Best DevOps Tools & Software 2021

DevOps extends agile and lean principles throughout the complete software development process. It allows a firm to get a product from concept to production release as quickly as possible by allowing it to maximize the speed of its delivery process, from inception to finished product release, through customer feedback, and enhancements based on that input.

What are DevOps Tools?

DevOps tools streamline the collaboration of management, development, and operations for creating software. DevOps is a cultural movement as much as it is a toolset or framework. In recent years, it has become popular to describe how we can work together better between Development (Dev) and Operations (Ops) teams. DevOps is a way of thinking and doing, not just automation tools for engineers to use. DevOps combines development best practices with IT operational processes to deliver applications faster than ever before.

What are the Benefits of DevOps?

DevOps allows an organization’s developers and operations staff to create software more quickly and with better quality. In addition, DevOps helps increase accountability, collaboration, and transparency between Development and Operations teams by providing a shared, common goal: creating great products for customers.

There are three areas where DevOps provides a significant return on investment, namely:

  • Faster time to value: The creation of a culture, procedures, and automation that enable quick, efficient, and reliable software delivery from development through production is what it takes for a faster time to value. DevOps allows you to plan releases easily, predict them accurately, and succeed.
  • Increased innovation capacity: DevOps helps teams collaborate more easily across organizational boundaries to solve problems that include reducing the cycle time from idea to production for new products, improving quality of service through frequent releases, using feedback loops from development into operations to help prioritize what should be built next, increasing collaboration between teams.
  • Enhanced customer experience: DevOps enables organizations to deliver a superior customer experience by delivering value faster, more reliably, and lower costs.

Numerous DevOps tools and software play a critical role in streamlining management, development, and operations collaboration for creating software. According to a study published by Global Industry Analysts Inc. (GIA), the worldwide DevOps market is projected to grow from US$6 Billion in 2020 to US$17.8 Billion by 2026 — a CAGR of 19.9%. Driving this growth are solutions — DevOps tools and software — that are forecasted to grow by 18.5% CAGR and attain a market size of US$11.4 Billion by 2026. 

This demand is likely to grow exponentially as more organizations appreciate  DevOps’ ability to streamline the collaboration of management, development, and operations for creating software. Therefore, development specialists and other IT professionals looking to leverage the power of DevOps need reliable information on the best DevOps tools in the arena.

There are hundreds of DevOps tools and software for every facet of DevOps work, such as version control, CI/CD and deployment, issue, project tracking and communications, containerization, configuration management, virtual infrastructure and managed services, and much more.

Also read: Top Container Software Solutions for 2021

Top DevOps Tools and Software

Below are some of the best DevOp tools grouped into six main categories. 

Git: Version Control and Distributed Source Code Management

One of the most popular DevOps tools is Git. Although hosted services like GitHub and GitLab are popular ways to use Git, many organizations choose to self-host it on-premises in accordance with regulatory compliance or corporate governance rules.

Why Git?

Since its inception in 2005, the adoption of Git as a DevOps technology has grown dramatically, and it is now the standard for software for version control. It is designed to manage everything from small to massive projects with speed and efficiency. Furthermore, it is simple to use, has a tiny footprint and lightning-fast performance. It also features low local branching, convenient staging areas, and various workflows that outmatch SCM tools like Subversion, CVS, Perforce, and ClearCase.

Git is a command-line application by default. However, you can download the GUI client to manage your source code from a user-friendly graphical interface. In addition, many source code editors, such as Visual Studio Code, include a built-in Git editor tool.

Keeping your source code in repositories where your team members can commit their contributions allows you to integrate Git into your DevOps workflow. The most popular online Git repository hosting services at the moment are Github, Gitlab, and Bitbucket.

These platforms allow you to store public and private repositories, track and discuss issues, and manage software releases. They also provide additional DevOps capabilities such as built-in continuous development, security features, auditing and collaboration tools, code review, and much more.

Price: Free and open source

Jenkins: CI/CD and Deployment

Jenkins is one of the most popular CI/CD and Deployment tools, with many software developers adopting it as an open-source platform for task automation throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC). In addition, Jenkins manages traffic at the crossroads between development, automation, release management, and more by supporting a wide range of plugins to add functionality.

Why Jenkins?

Think of Jenkins as the swiss army knife of software development with support for or a plugin available for most of your DevOps needs. Jenkins integrates with a wide range of DevOps solutions such as GitHub for continuous code review, Jira Software for agile project management, Docker Hub Enterprise or Quay to build container images, Puppet and Chef to manage system configuration, and much more.

Price: Free and open source

Jira: Issue, Project Tracking and Communications Platform

Another DevOps tool in the DevOps software arena is Jira Software. It provides a better way for teams of all sizes to plan projects, track work, make agile releases through DevOps automation, and collaborate with DevOps teams to build better software faster.

Why Jira?

Jira allows you to plan projects, track work items in an agile workflow, make or release code changes through automation tools like Jenkins Pipeline. You can also visualize dependencies between tasks using reports and Kanban boards so your team can focus on what’s essential and collaborate.

