DevOps is revolutionizing the way enterprises deliver apps to the market. It blends software development and information technology operations, or the processes and services used by IT staff, as well as their internal and external clients to fulfill their business duties.
Such a convergence creates an assembly line for the cloud, as Tim Erlin wrote for The State of Security, and increases the rate at which companies can develop apps and deliver them to users.
This process involves intensive work. Consequently, DevOps engineers are constantly on the lookout for new tools. The only problem is that there are so many options out there. Where do they start?
To save teams some time, here are 12 indispensable DevOps tools for 2017. These utilities are arranged alphabetically and are not ranked.
Ansible is an automation engine that enables IT admins to automate parts of their daily tasks. Enterprises that use Ansible stand to benefit from increased accountability and compliance in their IT environments as well as innovation and collaboration among their employees. Organizations can also take their Ansible deployment one step further with Tower, which adds control, security and other capabilities that enterprises can monitor with a UI and RESTful API.
An infrastructure-neutral platform, Docker integrates into any environment and provides full stack portability for apps. The framework comes with certified containers that enterprises can use to build secure, safer applications. Organizations may choose the Enterprise Edition, which streamlines app development and production across locations running Windows and Linux.
Chef is a platform designed to help organizations manage their infrastructure. The Chef Server stores an enterprise’s “cookbooks,” or repositories which houses information about the desired state of a customer’s infrastructure, as well as details pertaining to every “node,” or network machine on which the Chef client runs and obtains configuration information. Chef helps organizations manage all their on-premises and cloud environments as well as accelerates the process of enterprises adopting the cloud.
As a version control system (VCS) tool, Git helps developers manage their projects with speed and efficiency. It’s free and open-source, which means anyone can use it. One of its signature features is a branching model that allows developers to create multiple local branches, or pointers to a commit, that are independent of one another. Developers can then merge, create, or delete these branches as their infrastructure evolves.
Jenkins is another automation server that supports developers as they build, deploy and automate their projects. Users can employ Jenkins as a continuous integration (CI) server or leverage it for continuous delivery (CD). Easy to install and configure, the platform is customizable with nearly every type of CI and CD utility via plugins. Jenkins also allows users to distribute their work across multiple machines.
The focus of JIRA is to streamline the collaborative efforts of software teams. Teams can use the tool to distribute tasks to each and every member. They can then leverage JIRA’s real-time, visual data to track their goals and improve their overall performance. Additionally, JIRA provides software teams with an out-of-the-box solution for shipping out software as well as the opportunity to create their own custom workflows.
7. New Relic
More than 15,000 customers use New Relic to innovate with visibility across their infrastructure. A comprehensive tool for data organization, visualization, and evaluation, New Relic enables developers to build apps for any language in any environment. Dashboards track those applications and help deliver insights into how enterprises can optimize their technology stack.
8. OWASP Dependency Check
Technically a SecDevOps utility, OWASP Dependency Check is a tool that organizations use as a Jenkins plugin and in their build infrastructure to check for known, publicly disclosed vulnerabilities. It can also function as part of the solution to OWASP Top 10 2013 A9 – Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities.
Bob Loihl, principal software engineer at Tripwire, has great things to say about OWASP Dependency Check:
“I think it is important in that I can use the Jenkins plugin to monitor a codebase for CVEs in third-party libs on a scheduled basis as well as on commits and give the developer access to the tool through mvn/ant/gradle integrations. As an example, I recently got an email notification that one Library had been upgraded, that we no longer were exposed to a CVE, and that CVE was detected in another library. The new CVE was added to the NVD last night, allowing me to investigate and respond in a much faster time frame than before.”
To learn more about this tool, click here.
Puppet technology helps organizations know what’s in their infrastructure and learn how those assets are configured in their data center, virtualized and cloud infrastructure, and containers. The tool helps enterprises remain compliant while allowing them to make changes while their business needs evolve. For instance, organizations can automate with Puppet to scale up or down into the cloud while preserving the desired state of their infrastructure and applications.
A suite of IT management products, SolarWinds is designed to help organizations manage their dynamic IT environments. More than 250,000 customers use these tools to reduce costs, scale, and evolve as their business grows. SolarWinds boasts nearly thirty different solutions specializing in network management, systems management, IT security, database management, IT help desk, and monitoring the cloud.
Splunk is a platform that offers solutions designed with security, IT service intelligence, and user behavior analytics in mind. Customers can customize their Splunk experience with hundreds of apps available directly from Splunk, its partners, and the Splunkbase community. Organizations can also choose Splunk Enterprise and gain even more insights into how they can further drive their digital transformation.
12. Visual Studio
An integrated development environment (IDE) created by Microsoft, Visual Studio allows enterprises to create computer programs like applications and services for machines running Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, the web, and the cloud. The IDE platform covers the entire software development and production lifecycle, empowering developers to write their programs, debug and test them, collaborate with one another, and release the software to the market.
Seeing the DevOps Culture Through the Tools
Tools are essential for organizations to streamline their software development. Some enterprises are even taking it one step further by merging security testing and secure coding practices with their SDLC utilities.
But as Rick Delgado writes, there’s more to blending DevOps and security together than just finding the right tools:
“The key to merging DevOps with security is to it adopt the DevOps culture more than the tools; it’s difficult to enforce slow security processes when a larger majority of the company is moving at a much faster pace.”
The combined culture of DevOps and security allows organizations to redefine their operations and engineering. On the other side of this transition, otherwise disparate teams can work together and help the enterprise grow and realize forward-thinking goals. That’s what DevSecOps, and DevOps more generally, needs to truly be about going forward.
Tripwire is used in DevOps environments by providing configuration and risk-prioritized vulnerability information, adding a layer of security needed in pre-production and production environments. Tripwire can analyze vulnerabilities in containers and has the ability to run CIS policies with Docker. Tripwire solutions integrate with various DevOps automated deployment tools by placing approved modules in the Puppet Forge and Chef Cookbooks in the Chef Supermaket.
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