Top 10 DevOps Automation Tools
DevOps bridges the gap between development and operations, aiming to shorten the system development life cycle while delivering features, fixes, and updates closely aligned with business objectives. Discover more with Control Plane.
In an era of relentless tech evolution, standing still is the same as moving backward. Organizations are always looking to jump on the next big thing to avoid falling behind. First, it was DevOps. The fusion of development and operations completely changed the face of software development. But now, automation is taking DevOps to the next level.
McKinsey expects automation technologies to save 20 to 30% of workers’ time in the coming decade. Looking through the lens of DevOps, automation simplifies many processes, including the critical tasks of cloud deployment, management, and migration.
The drive to automate has led to a market exploding with new DevOps automation tools. This article explores the top 10 DevOps automation tools, detailing their main features, pricing, and best use cases.
What is DevOps Automation?
DevOps bridges the gap between development and operations, aiming to shorten the system development life cycle while delivering features, fixes, and updates closely aligned with business objectives. By removing the silos of development and operations, these teams can seamlessly collaborate to make the magic happen.
Automation is using technology to streamline repetitive processes, increasing accuracy and efficiency. When automation and DevOps combine forces, the development and deployment process is supercharged. It’s a game-changer for things like whipping up and blending code changes (that’s CI), setting up automated deployment runways for testing and going live (hello, CD), and using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) to make sure everything’s set up just right every time.
Benefits of DevOps Automation Tools
- Shorter Deployment Cycles – Your code is seamlessly integrated, tested, and deployed through CI/CD pipelines, facilitating more frequent code releases.
- Auto-scaling – With the integration of container orchestration, applications can dynamically scale based on real-time demands, ensuring that resources are allocated optimally.
- Proactive Monitoring with Granular Insights – Developers get in-depth insights into application performance, latency metrics, and overall system health, enabling proactive issue resolution.
- Tighter Security with Shift-Left Approach – A ‘shift-left’ approach to security ensures that vulnerabilities and potential threats are identified early in your development lifecycle.
- Infrastructure as Code (IaC) – IAC allows for the programmatic setup, alteration, and versioning of infrastructure components, providing consistency across various environments, from development to life.
- Cost Optimization – With IaC, you’ve got a tight grip over infrastructure provisioning, ensuring you’re using resources efficiently while reducing cloud costs.
Key Features to Look for in a DevOps Automation Tool
Monitoring and Logging
You want to keep things secure and have a clear view of what’s happening, right? A robust DevOps tool will offer real-time monitoring of system health, performance metrics, and potential vulnerabilities, making it easier to trace issues and understand system behavior.
A multi-region setup distributes resources across multiple geographical locations, allowing users worldwide to access the application with minimal latency. With our DNS intelligent router, Control Plane traffic is routed through the most efficient path, considering factors like server load, geographical location, and network health.
A top-tier DevOps automation tool should be able to scale resources based on in-the-moment demand automatically so more resources are allocated during peak usage times. During off-peak times, you can conserve resources and reduce costs.
Compatibility with Cloud Providers
You should be able to mix and match services from different cloud vendors. Control Plane is a prime example in this category, allowing for the simultaneous use of AWS, Azure, and GCP. Beyond that, our cloud repatriation functionality supports transitioning back to on-premise setups while benefiting from your usual cloud services.
Uninterrupted operations are crucial for any reliable DevOps tool. Control Plane sets a high standard with a 99.999% availability rate, ensuring your DevOps processes run smoothly without unexpected downtimes.
Top 10 DevOps Automation Tools
Control Plane enables robust backend applications and microservices deployment across various cloud providers or on-premise setups, with a staggering 99.999% availability thanks to its Universal Cloud Identity™ feature. The platform also enables cloud repatriation capabilities, so you can move from the cloud to on-prem to save costs.
Control Plane’s multi-region support and intelligent DNS routing system promise minimal latency, so your users get optimal performance no matter where they are. Plus, its auto-scaling feature adjusts to real-time demand, and you only pay for the computing resources you use.
Control Plane suits companies looking to orchestrate and optimize multi-cloud environments while reducing costs, delivering low-latency experiences, and avoiding vendor lock-in.
“Control Plane eliminates over 50% of our DevOps work. We have two DevOps engineers, and they’re running out of things to do. It’s a good problem to have.”
AWS CloudFormation streamlines modeling and setting up your AWS resources. Instead of diving deep into manual configurations, you can use templates to define your desired resources and their settings, ensuring a consistent setup across different regions. Its infrastructure versioning lets you easily track changes and, if something goes sideways, roll back to a previous configuration.
AWS CloudFormation works best for large organizations seeking a streamlined approach to model, provision, and manage their AWS infrastructures.
“The best thing CloudFormation offers is centralized management and tracking of the AWS resources. As it is an IaC tool, this eliminates manual setup and reduces the risk of errors.”
LinearB collates engineering metrics from various tools into intuitive, user-friendly dashboards, empowering leaders to identify and address bottlenecks. It also enables workflow automation by transforming policies into code and sending context-rich notifications. This ‘policy-as-code’ approach helps keep policies consistent throughout an organization.
