Best DevOps Tools for Each Phase of the DevOps Lifecycle

In this article we will explore each phase of the DevOps lifecycle as well as the common tools used in each phase of the DevOps lifecycle.

As technology continues to integrate more and more with our everyday lives, businesses need to be able to deliver and improve services quickly and efficiently to stay competitive. DevOps practices aim to combine development and operations teams to improve the software delivery and development process through collaboration and automation. Part of those practices is the DevOps Lifecycle, a structured approach covering every aspect of the development lifecycle from planning to deployment.

Each phase of the DevOps lifecycle is crucial and has specific tools designed to help teams automate tasks, enhance collaboration, and ensure continuous integration and delivery. Whether you’re an experienced DevOps Engineer, just starting, or you play another role on the DevOps team, mastering these tools can significantly enhance your development and deployment workflow.

In this article, we will examine each phase of the DevOps lifecycle, highlight popular tools that support each phase of development, and explain what those tools do to help DevOps teams.

DevOps Lifecycle Tools and Phases:

DevOps Planning Tools

In DevOps, the planning phase plays a foundational role in the success of any project. Bringing together development and operations teams at the beginning ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding project goals, requirements, and scope. Effective collaboration during the planning phase leads to better communication, sets clear expectations, and establishes a roadmap for the entire development process.

There are several tools available to support teams in the planning phase of the DevOps lifecycle. DevOps planning tools include:

DevOps Planning Tools
DevOps Planning Tools
  • Jira - (Free & Paid) is a web-based project management and issue-tracking tool used for bug tracking, agile project management, and workflow automation.

  • Trello - (Free & Paid) is a web-based visual collaboration tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to help teams organize and prioritize tasks and projects.

  • Miro - (Free & Paid) is a web-based whiteboard tool that allows users to plan and collaborate in real-time through collaborative boards and video platforms.

See our full list of DevOps planning tools in our "Best DevOps Planning Tools" article.

DevOps Coding Tools

The coding phase is when software is actually developed. It requires tools that facilitate writing, reviewing, and managing code efficiently. Ensuring a seamless and collaborative coding environment is essential for DevOps teams to maintain high productivity and code quality.

DevOps coding tools include:

DevOps Coding Tools
DevOps Coding Tools
  • Visual Studio Code - (Free) is a lightweight, open-source code editor developed by Microsoft, featuring built-in support for debugging, version control, and various programming languages through extensions.

  • GitHub Copilot - (Paid) is an AI-powered code completion tool that assists developers by directly suggesting code snippets, functions, and entire lines of code within their code editor.

  • GitHub - (Free & Paid) is a web-based platform that provides version control and collaborative features for software development projects using Git, allowing multiple developers to work on and manage code repositories.

See our full list of DevOps coding tools in our "Best DevOps Coding Tools" article.

DevOps Build Tools

The build phase in the DevOps lifecycle involves compiling source code, packaging it into executable artifacts, and preparing it for release and deployment. The build phase is crucial for ensuring the code is correctly compiled and the resulting artifacts are consistent, reliable, and deployable at a moment's notice.

There are countless tools specifically designed to streamline the build process, manage dependencies, and ensure reproducibility. Some DevOps build tools include (but are not limited to):

DevOps Build Tools
DevOps Build Tools
  • Docker - (Free & Paid) is an open-source platform that automates application deployment, scaling, and management by packaging applications into lightweight, portable containers.

  • Maven - (Free) is an open-source build automation and project management tool for Java-based projects.

  • NPM - (Free & Paid) a package manager for JavaScript that allows developers to share and reuse code, manage project dependencies, and run scripts for tasks

DevOps Testing Tools (Test Automation Tools)

The testing phase is crucial in the DevOps lifecycle as it ensures that the code is functional, reliable, and free of defects before it is deployed. Automated testing tools play a vital role in this phase by enabling continuous testing, reducing manual effort, and ensuring high-quality releases.

