Automated Deployment enables an organization to deploy software releases with a single command or simply by clicking on a control panel. Automation is essential to streamline the deployments in the production environment and reduce the associated risks. Web application deployment needs some well-defined steps to be followed so that the software changes are shipped from the development environment to the staging/ production environment. It is done so that the updated software (which includes new features and corrections) is available for the end-users.
Automated deployment reduces the human effort and avoids any manual intervention required to deploy code to the various environments like DEV(Development), QA (Quality Assurance), UAT(User Acceptance Testing), and PROD(Production). Automated deployment is closely linked to CI/CD (Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery). CI/CD is one of the current industry best practices to deliver applications to customers more frequently and reliably by introducing automation into the stages of application development.
Some of the salient features of automated deployment are:
As part of the deployment of a new software release, the following tasks are routinely followed:
After providing so much manual effort if smoke testing fails then a new build is required and the complete cycle is repeated. This requires a lot of manual effort again, which can be avoided.
The key shortcomings of the current process are the lack of the following:
Software development teams should not worry about how code is going into production. They should only focus on the business requirements, design, implementation, unit tests, integration tests, and regression tests. So, by excluding manual tasks and including automated tasks we can reduce a lot of additional efforts.
To achieve automated deployment, we have used Ansible which is an automation configuration tool. We keep Ansible as a controller entity that is used to interact with the required servers and executes the required shell script on managed nodes to achieve the desired result.
The framework which helps in executing the workflow is as shown below:
We have written plays in such a way that Ansible can support N>0 number of servers at any tier.
The diagram below illustrates the key components of the automated deployment:
The automation of the deployment has helped us achieve the following direct benefits in some of our customer's projects:
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