Top 5 Open Source Pipeline Tools for DevOps

DevOps is nothing new, but since the birth of DevOps in 2008, it's been adopted by more and more organizations to stay competitive, to stay ahead of their competition, and to provide a better customer experience. 

Jenkins

Jenkins is an open-source continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) platform. When you use Jenkins for Continuous Integration, you can configure a server for automatically performing unit tests, code coverage, functional testing, and application performance testing. You can then deploy your CI/CD application to a test environment or a production environment.

Jenkins is also great for releasing updates to your application. Using a command line, you can issue automated updates by publishing a 'set' on an updated set. This capability allows you to update and test your code before you release it.

Jenkins supports Continuous Deployment as well. When you configure Jenkins for Continuous Deployment, Jenkins will automatically run the build, test, and release tasks when you push code to the local repository. Then Jenkins will deploy the application when you push code to a remote repository.

Finally, Jenkins is used to test the health of your application by running two tests: a test suite and a health check. Jenkins will build the application in development and perform the health check in the CI/CD pipeline. When the tests pass, Jenkins will build and test the application. If the health check pass, Jenkins will build and test the application for release.

Post Graduate Program in DevOps

Designed in collaboration with Caltech CTMEExplore Course
Post Graduate Program in DevOps

Git

Git is a distributed version control system (CVS, Subversion, etc.) that simplifies the creation, change, and tracking of software. This article uses the terms "Git" and "VCS" interchangeably, as both describe similar features.

A Version Control System is a software tool that allows users to create, edit and track changes to projects. As with any system, a VCS is a best practice and the way of doing things when building software, but few companies adopt and implement a VCS effectively.

Version control is essential to software development, no matter the application. Creating, updating, and modifying projects is just part of being a software developer. It's why so many software applications and tools have edit or upload features on their website or social media site. However, when developers work in a team setting, it can be difficult to share and collaborate across silos.

Currently, Git is the most popular and widely used VCS, and it's simple, user-friendly, and comes pre-installed with most Linux distributions. When using Git, you'll have full access to source code and full system permissions.

Git was created by Linus Torvalds, one of the original developers of Linux. With the vast amount of support that Git has received from other programmers and software companies, it's easier than ever to get started using Git to create and manage software, and DevOps teams have taken note.

Building software is a different way of thinking. If you've ever used Visual Studio Code, Xcode, or any other programming language/environment, then you're familiar with how many of these tools work. Since developers use a version control system (VCS) to track changes to source code, the developers don't have to deal with multiple tools that are not integrated.

What's great about Git is it's designed for developers, which means that everyone in the software development process can work with it. With a Git repository, you can easily view, search, and navigate files in a couple of clicks, and everyone in the development process can work with the same system. This functionality makes the process easier and more efficient for all stakeholders, especially developers who don't work with multiple tools.

Docker

When you are developing software, the last thing you want is to repeat the whole thing after your release. Developers want to see their code running as soon as they make a change to the code, so they can fix it as soon as they find a bug. The ability to commit changes at any time, and to deploy that software as soon as it is ready with the only minimum of human intervention, is what makes DevOps popular in today's fast-paced world. This is the concept behind Docker, a technology that enables developers and DevOps teams to release more software faster, easier, and with less risk to the developers and organizations as a whole.

The standard procedure for software developers today is to have multiple staging and production environments for them to work on different versions of a product to achieve the best functionality and user experience. If one of these environments experiences a problem, the developers need to fix it without disrupting the other environments. But even with the best testing and monitoring practices in place, there's still a risk that a bug will arise that will cause the whole environment to be unusable. By having multiple environments, you eliminate this risk, enabling development teams to spend more time improving their products rather than fixing them.

In order to scale effectively, large organizations tend to use a batch method, where their developers submit new code changes and patches to a central repository (the version control system), then wait for an operator to manually sync them to all the systems, one by one. Since there are so many people involved, it is extremely hard to detect mistakes, and the ability to track problems or catch them on time is pretty much non-existent. It takes up too much time, human resources, and resources. To improve the speed of this process and achieve faster turnaround times, organizations have introduced DevOps technologies. These technologies enable you to upload and manage all your code repositories in a similar way to managing your git repositories. However, instead of creating and maintaining multiple git repositories to upload all your code, the goal is to eliminate all the manual labor and error-prone processes by using a real-time container-based process. You can't copy/paste changes to/from other repositories anymore, and instead, you have "droplets" of code that you update.

The idea behind Docker is to use containers to run multiple applications at the same time. That means, with a few clicks, you can move from one application to another (for example, from the development environment to staging environment to production environment) at the click of a button.

By grouping the functions that you want to use in a given environment, you can quickly change the environment for an individual developer (or the team as a whole) and then easily restart the entire environment without messing with any application data. This arrangement allows developers to concentrate on their work rather than worrying about how long it will take to transfer the data or when the new environment will be up and running. By implementing tools designed to run in Docker containers, such as Helm and Deis, you can implement an entirely new DevOps process that reduces time, effort, and risks associated with the development and deployment cycles.

