How many of you are aware of the famous Disney movie Ratatouille? The story of a food-loving passionate rat Remy who became a household name in Paris with his never-has-anyone-eaten-before, unique and scrumptious dishes. Everyone, starting from the average Parisian to his colleagues and food critics became fans of his exceptional culinary skills. Though this movie largely revolves around the philosophy of believing in yourself, it is also about using the right approach. The latter often gets highly overlooked. Question this? How did Remy become an overnight sensation? Sure, he is gifted but even geniuses have a secret weapon to enhance their brilliance. In Remy’s case, the secret sauce was his ex-owner's recipe book. The recipe book had all the secret ingredients that added the Wow Factor to his dishes and mesmerized everyone’s taste buds.

Likewise, building a DevOps environment on Cloud is similar to cooking. Just like how Remy’s secret ingredients brought magic to his cuisines, you need to have the right tools to develop a high-performing DevOps infrastructure that takes your business by storm!

However, knowing the tools is not enough. You need to know their features and how to use them. This blog explains both the what and the how part in details. Let’s read along!

DevOps on Azure: Exploring an Ocean of Untapped Potential

By now, we know how big companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations are moving their business to Cloud. Microsoft Azure today is the ultimate go-to-cloud solution for many enterprises belonging to the Fortune 500 list. And why is that so? Well, the reasons actually go beyond the traditional infra benefits and into the cloud-native service ecosystem. For instance, every business has realized that DevOps is a worthwhile investment in today’s technologically advanced world and embracing the same is pertinent to continually deliver innovative products and services at fast pace. Azure has its own DevOps managed services and tools to enhance the DevOps journey and deliver better value to the customers and organization.

Here are the Azure native DevOps tools to build stellar applications and software on Cloud

Azure Build Boards

Imagine a platform that allows you to manage your projects in one place and track bugs, tasks, features, epics and user stories. That is the job of an Azure build board. It is similar to a project management tool yet it's much more than that. Azure board comes with interactive and customizable tools that offer native support for Scum, Agile, Kanban, configurable dashboards, integrated reporting and calendar views. All of this helps you to get an end-to-end visibility into your workload and scale your business as it grows.

Benefits of Azure Build Boards

Kanban implementation
It's actually easy to integrate Kanban into your Azure board. You can get real-time information on the status of issues and categorize the backlog of issues. Assigning tasks becomes effective and communication becomes even more streamlined.

Seamless team collaboration
You can track the status of your workload through customizable dashboards and set notifications for instant alerts on any issue updated or resolved.

Sprint planning and Scrum implementation
You can plan your sprints and create effort estimates to assess the duration of your project.

GitHub integration
By linking GitHub into your Azure board, you can pull, push and commit requests without any hassle.

Azure Visual Studio

By deploying an integrated development environment, Azure Visual Studio helps you to build scalable applications, suited best for the Cloud. With the help of its integration tools, you can build, debug and monitor these applications and deploy them into production.

Azure Pipelines

Azure Pipelines helps to test, build and deploy codes with capabilities that support continuous integration and delivery of applications to Azure. Below are the advantages associated with Azure pipelines:

Works with any language, on any platform
You can build codes in Java, Python, PHP, Ruby and C/C++, Node.js and. Xcode and deploy them to Windows, Linux and macOS.

Version control systems
Azure Pipelines enables you to link with GitHub, Azure Repos Git & TVFC, Bitbucket Cloud and Subversion to expediate your deployment and minimize the software development time.

Deploy to any target
Azure assists in deploying applications to any target, be it container registers like Docker Hub and Azure Container Registry, virtual machines, or any on-premises and cloud environment.

Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS)

Deploying cloud-native tools and containerized images have become easy across the environment thanks to Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS). You can avail its in-built features such as auto-upgrades, monitoring and scaling that reduces infrastructure maintenance costs. This results in faster deployment and integration capabilities. On the other hand, developers can single-mindedly focus on developing apps. If that’s not all, you can keep your cybersecurity woes at bay as AKS adheres to latest security and compliance regulations such as HIPAA, ISO, System and Organization Controls (SCO) and PCI DSS.

