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4/5/2022
10 minutes

Devops Infrastructure Architecture: Building a Successful CI/CD Pipeline in 4 Steps

Written by
Team Copado
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Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery, or CI/CD, is a crucial piece of your DevOps infrastructure architecture. The goal of DevOps is to streamline your workflows and shorten the release cycle. CI/CD facilitates this through automation, collaboration, and constant improvement. However, one of the biggest benefits of CI/CD is peace of mind: code is tested and proven to work, so developers can sleep easy at night. A basic CI/CD pipeline looks something like this:

Continuous Integration

Development projects are broken up into smaller pieces so that code is frequently checked-in to a central repository with version control. Automatic integration tools immediately check that code for bugs and ensure that it can integrate with the existing code base without causing conflicts or impacting functionality.

Continuous Delivery

Automated build tools compile the code and prepare it for delivery to the next stage of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), whether that’s a testing or production environment.

Continuous Testing

Throughout the previous two steps, automated tests run continuously to verify code quality, check for security vulnerabilities, and ensure the finished product performs according to requirements.

 

To build a successful CI/CD pipeline, you need a DevOps infrastructure architecture that supports source code control, continuous integration and delivery, and test automation.

DevOps Infrastructure Architecture: Building a Successful CI/CD Pipeline in 4 Steps

The exact tools, processes, and technologies that you use to build your CI/CD pipeline will depend on your organization’s unique requirements, products, and user-base. However, every basic pipeline requires the following:  

1. Centralized Source Code Control

Your central repository is the single source of truth for your codebase. Every CI/CD pipeline relies on source code version control, which allows your developers to work simultaneously and seamlessly merge their contributions. Version control provides a complete history of every change made, so you can see who did what and when, and lets you quickly revert to a previous version if a mistake is made.

Many version control tools for DevOps infrastructure architectures are based on Git. Whatever tool you choose, your code repository needs to support integrations with CI/CD tools as well as test automation.

2. Continuous Integration

When you have multiple developers contributing to the same repository, you need integration tools to verify the code is correct and that it won’t break the existing codebase or introduce bugs. Continuous integration takes this a step further by automating code integrations, which allows developers to merge their changes more frequently without affecting quality or functionality, but the full power of continuous integration is really only possible with test automation.

While it’s possible to use standalone CI tools, they’re often packaged together with continuous delivery as a CI/CD solution.

3. Test Automation

Your entire CI/CD pipeline relies on constant testing to ensure the speed and convenience of automation doesn’t come at the cost of reduced code quality. Testing your code early and often helps you shift left, meaning you find bugs and vulnerabilities before they affect later stages of the SDLC. However, to perform constant testing without creating new bottlenecks in your CI/CD pipeline, you need automation. Test automation allows you to perform end-to-end testing on every single release.

The challenge with test automation is finding a solution that seamlessly integrates with your environment and pipeline. One way to solve that problem is by choosing a complete DevOps CI/CD solution that includes test automation in addition to supporting third-party integrations. For example, the Copado low code DevOps solution for SaaS clouds includes Git-based version control, CI/CD pipeline management, and AI-powered test automation.

4. Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery automates the processes involved in building and deploying your software. Essentially, the purpose of continuous delivery is to automatically move your code through the final stages of the SDLC.

Continuous delivery picks up after code is automatically integrated into the code base. Automatic build tools compile the code and prepare it for the next stage. CD then delivers the code to a testing environment. Once the code passes all necessary tests, CD brings it to its final destination - the production environment. Continuous delivery tools smoothly transition the code through each of these stages as soon as it passes pre-defined thresholds, which helps reduce bottlenecks in the latter stages of the development cycle.

It's important to choose a CI/CD solution that meets your requirements, suits your team’s skill sets, and integrates with your chosen DevOps ecosystem. For example, Jenkins is a popular open source tool that integrates with multiple vendors, but it’s not cloud native and has a very steep learning curve. Other tools, such as GitLab CI, GitHub Actions, and Travis CI are built directly into your version control system.  On the other hand, AWS and Azure both provide more user-friendly, cloud-based CI/CD solutions, but they’re designed to work within those vendor ecosystems.

Build Out Your DevOps Infrastructure Architecture with Copado

Even with the best CI/CD tools, making the transition to DevOps can be challenging. Beyond building out your DevOps infrastructure architecture, you also need to overhaul existing workflows and shift your corporate culture to prioritize collaboration and innovation. The experts at Copado Strategic Services can help you make this transition with our people-first approach to implementing DevOps tools, processes, and principles.

 

 

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About The Author

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