How to Adopt AWS DevOps: 4 Tips to Follow

Today, rapid delivery of high-quality and stable product releases is vital to business competitiveness. Otherwise, an enterprise can struggle to roll out new services, features, and updates quickly enough to meet ever-changing customer needs. 

Especially if you work with a CMS like WordPress and manage a large-scale website, having a DevOps specialist to help deliver applications at high velocity is a must. Therefore, it’s best to partner up with a WordPress agency to have proper maintenance taken care of.

Fortunately, enterprises can solve this challenge by adopting DevOps, a methodology that implies the perfection of software produсt delivery through meticulous processes and automation. 

Enterprises that don’t have this expertise in-house can resort to third-party AWS DevOps services, facilitating the use of robust AWS tools to automatically deploy, maintain, and monitor applications and their underlying infrastructure.

This article covers the concept of AWS DevOps and provides several recommendations on how to adopt it properly.

What is AWS DevOps?

AWS DevOps is a combination of processes, tooling and infrastructure resources provided by Amazon Web Services to help enterprises automate and integrate the processes between software development and IT teams. Like traditional DevOps, AWS’s concept focuses on building joint cross-functional teams with skilled engineers and administrators to handle development and operations, respectively.

The AWS DevOps concept implies a significant degree of automation covering critical aspects of development, including deployment, monitoring, and testing. For example, developers can set up continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipelines for building and integrating code or deploying it to test and production environments.

In practice, implementing AWS DevOps helps enterprises gain the following business advantages:

• Enhanced development productivity

By reducing manual labor and eliminating the need to repeatedly develop and maintain routines for different applications, DevOps enables developers to work more efficiently, resulting in shortened time-to-market.

• Decreased development costs

Implementing AWS DevOps allows enterprises to rapidly handle and reduce a solution’s downtime, ensuring its regulatory compliance, which can naturally result in lower ownership and maintenance costs.

• More quality and bug-free code

Since developers work in short iterations, they can release code more frequently, easier find bugs, and improve application stability.

• Increased customer satisfaction

With AWS DevOps, developers can respond faster to user feedback and requests, helping tailor products or services to customer requirements and needs.

Four tips for the successful adoption of AWS DevOps

While AWS DevOps is advantageous, its implementation remains challenging. Here are some recommendations that can come in handy here.

1. Identifying business requirements early on

Since implementing AWS DevOps is quite expensive and labor-intensive, we recommend validating its viability regarding the enterprise’s unique business case. That way, if decision-makers discover that AWS DevOps is not the best option for their project, they can consider other methodologies or vendors.

For example, decision-makers can initiate business analysis to identify significant software development pain points and determine if AWS DevOps can solve them. In the simplest scenario, decision-makers can discuss the following questions with their internal IT specialists:

• What are our main pain points regarding software development?

• Can the DevOps methodology help us solve these problems? How exactly?

• Should we adopt AWS DevOps? Why?

• Is our organization ready for AWS DevOps? What changes within an enterprise (cultural, organizational, etc.) are required to ensure smooth adoption?

• Do we have the necessary talent to implement AWS DevOps? Should we engage third-party developers to close the skill gap?

On the one hand, answers to these and other questions can validate the viability of AWS DevOps. On the other, they can help understand if an enterprise is ready to operate with AWS DevOps and how it is better to start the implementation.

2. Learning the best AWS DevOps practices

Once decision-makers determine that the game is worth the candle, an enterprise can start planning the AWS DevOps implementation. At this stage, we recommend entrusting corporate IT specialists to research official AWS practices; the latter can help build an actionable adoption plan. 

Here are some of these practices:

• Adopting role-based access control (RBAC)

Ensuring development security should always be the number one priority, and this is where RBAC can help. The essence of this concept is to define user roles within an enterprise and assign them to team members. With RBAC, enterprises can limit access to valuable data, reducing cyber security risks in advance.

• Establishing and tracking relevant KPIs

AWS recommends identifying and tracking several key metrics to track the effectiveness of an enterprise DevOps strategy throughout the development. Some examples are the number of deployments, the number of builds, and the average build time.

• Ensuring that unit tests amount to not less than 70% of all testing activities

According to AWS, enterprises that operate within the DevOps methodology should invest much effort in unit testing. With unit tests, developers can quickly identify bugs and thus ensure the highest quality code.

3. Choosing the right AWS DevOps tools

AWS offers multiple DevOps tools, each focusing on a specific development aspect. To choose the right tools for their projects, decision-makers should clearly understand the roles of these services in the AWS DevOps ecosystem.

To be more specific, there are eighteen AWS DevOps tools that can be divided into several groups depending on their purpose.

Continuous integration and delivery:

• AWS CodePipeline

• AWS CodeBuild

• AWS CodeDeploy

• AWS CodeStar

• AWS CodeCatalyst

• AWS Proton

Compute and services:

• Amazon Elastic Container Service

• AWS AppRunner

• AWS Lambda

• AWS Amplify

• AWS Fargate

Infrastructure as code:

• AWS Cloud Formation

• AWS OpsWorks

• AWS Systems Manager

• AWS Config

• AWS CDK

Security and monitoring:

• Amazon CloudWatch

• AWS X-Ray

• AWS CloudTrail

• Amazon GuardDuty

• AWS WAF

4. Consulting with AWS DevOps experts

In an ideal scenario, decision-makers should also involve AWS DevOps experts in their projects right from the start. An experienced consultant can help implement a DevOps culture within an enterprise and choose the right AWS DevOps tools. If needed, a consultant also can coordinate release scheduling and app deployment.

Final thoughts

Today, the high speed of software release and delivery is critical for any business wanting to boost its competitiveness. To achieve this business advantage, enterprises can implement AWS DevOps, which empowers coding, testing, and deployment automation with specialized AWS tools.

However, implementing AWS DevOps is a challenging task that can fail if not managed properly. Clearly defining business goals, using AWS best practices, choosing the right AWS tools, and consulting with AWS experts are some steps enterprises can take to ensure that AWS DevOps adoption is smooth and successful.

Pavel Buyevich, Cloud Solution Architect