All You Need To Know About DevOps

As a term, DevOps is derived by combining two different terms- Dev and Ops. “Dev” is a vast term that covers all kinds of software developers and “Ops” includes system engineers, system administrators, operations staff, release engineers, network engineers, system security professionals, and various other sub-disciplines.

DevOps is a practice rather than a set of tools. It can be defined as a setup where the development and operations engineers work together through all the stages of a service lifecycle including design, development, production support, deployment, testing, and continuous improvement.

DevOps is essentially based upon a CAMS structure:

  • Culture: This practice requires the organization to build a culture where people and processes are top priorities. It focuses on the overall service that is delivered to the customer instead of the ‘working software’ only.
  • Automation: In order to implement the DevOps practice to its complete capabilities, it is essential to build an automated fabric of tools. Common tools that should be a part of this fabric are the tools for release management, provisioning, configuration management, systems integration, monitoring, control, and orchestration.
  • Measurement: Successful implementation of DevOps requires a team to regularly measure some metrics such as performance metrics, product metrics, and people metrics. Regularly measuring these metrics helps the team to make improvements, where required.
  • Sharing: Sharing of ideas is an important part of DevOps implementation. It involves a thorough discussion of problems between the development and operations teams to find common solutions.

Challenges Solved By DevOps:

In the absence of DevOps application development, a general development scenario includes:

  • A development team that is responsible for gathering business requirements for software and writing code.
  • A QA team that is responsible for testing the software in an isolated development environment and releasing the code for deployment by the operations team, if requirements are met.
  • A deployment team that is further fragmented into independent groups such as networking and database teams.

Since the teams functioned independently, new challenges are added whenever software is pushed from one phase to another. Some of the challenges arising from this setup are:

  • The development team is unaware of the problems faced by the QA and Operations teams which may prevent the software from functioning as required.
  • QA and operations teams have little information about the business purpose and value that formed the basis of software development.
  • Each team has independent goals that may contradict each other leading to reduced efficiency.

DevOps application development helps in integrating the teams and thus, overcoming these challenges. It establishes cross-functional teams that run in collaboration to maintain the environment that runs the software.

For more information on DevOps, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

, , , , ,

A Comprehensive Guide To Continuous Deployment

Continuous Deployment is the practice of releasing software on production servers continuously in an automated manner. Before a software is released, it needs to be thoroughly tested for ensuring that it is free from any bugs and errors. In the case of continuous deployment, the testing is done by using a testing software instead of manual testing. If the code is found to be free from errors, it is automatically deployed. The automation of the release of the software helps software development organizations in ensuring that the software updates reach the end-users as soon as possible with a minimum lag time.

One of the primary requirements for continuous deployment is to implement a series of other automated programs that can pull the software seamlessly through later stages of development into release. These stages of development include compiling and validation of source code, reviewing the code, unit testing, integration testing, packaging the application and user acceptance testing.

How Is Continuous Deployment Different From Continuous Integration And Continuous Delivery?

Continuous deployment takes continuous delivery a step further, which is generally perceived as furtherance of continuous integration. In order to understand the difference, it is important to understand the terms individually:

  • Continuous Integration: It is a technique that continually merges the source code from different developers into a shared mainline. This helps in avoiding cataclysmic merge conflicts as new source code is regularly added by various developers.
  • Continuous Delivery: This technique adds a step to continuous integration. It takes the merged code and conducts the necessary tests to ensure that the code is error-free. Thus, in this technique, the code is written, tested and pushed into a production-like environment. The software stays in the holding area until a developer manually pushes it for deployment.

Continuous Deployment reduces the hold time of continuous delivery by taking it a step further. Once the software code is created, tested and pushed into the production-like environment to see how it would perform in the real-time environment; the code is deployed automatically without any manual interference.

Stages Of Continuous Deployment Pipeline

  1. Deploy To Production: In this step, developers need to deploy the software in a production environment without releasing the functionality to end-users. Also, it is important to implement a system that allows you to toggle between the old & new versions.
  2. Verify: During this stage, various tests are performed including user acceptance, stress test, performance test, etc.
  3. Monitor: Monitor the deployed code as per your business metrics to gain insights for strategic business outcomes. Make sure that the code works as desired in the production environment and make the changes as required.
  4. Respond & Recover: After the software is released, it is important to keep a check for unforeseen issues. Manage a system for proactively detecting problems before they are detected by end-users and recover from these problems by providing fixes or patches.

