Continuous Delivery defined
Continuous Delivery (CD) refers to small, frequent changes or updates to software via an automated ‘production line.’ CD automation provides more rapid, reliable and repeatable processes and higher quality outcomes by reducing manual builds and human error. The result is much faster time to market for new business initiatives.
In practice, Continuous Delivery is the opposite to the traditional way of getting new software initiatives, updates or fixes out to market – the so-called ‘big bang’ approach. This approach requires your teams (Development, Test and Production) to devote months or even years to perfecting software before release and, should anything go wrong then, furiously trying to fix it before the business is impacted.
The problems with this approach are the risks and the wasted time. If the software is designed to sharpen your competitive edge and it takes years to release, the opportunity may well have passed. If the long-awaited initiative fails at launch, no one will be impressed.
Why Continuous Delivery is important
Continuous Delivery enables small software improvements, fixes or updates to be occurring all the time, and enables them to be faster to deploy, easier to communicate, and easier to roll back and fix, should anything go wrong. In short, higher efficiency with lower risk.
Continuous Delivery helps large enterprises, such as those with multiple Oracle solutions, to achieve the impossible: the same agility, responsiveness and ability to innovate as for startups. CD enables enterprises to continuously adapt software in line with user feedback, shifts in the market and changes to business strategy. It also allows Development, Test and Production teams to work together with Operations teams, to automate and streamline the build, test and release process. Thus, Continuous Delivery enables your enterprise to achieve DevOps, too.
Why automation is critical for Continuous Delivery
With all the stages of Continuous Delivery (Develop, Control, Build, Test, Accept, Release, Operate) requiring trigger, feedback and approval mechanisms, it won’t be possible to achieve rapid, reliable and repeatable processes using manual management systems. That’s one reason that automation is critical to Continuous Delivery.
Another is speed: if all these processes can be managed with minimal human input and error, not only will the quality be higher, but time to release will be dramatically reduced.
Continuous Delivery tools
As the cost and complexity of your projects increases, the case for Continuous Delivery automation tools becomes more compelling. For large enterprises with multiple deployments, for instance, of many Oracle technologies, automation is a given.
Smart enterprises are automating everything - including the provisioning of infrastructure, databases, OFM (Oracle Fusion Middleware) and applications - and look for the flexibility to do so either on premise or in the cloud, or in a hybrid of both. Smart Continuous Automation tools let you do this. Find out about EnvironMint Continuous Delivery Automation Suite.
The smartest Continuous Delivery tools let you build and configure quality environments quickly, and also troubleshoot and fix them, in real time. These smart tools let you:
- Build & configure complex environments in hours
- Provision & manage high availability, clustered Oracle environments on demand
- Configure environments once and build them the same way each and every time
- Design Oracle environments via a simple user interface
- Use pre-defined pattern templates, or easily design and configure your own
- Leverage the tool as your Oracle Subject Matter Expert and reduce the need for experts
- Deploy your infrastructure, databases, OFM and applications where you want them, including public or private clouds, hybrid clouds or in a mix of cloud and on-premise scenarios - giving you real power & choice.
- Detect configuration discrepancies across environments and fix them in real time, without impacting the business
- Roll out and roll back releases, make changes and re-deploy – should the unexpected occur.
TROUBLESHOOTING is important for Continuous Delivery too
Automating the building of complex Oracle environments is one thing; maintaining them efficiently is quite another. So is real-time trouble-shooting to ensure high availability.
The smartest Continuous Delivery Automation tools, like EnviroMint, include diagnostic as well as remedial capability, which is a major benefit at the pointy end of Continuous Delivery. If there are minor problems at any stage, especially after release and into operation, being able to detect and prevent or fix them quickly in real time, will ensure that deadlines are met, not missed.
Smart toolsets like EnvironMint enable easy maintenance and troubleshooting, with advancedcapabilities via real-time dashboards:
- Deploying and verifying configuration change and measuring configuration drift
- Preventing configuration drift
- Managing user-induced changes to environments
- Detecting and preventing failures before they happen
- Eliminating inconsistencies between environments, and instability
- Harvesting configurations from existing environments and moving them back to the CD pipeline to produce identical builds.
Continuous Delivery for Oracle and non-Oracle
With the complexity of most enterprise-wide Oracle deployments, achieving Continuous Delivery will be difficult, if not impossible, without smart automation tools.
However, even enterprises mostly based on Oracle will include some non-Oracle technologies and possibly some manually-built environments. The more diverse deployments may have quite a variety.
For Continuous Delivery tools to be of practical value in diverse Oracle deployments, diagnostic capability must be applicable in Oracle as well as non-Oracle tools environments. That’s exactly what DriftGuard, a key module of the EnvironMint suite does; it can:
- Be used in manually-built / pre-existing environments
- Be used for Oracle and non-Oracle deployments
- Enable export of detailed technical configuration reports for distribution and remediation by BAU.