Specific deployment strategies can significantly reduce your deployment time and software quality. We have combined proven techniques and tools to help you refine your IT deployment plan for greater efficiency and effectiveness.
Instead of waiting for a test to complete, the DevOps team runs multiple tests concurrently on different machines. Frameworks like Selenium Grid let you execute tests across diverse operating systems. In addition, Docker allows your teams to run the application code and underlying dependencies consistently in different environments.
Companies can maintain two identical deployment environments (Blue and Green). One is used for live traffic, while the other is kept for testing. Teams test new releases in the test environment before moving them to the live environment. This way, issues in new versions don’t interrupt critical processes, and your teams have more time to fix the problem.
Teams can roll new software updates incrementally to a small subset of users. You can deploy the app traffic to 10% of customers and monitor for problems. The release is then gradually expanded until the software version is available to the entire user base.
Staged deployments involve rolling out app versions to different environments, including development, testing, and staging. This helps your teams verify that a new update is compatible with various dependencies and configurations before you deploy to production.
Rollback lets you revert software deployments to a stable build if the release causes problems. Companies can implement rollback functionality differently, depending on their infrastructure. For instance, Git has tools that restore previous code versions, and the Kubernetes container orchestration platform has a native rollback feature.
Implementing feature flags (feature toggles or flippers) lets you turn on or off specific app features for testing, experimentation, or gradual rollout. Like other production deployment best practices, it improves error handling and allows quick rollback. Tools like ConfigCat help you manage feature flags for different languages and platforms.
Continuous integration (CI)
CI tools like Jenkins and Travis CI help integrate code change from multiple contributors into a shared repository. Every integration is followed by automatic tests and validations that catch bugs and ensure the code is deployable.
Continuous deployment (CD)
CD software automatically configures and releases the verified code into the production environment. This practice is often used with CI as part of a shared pipeline that deploys code that passes CI checks. For example, GitLab CI/CD is a popular tool that automates code commits to the prod deployment environment.
Log rotation and retention
Storing logs indefinitely can consume considerable disk space and affect your computing power. Tools like AWS CloudWatch Logs let you create policies for archiving and deleting old log files based on different rules (like their creation time, frequency, and file size).
Thorough post-deployment reviews let DevOps teams identify the strengths and weaknesses of your production deployment process. They help focus on practices that improve deployment frequency and simplify error handling while getting rid of tools that add complexity to the workflow without providing significant value. Regular assessments also verify the IT system meets your company’s performance and cost requirements.
By implementing these strategies, DevOps experts and system admins can optimize their workflow. Now, let’s focus on specific issues that help your team spend less time troubleshooting.