pipelines provide a culture of continuous feedback and collaboration. Regular interaction and collaboration help in the improvement of processes, the enhancement of the pipeline, and the delivery of superior software products.

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Advantages of DevOps Pipeline

Some of the key advantages of implementing a DevOps pipeline include:

  • Speed and Efficiency: Pipelines remove manual interventions, improve the software delivery process and minimize the time needed to deploy new features and fix issues. Developers can concentrate on developing code while the pipeline handles monotonous tasks.
  • Consistency and Reliability: DevOps pipelines performs standardized practices, reducing variations and ensuring consistent, reliable releases. This consistency improves customer confidence and satisfaction.
  • Collaboration and Transparency: Pipelines enhance collaboration and transparency across development, testing, and operations teams, encouraging a shared feeling of responsibility for producing high-quality software. The pipeline's transparency allows all parties to track progress and identify blockages.
  • Continuous Feedback and Improvement: The pipeline's automated testing and monitoring give continuous feedback, which allows developers to iterate and enhance the application with much speed. This iterative process results in higher software quality and improves overall user experiences.

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Prerequisites of DevOps Pipeline

Software Prerequisites:

  • Version Control System
  • CI/CD Tool
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
  • Containerization
  • Testing Frameworks
  • Artifact Repository
  • Deployment Orchestration.

Hardware Prerequisites:

  • Build Server
  • Test Environment
  • Deployment Targets.

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Steps to Create DevOps Pipeline

Below are the steps to build a DevOps pipeline:

1. Setup up a Version Control System and Repository

Set up a version control system (e.g., Git) and a repository to store your code. Use appropriate branching and merging procedures to manage code changes effectively.

2. Choose a CI/CD Tool

Select a Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) tool that meets your project requirements. The popular options are Jenkins, CircleCI, GitLab CI/CD, and Azure DevOps. Install and configure the chosen device for your pipeline.

3. Install Build Server

The build server, often known as a continuous integration server, is a solid, stable, and organized environment for building distributed development projects. These servers serve as a point of integration for developers, collecting integrated code from source code repositories and providing a clean environment to verify the code functions properly. The obvious choice is Jenkins, although TeamCity and Travis-CI are possible options.

4. Build Automated Testing

This step includes unit, functional, integration, and other required tests. Configure the CI/CD tool to execute these tests whenever the code is changed.

5. Deploy Code for Production

The codebase must be deployed to production once the DevOps process has finished creating and testing it for efficiency. Pipeline systems, such as Azure DevOps, that function in the cloud and allow a centralized system to generate and test the code, integrate with different repository tools, customize the code environment, and publish the code to numerous targets, are the ideal options in these circumstances.

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DevOps Pipeline FAQs

1. How many pipelines are in DevOps ?

DevOps typically works on 8 steps: Plan, Code, Built, Test are the initial four phases in development phase and Release, Deploy, Operate and Monitor are the next four phases in operation phase.

2. Why is the build phase of a DevOps pipeline important?

The build phase of the DevOps pipeline is important because the code written in this phase is detected for errors before being transformed into a working application.

3. What is a software development lifecycle encompassing DevOps pipelines?

It is an iterative approach to developing software by integrating development practices like planning, coding, etc. and operational practices like deployment and operating into faster and more reliable software delivery.

4. How does DevOps work?

DevOps helps in the software development process by bringing teams that write codes and operation teams together and helping them create and manage applications efficiently.

5. How do I build a DevOps application using a build server?

To build a DevOps application, we must set up continuous integration and continuous deployment to automate the software development process. Configure the build server to run a script and make the deployment process less complicated.

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Pipelines automate and manage the software delivery process, It allows teams to focus more on innovation, efficiency, and customer happiness. For organizations wishing to survive in today's competitive software development world, practicing DevOps principles and implementing effective pipelines is critical. 

Hope this article has provided you with a thorough understanding of what pipeline in DevOps is, and about its components along with advantages of pipeline and steps to set your own pipeline. Now you can experience the seamless power of pipelines in DevOps and efficiently manage the production environment.

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Last updated: 04 Sep 2023
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Viswanath is a passionate content writer of Mindmajix. He has expertise in Trending Domains like Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, etc. His articles help the learners to get insights about the Domain. You can reach him on Linkedin

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