DevOps for IoT: Getting ready for the next phase
IoT is a game-changer. But how can we ensure that its speed and efficiency will be utilized properly? In this article, Mukund Krishna explains why DevOps is the natural solution and will ensure a successful IoT adoption.
If you are looking at being a game-changer, speed is your best friend. The Internet of Things (IoT) is poised on the brink of becoming a disruptor across multiple sectors, enabling the connection of progressively smaller devices to the larger scope of the Web. What will make these efforts a success is the speed and efficiency at which they can be integrated and made to function seamlessly. What will help achieve such speed-based seamless integration efforts is the communion of development, IT operations as well as real-time quality assurance checks provided under one automated service. Enter DevOps.
Why IoT deployment can benefit from DevOps
The success of an IoT enterprise is based on two aspects working in complete tandem – software connecting various electronic and industrial gadgets that need to be maintained in real time; and physical devices that are connected to each other, which need to be running smoothly in order for the software to do its job right, and ensure seamless functioning. The only way to do that in real time currently is with DevOps that anticipate real time scenarios and ensure seamless functioning and monitoring.
For the sake of a definition, DevOps in IoT deployment is about adding an integrating layer of complexity in a functional automated process that brings together elements of hardware, devices as well as a pre-existing legacy systems. Considering it is another software, its flexibility allows it to be extended into product engineering services, making way for faster creation and delivery of improvements in products. This enables newer and better functionality as well as services to the end users. It paves the way for an organization to make rapid strides in development and release quicker updates for their products.
DevOps ensures that revisions of codes happen on a structured, timely basis and that all updates are deployed across a multitude of platforms and devices simultaneously. All this with no compromise on product or service quality. In simple terms, this is the continuous integration that removes all distinctive lines between infrastructure, configurations and codes – bringing about what we all want – speedy, seamless functionality and connectivity.
Along with ensuring smooth functioning of IoT, DevOps can also help in assuring better security. This can be done when the IoT platform has:
- A repeatable deployment process: This means that the platform needs to be such that it can go back to a specific environment based on a requirement – whether it is to replicate, scale down or up, for disaster recovery etc.
- Ability to expand revision management to include a wider scope: Managing of source code is a given in IoT management. But for real time evaluations, which DevOps can provide, along with security, there is a need to expand revision management to include all the tools, infrastructure as well as configuration basics for a better comprehensive image to emerge.
Since DevOps for IoT is still in the experimental stage, there are naturally challenges in its implementation that need to be discussed.
Primary challenges to DevOps implementation in IoT
DevOps for IoT has to navigate multiple platforms and application delivery points that are spread across devices; the Internet as well as mobiles.
Comprehending Environment as Code: Till today infrastructure has not been viewed in the light of being code. For the sake of DevOps integration, it will now need to be viewed through the eyes of code, to be able to gain a better perspective of Environment.
Need for Multiple Customized Production Environments: Since there are a variety of devices and applications, ensuring product delivery across multiple kinds of platforms for a range of market segments can be difficult to create and then sustain, especially at the development stage.
Balancing the Old and the New: The idea of DevOps is to provide support to Legacy devices and solutions. This entails the introduction of newer devices, which in turn requires management, updation and maintenance of both existing as well as new devices. The need for complex DevOps on multiple levels can be challenging.
The bottom line of constant evolution both in DevOps and IoT, as separate entities as well as those integrated, is absolutely essential for smooth operations. While in the phase of experimentation, it is soon going to be a reality.