For more information on continuous deployment, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

, , , ,

What Makes Location Tracking A Privacy Concern

Undoubtedly using location-based services like Google maps, taxi services, etc. has made our life easier, however, location tracking or geo-tracking poses some real privacy threats as well. In order to understand these threats, it is first important to understand how this data is collected.

How Is Your Location Tracked?

Location is tracked via your devices such as a laptop, mobile phones, tablets, smart-watches, smart jewelry, etc. In the case of a computer, your IP address can be used to track your location. If you are using a mobile device, the location is tracked via GPS, cellular tower data, Wi-Fi signals, and Bluetooth beacons.

A number of popular apps also track your location such as Google Maps, Facebook, Yelp, Uber, dating apps, etc. Some apps may track your location even after you have turned off location tracking in your mobile settings. A common example is Facebook. The app can track your location by your city mentioned in the profile or check-ins.

Additionally, information about your location is also revealed by the metadata attached to your photos. Most mobile phones and digital cameras embed information such as GPS coordinates or Geotags when you take a photo. When such photos are posted on a social media profile, the embedded information is also shared along.

What Kind Of Information Is Revealed By Location Tracking?

Location tracking can be used to disclose a variety of information:

  • Where do you live
  • Your financial status based on where you live
  • Your place of work
  • The regular route of travel
  • Frequently visited stores
  • Your real-time location
  • If you are on a vacation and where are you staying

These are some common types of information that can be disclosed by location tracking.

Privacy Concerns Caused By Disclosure Of Such Information:

  • Stalking & Harassment: Availability of detailed information about your location increases your risk of being stalked or harassed. If a stalker knows your frequently visited places, he can easily identify a place and the best time to confront you.
  • Robbery: Burglars can get hold of sufficient information about you by eyeing your location tracks. This enables them to know when you won’t be home or if you follow a secluded path to your work. Discloser of such private information puts you in a danger.
  • Contextual Advertizing: Contextual advertizing is a rising problem among social media users. Marketing professionals pay a high price for access to personal information such as location data of individuals. This helps them in understanding the user behavior to modify their advertizing campaign accordingly. This has led to a rise in the number of cyber-criminals trying to track the location of individuals for building databases that can be sold to organizations.
  • Frauds: Fraudsters can gain access to your location data for building and studying your individual profile. This profile helps them to have a sneak-peak in your personal life to fabricate a fraud.

For more information on privacy concerns arising out of location tracking, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

, , , ,

Drones In Healthcare

A drone can be defined as an unmanned aircraft that is guided either by remote control or by the computers mounted on it. Although drones have been used for years, there has been a sudden rise in their application. This can be owed to the invent of new technology and the accessibility of this technology to the public. Among other industries, drones have found applications in the healthcare sector as well.

In lieu of the newly found applications, there has been an increase in businesses investing in the production and marketing of drones for healthcare. Following are some of the common uses of drones in healthcare:

Public Health & Medical Investigation: Drones equipped with the specialty cameras and recorders pose as a low-cost mode of conducting surveillance of biological/chemical hazards, disease spread, number of patients in need of support due to an epidemic, etc. Drones have the ability to gather real-time data which helps in improving the efficiency of healthcare response teams in affected areas.

Telemedicine: It is an emerging branch of healthcare. The term is used for the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by employing telecommunication technology. As the efficiency of telemedicine depends upon network availability, drones are being used to establish Instant Telecommunication Infrastructure (ITI). This helps in pre- and post-operative observation of patients, telementoring of surgeries in remote areas.

Medical Transport Systems: Drones are being used as efficient medical transport systems due to their ability to reduce the response time and travel across otherwise unpassable terrains.  The drones are used to carry medical aids such as poison antidotes, oxygen masks, transplant organs, medicines, etc. Drones also help in delivering blood samples to a fully equipped laboratory in a short period of time. This is particularly helpful in high traffic areas or rural areas, where human transportation may take time due to poor construction facility.

Ambulance Drones: Ambulance drones are used to tackle emergency situations such as cardiac arrest where chances of patients’ survival decrease with every passing minute. The emergency support teams send out these drones which are equipped with a cardiac defibrillator and 2-way communication (radio & video) channel. The drone is used to instruct the bystanders on how to use the automated defibrillator, steps to perform CPR and keep an eye on patients’ symptoms until the healthcare team reaches the physical location.

As technology is improving, the applications of drones in the healthcare industry are becoming more deep-rooted.

For more information on drones in the healthcare industry, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

, , , , ,

Need Of Augmented Reality Strategy For Businesses

PDF Version: Need-Of-Augmented-Reality-Strategy-For-Businesses

, ,