Organizations today are increasingly adopting DevOps to speed up development and continuously meet consumers’ changing demands, including big shots like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Walmart, and more.
However, a fundamental part of a DevOps pipeline is continuous monitoring. By keeping a check on other stages of the pipeline, such as continuous integrations, delivery, and deployments, makes the DevOps lifecycle more robust. This article will discuss what continuous monitoring is and its critical role in the DevOps pipeline.
Continuous monitoring refers to the processes, tools, and technology required to incorporate monitoring across each phase of the DevOps lifecycle. It helps to continuously measure your application's health, performance, reliability, and infrastructure as it moves from development to production. Moreover, it helps identify issues in the application or infrastructure and resolve them in real-time.
Typically, continuous monitoring is automated across the DevOps pipeline to help teams in the early detection of security or compliance issues occurring at different stages of the DevOps lifecycle. Also called Continuous Control Monitoring (CCM), it can be easily achievable using efficient tools that are flexible across different environments – on-premise, cloud, or containerized ecosystems – to watch over every system at all times. Further, continuous monitoring can be divided into three types as the following.
The DevOps approach extends continuous monitoring into the development, staging, and even testing environments. It is due to the numerous benefits of continuous monitoring, which we will examine below, emphasizing its vitality in the DevOps pipeline.
Enhanced visibility and transparency
CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous deployment) has increased the pace of change and development, driving frequent code changes and making production environments increasingly complex. But continuous monitoring ensures greater visibility and traceability of the technological setup. It enables DevOps teams to have clarity on the IT infrastructure’s status through automated data collection and analysis. Thus, the teams can identify significant trends, understand key metrics, and resolve possible outages in real-time.
Quick identification and resolution of issues
Continuous monitoring implements an alert system to notify teams of all IT incidents (including minute issues), ensuring that the right people implement timely fixes. Moreover, it does not depend on manual testing, which minimizes time spent on issues. Timely and near real-time response enables handling of functional stop-gaps or security threats, reducing damage and allowing quicker system restoration.
Meaningful data insights
The right continuous monitoring strategy allows organizations to gain a clear picture and relevant insights into the DevOps environments and their performance. Additionally, continuous monitoring
DevOps teams can use continuous monitoring to make sure all changes or new updates do not hamper the health of databases, applications, and other resources. For instance, engineers at Capital Onebuilt monitoring within their CI/CD pipeline to enable quick and seamless releases but with the right eyes approving them.
They built continuous monitoring throughout the pipeline and not just after the production for constant, faster verifications. Their model continuously audits the pipeline and uses a vast set of data points produced, which are then visualized onto a dashboard.
Reduced system downtime
Keeping a system operational and its performance glitch-free at all times is the main aim of continuous monitoring. It is achievable by acting instantly on the app performance issues before they cause system downtime or service outages impacting the end-users. Continuous monitoring enables timely responses to issues and incidents, reducing the risk of security threats and reducing system downtime.
Efficient risk management
Continuous monitoring efficiently identifies undiscovered system components, misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and unauthorized changes in a DevOps pipeline. Such anomalies can potentially expose organizations to increased risk if not addressed timely. Moreover, risk management is essential, especially for mission-critical applications, such as software for financial and healthcare industries.
Enhanced visibility of the environments due to continuous monitoring helps DevOps teams initiate rapid responses to application issues. As a result, it avoids unplanned outages that can negatively impact the customer experience and achieve strategic business performance targets. Additionally, it saves the business from losses and preserves brand credibility.
While DevOps helps organizations increase the speed and quality of software deployments, continuous monitoring gives them near-instantaneous feedback and insights into performance, environments, and interactions across the DevOps pipeline.
In changing environments, identifying issues earlier is critical for improving operational efficiency, security, and overall performance. Therefore, continuous monitoring is an essential component of any DevOps pipeline since it is vital for improving efficiency, scalability, and higher-quality results.