As 2017 draws to an end, we are taking a moment to look back on the year that was and share some of the most popular insights from the Flux7 DevOps blog. Industry-wide, interest in DevOps soared in 2017, and that was reflected in our readers’ blog choices as well. More and more companies are undergoing digital transformation and embracing the idea that technology is core to their business and provides them with an advantage in the marketplace. These companies are increasingly insourcing their technology and adopting a DevOps methodology as a way to become more agile and speed their time-to-market, proving the adage that “every company is a technology company.” Helping these organizations on the path to DevOps success were several very popular blogs.
Enterprise DevOps Framework
In 2017, we introduced our Enterprise DevOps Framework (EDF), based on our experience helping over 150 companies through their DevOps journey. This blog that walks readers through our patent-pending DevOps model quickly became one of the most-read of the year and tops our Year In Review list for this reason and because it set the framework (pun intended) for much of our content for the second half of the year. For those of you not yet familiar, learn more here about the EDF and its ability to help you speed the time to become a DevOps empowered organization.
Services: Infrastructure Provisioning
DevOps has resulted in significant changes for service teams, with these teams now owning infrastructure in the form of tools like Terraform and AWS CloudFormation. This model allows the service team to move faster as they have fewer dependencies. Simultaneously, it has created greater interest among service teams in DevOps best practices for Infrastructure as Code (IaC). In this blog post, we explored the relative benefits of two tools -- Terraform and AWS CloudFormation -- for implementing IaC to increase standardization, reduce risk, and promote developer productivity. Read the full blog post here.
Pipelines: Continuous Delivery Pipeline
CI/CD is a key tenet of DevOps automation playing a starring role as a continuous delivery pipeline helps speed time to delivery, generating greater value to the business. How to best use new features and tools, like “Fostering Cross Account AWS Code Pipelines” was of keen interest to our readers this year. In this article, we fully explored how AWS operators can build cross account pipelines as a way to implement a build once, deploy multiple times strategy where all build artifacts are housed in a single location. And for even more on optimized code delivery pipelines, click here to download our white paper.
Landing Zone: DevOps Automation
In the EDF, the concept of a service-agnostic landing zone is very critical as is automation as it increases agility, removes the potential for human error and also grows consistency across both process and output. In this blog post, we explored how DevOps teams can use automation to replicate best practice instances, and speed the flow of services with golden AMIs. Golden AMIs give security and operations an opportunity to bake their agents that collect data for them in every image. Flux7’s DevOps consulting team actively use golden AMIs as part of the landing zone; you can read why in our story, “Golden AMIs Help Drive DevOps Automation, Agility, and Stability.”
Inspectors: AWS CloudWatch
Inspectors, like logs, play a critical role in analyzing services in the pipeline and landing zone to ensure compliance with operational, security, and regulatory requirements. The DevOps team at Flux7 universally recommends customers use Amazon CloudWatch Logs for this purpose. In this blog we share why it is important to monitor your systems for ongoing operational efficiency, security and compliance to internal policies, and why we recommend AWS CloudWatch Logs as the first stop for your AWS system logs. Read more on Why we Recommend Everyone use Amazon CloudWatch Logs.
Injectors: Managing Secrets
In the EDF, things move at full speed and as a result, injectors are able to automatically communicate specific information at the right time to applications landing in the landing zone. Our most popular blog on this topic was, “A Technical Look at Managing Secrets using AWS Parameter Store” in which we examined several strategies for effective secret management in the AWS public cloud. Indeed, as systems become more complex, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a strategy for effective and efficient secrets management as well as secret distribution for cloud environments where instances are regularly spun up and spun down.
Bonus: At Flux7, we often work with organizations whose teams are interested in playing with AWS as a way to help them determine where to start with their AWS adoption. While their end goal is to introduce DevOps concepts like infrastructure as code, their initial goal is to enable development teams to start using AWS in a meaningful, quick, and secure manner. A common solution is to provide these enthusiastic Development teams with their own sandbox AWS account where they can experiment freely. For enterprises wanting to use secure sandboxes as a way to get familiar with AWS technology and DevOps processes, we recommend our blog, AWS Best Practice: Sandbox Accounts Provide Secure Middle Ground.
We also had several popular stories that took us back to our roots, including:
- A Primer: What is DevOps? And how do Code, Config, CI/CD & Containers Relate
- Seven Steps to Successful and Sustainable DevOps Transformation
- A Checklist for 6 Common IT Modernization Processes
- Seven Business-Impacting Reasons to Adopt a DevOps Model
We hope you enjoyed our best DevOps blogs of the year. Were there articles you particularly enjoyed this past year that we didn’t mention here? What would you like to see more of in 2017? Drop us a line in the form below. We’d love to hear from you.