Price: There is a free tier with limited functionality for small teams. The standard plan costs $7.50 per user per month, while the Premium Plan costs $14.50 per user per month. Enterprise plan pricing is available for more than 800 users. All paid plans have a free trial.

Docker and Kubernetes: Containerization Platforms

Containerization is a lightweight form of virtualization that encapsulates the source code and all of its dependencies as a container image. It allows them to be deployed to various environments without additional configuration.

Docker

Docker has revolutionized how we build, ship, and run distributed applications by providing a single platform for managing the application and its dependencies on any infrastructure.

Docker provides a seamless way for deploying your code using containers, whether you are building new microservices or migrating existing applications to containers. With Docker, developers can build their software within isolated container environments that act just like standalone Linux machines even though they run directly on the host operating system kernel.

Why Docker?

Docker containers are one of the most popular DevOps tools right now and for a good reason. Developers love how easy it is to build new services or migrate existing applications into a container environment without worrying about underlying infrastructure changes. With pre-built images available on hub.docker.com, you can get your code up and running in minutes.

Price: Docker offers a free tier for developers with all the tools you need to get started, including access to Hub (Docker’s public registry). Enterprise pricing for medium and large businesses that need centralized management and advanced security capabilities starts at $21 per user per month.

Kubernetes

Kubernetes is a container orchestration system that takes container management to the next level. It was created by Google engineers looking for a solution to manage containers at scale. Kubernetes can help you organize your containers into logical units. It works well with Docker or any of its competitors.

Why Kubernetes?

Kubernetes, originally built by Google engineers to automate the deployment of large numbers of containers on their internal infrastructure, has emerged as one of the best DevOps tools in recent years.

If you only have a few containers, you may not need a container orchestration platform. However, it’s the next logical step once you reach a certain degree of complexity and want to scale your resources. You can automate the management of hundreds or thousands of containers using Kubernetes.

You don’t have to connect your containerized apps to a single machine when using Kubernetes. Instead, you can construct a cluster of computers and automate the distribution and scheduling of containers across the whole group with Kubernetes.

A Kubernetes cluster has one master and many worker nodes. The master node enforces your pre-defined conditions and deploys the containers to the other nodes. Everything is monitored carefully by Kubernetes to prevent mistakes; for example, it will redistribute containers when one worker node is offline.

Price: Free and open-source. There is a cost for the Google Container Engine (GKE) hosted service. You can estimate your monthly cost using Google’s Cloud Pricing Calculator.

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform: Configuration Management

Ansible is an open-source configuration management tool by RedHat. It is used for provisioning systems and deploying software. In addition, it allows you to configure and manage your remote machines from a central location.

Why Ansible?

Ansible is an excellent choice for DevOps automation because of its ease of use, low learning curve, and portability across Linux platforms and Windows systems. In addition, it can automate system administration tasks such as adding users, installing packages, and updating configurations.

Ansible is agentless software that uses SSH to communicate with remote systems. This means there are no extra components or dependencies you have to install on your machines for Ansible to work correctly.

Price: Free, open-source software under the GNU General Public License version (GPLv+) license. Enterprise support is available for a fee in two tiers differentiated by support and features. Enterprise support pricing depends on the number of nodes (systems, hosts, instances, VMs, containers, or devices).

AWS DevOps: Virtual Infrastructure and Managed Services

You can now operate your whole DevOps stack in the cloud thanks to managed DevOps services from cloud service providers.

AWS DevOps is a collection of integrated DevOps tools to help you manage your entire software development lifecycle. Even though AWS is primarily utilized in the cloud, you can use AWS Outposts to install any component of the AWS infrastructure on your in-house server and run all of the tools on-premises.

Why AWS DevOps?

In 2002, when Amazon Web Services was founded, the virtualization of data centers was not new. However, the growth in public Cloud usage over the last 20 years has, without a doubt, been one of the most significant technological trends. Despite continuing technology refreshes and the retirement of legacy systems, cloud adoption is still widespread, especially among big business organizations undergoing continual technology renewal and switchover processes.

AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeBuild, AWS CodeDeploy, AWS CodeStar, and more are all part of the AWS DevOps toolkit. Overall, AWS DevOps is probably the best DevOps platform for current or future Amazon Web Services users.

Price: You can estimate your monthly cost using AWS Pricing Calculator.

Choosing the Best DevOps Tools for Your Team

Each organization is unique. Therefore, it may take some testing and experimentation to find the best DevOps software for you. You should also take organizational culture into account.

Open source tools generally require more time to configure and set up. If you settle on a commercial tool, take advantage of free trials to test and evaluate. While the initial process of selecting your tool will require considerable investment in research time, there is no doubt you will enjoy a significant return on investment.

Read next: Choosing the Right Storage to Provision DevOps

Kihara Kimachia
Kihara Kimachia has been a professional tech writer and digital marketing consultant for more than ten years. He has a great passion for technology and currently works freelance for several leading tech websites.

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