Everything You Need To Know About DevOps-as-a-Service (Devops SaaS)

DevOps is all the rage at the moment.

DevOps evangelists are quick to point out its ability to help organizations quickly and intelligently respond to customer needs with a combination of development, IT operations, and release management techniques.

That’s all well and good, but there's a problem—DevOps isn't super accessible. That's true from both a financial and a technical standpoint.

Luckily, DevOps-as-a-Service is finally starting to democratize the DevOps process by making it cheaper and easier to implement. In this article, we'll explain what DevOps SaaS is and how it works. Oh, and we'll also introduce you to Instatus—a status page builder that fits nicely into your DevOps SaaS setup.

Ready to learn more? Let's go!

What Is DevOps-as-a-Service? 

To understand DevOps-as-a-Service, you need to understand DevOps as a concept. So, if you haven't already, we recommend reading our introduction to DevOps.

With that out of the way, let's talk about DevOps-as-a-Service.

Basically, DevOps-as-a-Service (or DevOps SaaS) is a way for organizations to access DevOps practices and tools without needing to hire dedicated resources, build their own infrastructure, or even maintain their own platform.

It's the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, but for DevOps—hence the name. With DevOps-as-a-Service, you can access all the services and tools you need to employ a successful DevOps strategy, delivered directly to you as a pre-packaged service.

Example of DevOps-as-a-Service Platforms & Tools

To add some context to that definition, let's quickly look into two of the most popular DevOps-as-a-Service platforms (and some of the tools they offer):

1. Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps (part of the massive Microsoft Azure platform) is a comprehensive suite of DevOps-as-a-Service tools and services. With Azure, you can access a long list of integrated DevOps products, including:

2. AWS

AWS—Amazon's cloud computing platform—also has an impressive set of DevOps-as-a-Service tools, including:

  • AWS CodePipeline: A CI/CD platform that automates the build, test, and deploy process.
  • AWS CodeBuild: A fully managed build service for compiling, testing, and packaging code.
  • AWS CodeDeploy: A deployment service for quickly and automatically deploying code.
  • AWS CodeStar: A full-featured DevOps integrated development environment.

What Are the Benefits of DevOps-as-a-Service?

Access To Plug-and-Play DevOps Toolchains

DevOps-as-a-Service is an easy and convenient way to access all the tools, services, and processes you need for a successful DevOps strategy without needing to build and maintain your own infrastructure.

In other words, it's a way to “plug and play” your DevOps toolchain—all without needing to source, install, configure, or manage complex software yourself.

Easily Adapt To Changes

Technologies and markets are always changing. It can be expensive and time-consuming to constantly buy, configure, and upgrade the DevOps tools you use.

But with DevOps-as-a-Service, you have an evergreen platform that adapts to those changes and updates automatically. That means your DevOps strategy is always up-to-date and custom-tailored to your needs.

Cost Savings & Scalability

DevOps-as-a-Service also saves you money in the long-term. By avoiding costly investments in hardware, software, and personnel, you can keep your costs down while still maintaining an effective DevOps strategy.

Plus, DevOps-as-a-Service is highly scalable—you can easily access and add additional tools and services as needed. Some platforms (like AWS) even offer pay-as-you-go pricing that's accurate down to the millisecond, so scaling your operations is essentially effortless.

DevOps-as-a-Service Best Practices

Create A Process For Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration (CI) functions as your code's dependable and effective assistant. It handles the construction, testing, and deployment of your code in many configurations, relieving developers of the anxiety of worrying about whether their modifications could cause problems.

With CI, you can get quick feedback and identify issues as soon as they arise. Every change is tested thoroughly and frequently before it is implemented. This first stage of the CI/CD pipeline has significance for identifying potential issues early on, making it an imperative first step for every SaaS firm to undertake.

Make Use Of A Continuous Integration (CI) Server

The goal is to guarantee that your code is reliable and stable across a broad range of platforms. Because the code has been extensively reviewed and tested, you may release your product with more assurance.

By implementing continuous integration, you can deploy updates and new features more quickly, keeping your product up-to-date.

Implement a Continuous Deployment (CD) Process

Imagine you are the founder of a SaaS start-up, and you desire a seamless, automated process for everything. You have a system that can immediately construct new settings or sets of servers for various uses, such as development, testing, or the final product itself.

Implementing a CD process ensures that your program is constantly prepared for deployment. It's comparable to having a unique button you may push to enable new features or updates. The required framework is in place when you press that button, and the ready-to-launch code is patiently awaiting your command. By doing it in this manner, you may easily implement your ideas and maintain your program up to date.

Use a CI/CD Pipeline

CI/CD pipeline is a dependable, quick way to provide updates and changes to your software.