Azure Monitor

Azure Monitor comes with a set of end-to-end monitoring tools that oversees your cloud infrastructure management. These tools identify any issues or bottlenecks in the infrastructure, controls Azure in Virtual Machines (VMs) and collects data for different application types. Different tools in Azure Monitor are used for different purposes. As a result, it's important for the IT teams to use them correctly to ensure that their workloads run efficiently.



Application Insights

Application Insights offer Application Performing Tools (APM) to detect issues in applications starting from developing to testing and production.

VM Insights

Tracks the performance and health of virtual machines.

Log Analytics

Offers deep insights as it monitors data for troubleshooting.

Automated Actions

Automates tasks that requires less human intervention. This enables quick feedback process between the operations and development teams so that iterations can be deployed within minutes.

Azure Dashboards

Helps you to create customized boards for specific tasks or projects and provides a very organized view into the workloads and resources.

Change Analysis

While regular monitoring tools send alerts on an issue or an outage, they often don’t tell the reason for the cause. Change analysis has been exclusively designed to offer deeper insights and review into the problem.

Azure Repos

Azure Repos offers version control tools to keep a track of the changes made to a code. Since it saves a version of your changes, you can easily switch back to any version of the code or just review the code to add any new features. Using version control can help you resolve bugs and other technical glitches. Azure Repos offers two kind of version controls:

  • GitHub:
  • Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC)

Azure Test Plans

To ensure that software runs properly, developers implement Azure Test Plans. Azure Test Plans comprises tools that facilitate team collaboration across the delivery process. Their range of capabilities covers aspects of user acceptance testing, exploratory testing, planned manual testing and collecting feedback. With Azure Test Plans, the software development team can:

  • Leverage diagnostic data during the time of manual testing. The data includes comments, audio/video recordings, screenshots with annotation that throws light on any issue or bugs. Additionally, you can acquire information on page load data, operating systems, image action logs and browser information. All this information becomes essential when it comes to debugging or reproducing any issues.
  • Get end-to-end traceability to track the work from the requirements to deployment stage. You can gather powerful insights of each and every step of the software development process.
  • Leverage powerful analytics to track the progress and trends of automated and manual tests.
  • Create customizable applications that can be integrated with Azure. What’s more, you can even integrate third-party applications like Slack and Jenkins into Azure.

Azure Artifacts

Azure Artifacts hosts all kind of packages such as Maven, Python, npm, NuGet and Universal Packages. In other words, it is like a typed package repository. One of the main advantages of Azure Artifacts is that it lets developers share codes and packages efficiently across the team and maintain all their packages in one place.

Boost Agility of Operations with DevOps on Azure. Steer Forward with Cloud4C

So far, we have discussed about the Azure-native tools required for building DevOps services. But how do you architect, design, and develop a DevOps environment powered by Azure and embrace the above tools with ease? Surely, your in-house IT specialists can help you out with this. However, in most cases, it becomes a strenuous task for internal teams and they could also lack the sufficient skills to deploy and manage cloud-native DevOps environments. You need a dedicated cloud consultant, acting as an extended partner for your existing team, who can help your business build DevOps pipelines on Azure without any hassle and manage them end-to-end.

As one of the leading application-focused cloud MSPs, we have managed to build DevOps infrastructure for thousands of organizations worldwide with the DevOps best practices on Azure across greenfield environments and multi-cloud environments. Our core DevOps services and tools help you to enhance DevOps on Azure and facilitate collaboration and communication between siloed developments. Inculcating a DevOps culture would see your business reap great outputs and go-to-market quicker for newer applications, products, and services. Trust Cloud4C and scale your DevOps to newer heights of excellence and success.

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Team Cloud4C
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Team Cloud4C

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