FREE DevOps Certification Training

Master the fundamnetals of DevOpsEnrol Now
FREE DevOps Certification Training

Selenium

Selenium is a component of the browser automation project which you can use to create automated tests to ensure that your web application delivers the end product you expect. Selenium provides a set of tools and libraries which help you do this.

Selenium is written in JavaScript and comes with a suite of tools and libraries to help create real-time web-based applications. The current stable version of Selenium includes the following tools and libraries:

  • Selenium Browser
  • Selenium WebDriver
  • Selenium Example
  • Selenium IDE
  • Selenium Charts

Selenium works well with all browsers that support the CanJS Javascript driver.

Download the latest Selenium WebDriver installer, available here: https://www.selenium.dev/

Before you start using Selenium, you will need to run the WebDriver.sh script you downloaded.

First, copy and paste the contents of this file:

./webdriver.sh

If you are using Linux, you can use a terminal or SSH to run it:

brew install nodejs brew install ./webdriver.sh

If you are using Windows, just make sure you have the WebDriver .NET Library installed:

Install-Package WebDriver.Net

First, you have to configure your environment by running:

samples \ selenium-webdriver-zaa \

Then you can type this command:

Start

Your browser should open to the Example Usual Way.

Selenium provides an effective way to automate web browser functionality. It's great for creating or augmenting simple web applications. It allows you to write tests at a much higher velocity.

We can utilize functional testing techniques (i.e., integration, architecture, UI, accessibility, TDD) to ensure that the end product is usable. It can be used to write web applications in different environments, such as in a mobile environment, a browser plugin, a desktop environment, and many more.

Selenium provides an excellent solution for many testing needs, from basic "can you open this webpage?" to highly automated functional testing of complex, distributed systems.

Splunk

Splunk (which stands for 'Spatial Monitoring Informatics Explorer') is a software solution to help you analyze machine data. With Splunk, you can search through a vast amount of data in seconds by using keywords or data elements. Also, you can drill down from that data to find the relevant information you need. This makes it the perfect tool for finding the problems before they become too serious.

Although data analysts will certainly benefit from the technology, it's developers who will benefit the most.

When you start with Splunk, it has a GUI. From here, you can configure settings for your software environment. If you are running a generic OS or virtualized system, then you can skip this step.

If you have a clustered environment, you must configure your software and assign it to a group. This is usually done from a central location, either on your local machine or the host machine of the host servers.

After this, the machine's data is sent to a Splunk server. Once your data is collected, you can have that information visualized and analyzed through a user interface that appears when you press the play button. The data then shows you all the relevant information and helps you find the issues causing the problems.

Splunk provides the perfect platform for the development and testing process, and many developers use it for this. Developers use Splunk to:

  • Define, track and automate testing processes.
  • Monitor application performance.
  • Test for security vulnerabilities.
  • Ensure application security.
  • Analyze your application to determine any issues.

Also, the discovery, analysis, and presentation of events are provided through a graphical user interface. By using tools such as Splunk, you can find the problems before they become too serious.

Pros

Splunk helps you to identify any issues that may be happening in your software before it becomes too serious. This can save your team a lot of time and money.

Data-collection and visualization tools help you to find the problems you need to look into. Splunk works perfectly for DevOps teams as it allows them to monitor the status of their software and keep it secure.

Interested to begin a career in DevOps? Enroll now for the DevOps Certification Course. Click to check out the course curriculum.

Cons

Although there are no cons with Splunk, there is a downside to using it.

When you first install Splunk, you are required to enter your username and password for the software. For most people, this will be done on a terminal. However, if you don't have access to this, you will need to log in to your account on Splunk's website. You then select the exact software you need and install it. However, this can take a while, especially if you have to transfer data from other systems. Once complete, you will then need to access your data using the visualization tools.

If you lose your data or forget to update it, there is no way to recover the data. Although there are some ways to access your data if you lose it, you will need to either log in to your Splunk account or spend money on a backup software solution.

With this issue in mind, it's advisable to keep your data somewhere safe and preferably under the management of another person, such as a DevOps engineer or software developer.

So, there we have it. Splunk helps DevOps teams to manage their software and stay secure, which allows the DevOps team to spend their time on more useful tasks.

To get a complete understanding of DevOps tools, technologies, and techniques, consider enrolling in the Post Graduate Program in DevOps. This program will give you access to Caltech CTME’s resources as you become an expert in DevOps.

About the Author

Matthew DavidMatthew David

Matt is a Digital Leader at Accenture. His passion is a combination of solving today's problems to run more efficiently, adjusting focus to take advantage of digital tools to improve tomorrow and move organizations to new ways of working that impact the future.

View More
  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.