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Eight useful tools for devops success

Paul Krill | June 28, 2016
Software and services aimed at automation and analytics are helping fuel the devops revolution

Devops has been gaining steam at organisations of all stripes thanks to its ability to bridge the gap between software development and operations and to smooth rifts between developers and systems administrators. These two groups have historically butted heads over software development, testing, and deploying the apps into production, but devops aims to save the day.  

A host of tools have been introduced in the devops vein, with configuration managements tools like Puppet and Chef perhaps the best known. But the devops tools landscape is much broader than configuration management. Here are eight other tools geared toward devops-minded organizations, each focused on application deployments.

1. Automic

Useful devops tools: Automic

Automic focuses on software release automation for devops. The tool serves as an orchestrator for implementing workflows and release pipelines, says Automic CTO John Purrier, and it can orchestrate across tools like Jenkins, Chef, and Puppet. Its Docker Package builds visual workflows and automates Docker container builds.

Total Administrative Services Corp. (TASC), which administers employee benefits, uses Automic to automate its software deployments. "We can now do a deployment of our software starting at 3 p.m. and nobody knows, and that's a huge step. And the Automic solution was easy to implement, easy to use; it's easy to train on and it's easy to grow," said TASC's Tom Flitter, director of applications and integration, in a YouTube video.

2. Red Hat Ansible

Useful devops tools: Red Hat Ansible

Ansible is an open source, command-line-driven automation platform for deploying applications and alleviating complexity. The accompanying Ansible Tower serves as a mission control for Ansible, providing control, security, and delegation, according to Justin Demmers, product marketing manager for Ansible Tower. "In the devops world, manual is a no-no," Demmers says, adding that Ansible, which was acquired by Red Hat in 2015, can automate almost anything an IT organization does manually today, such as deploying virtual machines or actual code.

3. Dynatrace Ruxit

Useful devops tools: Dynatrace Ruxit

Ruxit is an application performance management tool that's focused on the operations side. It features what Dynatrace describes as artificial intelligence for analysis and alerting; for example, it can detect if an application is using too many database calls. Alois Reitbauer, Dynatrace's chief technical strategist for Ruxit, says that it targets "cloud native" apps, which he defines as apps that are developed based on the principles of the cloud from the ground up, using such technologies as Amazon Web Services and microservices.

"Devops obviously is all about collaboration across all of the different departments," Dynatrace's Reitbauer says. "And once you really adopt a devops mentality, you need an easy way to communicate." Various stakeholders in the application development process can communicate via Ruxit, and the tool offers automated analysis and built-in expert knowledge. It is being converged with Dynatrace's Application Monitoring tool.


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