DevOps Testing tools include:

DevOps Testing Tools
DevOps Testing Tools
  • Selenium - (Free) an open-source tool for automating web browsers, allowing developers to write test scripts in various programming languages to perform automated testing of web applications across different browsers and platforms.

  • Junit - (Free) a testing framework for Java that enables developers to write and run repeatable automated tests to ensure the correctness of their code.

  • TestNG - (Free) a testing framework inspired by JUnit and NUnit, designed to cover a wider range of test categories with more powerful and flexible functionalities for testing in Java applications.

DevOps Release Tools (CI/CD Automation Tools)

The release phase in the DevOps lifecycle focuses on tagging and publishing the built and tested code into a central repository to be deployed later. Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) tools are critical in this phase, automating the deployment process, reducing manual interventions, and ensuring that releases are consistent, reliable, and quick.

Some DevOps Release tools include:

DevOps Release Tools (CI/CD Automation Tools)
DevOps Release Tools (CI/CD Automation Tools)
  • Jenkins (Free) is an open-source automation server used to automate building, testing, and deploying software projects. It provides continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) capabilities.

  • Bamboo - (Paid) is a CI/CD server that automates the build, test, and release processes for software applications.

  • GitHub Actions - (Free & Paid) is an automation tool integrated into GitHub that enables developers to create custom workflows for building, testing, and deploying their code directly from their repositories.

DevOps Deployment Tools

The deployment phase in the DevOps lifecycle is where the application is delivered to the production environment. This phase involves orchestrating infrastructure, managing configurations, and ensuring smooth, predictable, error-free deployments. Several tools are specifically designed to automate and optimize the deployment process, ensuring scalability, reliability, and consistency.

DevOps Deployment tools include:

  • Terraform - (Free & Paid) is an open-source infrastructure as code (IaC) tool that allows developers to define and provision data center infrastructure.

  • Kubernetes - (Free) is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates containerized applications' deployment, scaling, and management across clusters of machines.

  • Ansible - (Free & Paid) is an open-source automation tool for IT tasks such as configuration management, application deployment, and orchestration.

DevOps Operations Tools

The operations phase in the DevOps lifecycle focuses on maintaining, monitoring, and securing applications and infrastructure in production. This phase is critical for ensuring deployed applications' stability, performance, and security. Several tools are designed to facilitate effective operations by providing monitoring, backup, and security capabilities.

DevOps Operations tools include:

  • logz.io - (Paid) is a cloud-based observability and security platform that helps organizations monitor, troubleshoot, and secure their applications and infrastructure.

  • SnapShooter - (Paid) is a backup and recovery service that enables users to create, manage, and restore snapshots of their digital assets, such as servers and databases.

  • Hashicorp Vault - (Free & Paid) is a security tool for managing and protecting sensitive data, such as secrets, passwords, and encryption keys.

DevOps Monitoring Tools (Application Performance Monitoring Tools)

The monitoring phase in the DevOps lifecycle is essential for ensuring that applications and infrastructure are performing optimally. Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tools provide real-time insights into system health, performance, and user experience. Monitoring tools help DevOps teams identify and resolve issues before they impact end users.

DevOps Monitoring tools include:

  • Dynatrace - (Paid) is a software intelligence platform that provides application performance monitoring, infrastructure monitoring, and digital experience management.

  • Datadog - (Free & Paid) is a cloud-based monitoring and analytics platform that provides comprehensive visibility into application performance, infrastructure, and logs,

  • Prometheus - (Free) is an open-source monitoring and alerting toolkit designed for reliability and scalability, primarily used for collecting and storing time-series data, querying metrics, and generating alerts based on those metrics.

Take a more in-depth look into monitoring and APM tools for DevOps in our 7 Best APM Tools Article.

Each phase of the DevOps lifecycle is supported by specialized tools designed to automate tasks, enhance collaboration, and ensure smooth and continuous integration and delivery. Mastering these tools can significantly enhance development and deployment workflows, leading to more efficient and reliable software delivery.

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