Building and integrating the modifications you've made is the first step. The system releases these updates for your consumers to use once everything is in order. Building and integrating the modifications you’ve made is the first step. The system releases these updates for your consumers to use once everything is in order. This clever method acts as a watchman, spotting any issues before the users ever see them.

Additionally, if something does manage to sneak through, it is easy to identify the problem and fix it immediately before publishing the updated version. This will give your customers the finest, error-free experience possible.

Include Automated Testing In Your CI/CD Pipeline

In the world of software development, the CI/CD process is important if you want to shine brighter than your SaaS competitors. Continuous delivery might be hampered by the slowness and frustration of traditional testing techniques for developers.

Automated testing is the answer because it significantly speeds up the process. With automation, you can rapidly roll out new features to your customers without compromising on quality or security. Your program will advance as quickly as a turbo engine, making it stand out and impress viewers with its exceptional performance.

How DevOps-as-a-Service Can Support Your Workflows

1. Monitoring

In-depth monitoring is a key part of any successful DevOps strategy.

One of the main benefits of DevOps-as-a-Service is that is everything (i.e., all your tools, services, and processes) is integrated into a single, highly trackable platform.  That makes it easy to monitor the performance of your operations and make adjustments as needed.

With Instatus, monitoring availability is easy—all it takes is a few clicks to set up a beautiful, interactive status page that works with the DevOps tools you already have. That way, you can be sure that your customers are always informed about the status of your services.

2. Agile Planning & Project Management

Agile methodologies and DevOps go hand-in-hand. Agile project management is about quickly iterating and delivering on customer-centric goals—and DevOps-as-a-Service helps you stay agile by giving you access to project management tools.

DevOps-as-a-Service can support workflows by giving you access to the tools, infrastructure, and processes you need to manage your projects according to agile principles. For example, Azure DevOps has Azure Boards—a project management tool that can break down tasks into smaller chunks and track progress toward goals.

The benefits of cloud-based agile planning are pretty clear—it's an easy way to keep all your development projects organized in one place, with full visibility and traceability.

3. Source Code Management

Bad source code management can be catastrophic—it can be almost impossible to track the progression of your code, and that can lead to serious security issues.

Hosted source code management tools provide a private environment for storing and versioning your code. This ensures that everyone involved can access, review, and collaborate on code in one place—without needing to send files back and forth.

Azure Repo is a great example—this source code management tool provides a private environment for creating, viewing, and managing source code. It's easy to use, integrates with your DevOps workflows, and is highly scalable as your code base grows.

4. CI/CD Pipeline

Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipelines are the backbone of DevOps workflows. The idea behind CI/CD is to automate the development, testing, and deployment processes—so you can quickly push changes to production without manual intervention.

DevOps-as-a-Service makes it easy to set up CI/CD pipelines. For example, AWS CodePipeline  lets you quickly connect and configure the different components of your CI/CD pipeline—helpful for everything from basic mapping to complex multistep processes.

5. Unit & Integration Testing

Unit and integration catch problems before they impact users—and that's a key element of any DevOps workflow.

DevOps-as-a-Service gives you access to automated unit and integration testing tools like TestCafe (for JavaScript) and Robot Framework (for Python). These tools make it easier to test code quickly and accurately—so you can ensure your code is always up to standard.

Plus, automated tests mean that developers can focus on writing code instead of manually testing every new feature. This helps teams move faster and minimize risk.

6. Infrastructure Automation

Setting up and managing infrastructure is a key part of any DevOps workflow—but it's almost always time-consuming and complicated.

DevOps-as-a-Service makes it easier to automate your underlying infrastructure by providing access to tools that can help you quickly provision, configure, and scale your infrastructure.

Take AWS CloudFormation, for example—it's a powerful infrastructure-as-code tool that lets you quickly manage your entire cloud environment from a single template. It also integrates with other AWS services to make it easy to track changes, share resources, and roll back to previous versions if something goes wrong.

7. Deployment

The last step in the DevOps workflow is deployment.

DevOps-as-a-Service makes it easy to deploy your application on any cloud platform with minimal fuss—so you can get your application up and running quickly without worrying about complicated setup steps.

Plus, with features like automated blue/green deployments and progressive rollouts, you can implement changes incrementally and with minimal disruption. That way, your customers always get the best experience possible.

Get the Most Out of Your DevOps SaaS Stack with Instatus

DevOps-as-a-Service is a powerful tool for managing your DevOps workflow.

By strategically choosing platforms and tools that support key workflows and fill skill and resource gaps, you can create an effective DevOps-as-a-Service stack that helps you get the most out of your development process.

Instatus is a fast, reliable, and easy-to-use status page platform that helps you create beautiful, interactive status pages at a fraction of the cost of leading tools. It also integrates seamlessly with your existing DevOps-as-a-Service stack—so you can get the most out of your investments.

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