LinearB is ideal for organizations looking for comprehensive engineering metrics such as DORA metrics, quality, and throughput.
“I like having a tool that shows me allocations and key metrics without needing to compute by hand. LinearB has allowed me to focus on key metrics like DORA to understand how my team is doing. I’ve also been able to accurately figure out where we’re spending our time from a resource allocation perspective.”
Puppet simplifies the provisioning and management of your infrastructure. Its declarative language enables you to define the exact state of your infrastructure in code form, and its agent-master architecture eases centralized management. And regarding Cloud Identity Management and security, the tool offers role-based access control and encryption features.
Puppet is best suited for large enterprises that like the idea of the agent-master architecture and pre-build automation modules.
“Puppet enterprise has phenomenal services that allow you to easily bring your infrastructure from a simple CI pipeline to a CD pipeline with the orchestrator and code manager. It’s awesome to have PRs merged into our production branch and make their way from source control to our production nodes without any intervention. It’s a huge DevOps enabler.”
Chef by Progress tackles cloud configuration, deployment, management, security, and compliance. On the infrastructure front, Chef’s tools cater to various operating systems and work across multi-cloud environments, on-premise setups, hybrid models, and even legacy systems. Plus, with features like parallel application change testing and system configuration, you can closely monitor your entire infrastructure.
Chef’s documentation and support could be improved, so it’s best suited for large enterprises with the resources to overcome these challenges while still extracting value.
“We have used Chef for 10+ years as our configuration management tool. The Chef Infra infrastructure has been robust and provided a stable platform for us to develop against. The out-of-the-box functionality solves many of our use cases, and the Chef DSL provides enough extensibility that we can create functionality for our specific use cases.”
Nagios is most known for its powerful monitoring solution – Nagios XI. This customizable tool monitors all infrastructure components to provide a centralized view of the entire network and IT operations. It automatically alerts key staff through email or text to outage information to help with quick response times. Meanwhile, Nagios Log Server delivers real-time log data, regardless of volume, allowing in-depth log event analysis.
Large multinationals. Nagios’ four products – Nagios XL, Nagios Log Server, Nagios Network Analyzer, and Nagios Fusion- come at a steep price tag, often pricing out smaller organizations.
“Nagios great dashboard, so we can monitor all of the servers’ alert warnings in one dashboard and get an overall idea of the servers within a few seconds. And Nagios XI has capacity planning features, configuration wizards, and configuration snapshot features. Because of these features, managing servers in our organization is easy.”
Jit is an end-to-end orchestration platform providing a DevSecOps toolchain with various open-source security tools. They are all managed from the same place, making developing and executing your Minimum Viable Security (MVS) plan easier. Vulnerabilities needing remediation are added to the Actions page so developers can easily tackle and remove problems from the backlog. You also get enriched findings and recommendation suggestions with insights from other tools.
Jit is best suited for enterprises that want to streamline the developer experience while addressing security and compliance risks with each pull request.
“I love the notion of Jit providing as-code security plans, which are minimal and viable. The fact that Jit also automates the selection of relevant security tools and unifies the experience around them is super valuable.”
Dynatrace gives organizations a 360-degree view of their entire tech stack, making it easier to keep tabs on system health, how resources are used, and where potential slowdowns might lurk. Its OneAgent technology automatically discovers and maps all components and dependencies in an environment, whether cloud, on-premise, or hybrid.
Dynatrace is best for mid-market and enterprise organizations looking for a high-quality APM and observability tool.
“Dynatrace has been able to fill in the visibility gaps we had with many of our applications. It has quickly become our favorite monitoring tool and continues to expand functionality. It is helping us to replace many legacy tools that have been unable to innovate and keep up with new technologies.”
Docker is primarily a containerization tool that encapsulates an application and its dependencies into a container. The Docker Compose tool enables developers to define and run multi-container applications, streamlining the setup of complex environments. You can then share your containerized masterpieces with Docker Hub, a cloud registry that automates the whole “build and deploy” dance. Docker Swarm provides native clustering, load balancing, and decentralized design, which offer high availability in production environments.
Organizations of all sizes look to ease application containerization.
“You can split your big project into smaller parts, create containers and then deploy them so they work independently. The Docker Image file will allow you to provide the right environment needed to run your project. Developers and the Operations team can sit together and create these image files, so there is no miscommunication between them.”
Packer is similar to Docker but takes a different approach to containerization. Docker builds images using a Dockerfile. Packer also creates images, but these images rely on provisioners (Ansible, shell scripts, Chef) to install and configure the machine image. This approach allows for more customizable images but lacks Docker’s caching features that can speed up development. Packer’s strength lies in its ability to automate the creation of images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration.
Packer works best for organizations already using HashiCorp’s other products, like Terraform and Vault, as Packer easily integrates with Terraform.
Automation is reshaping how we think about software development and deployment. It is used everywhere, from streamlining CI/CD pipelines and optimizing cloud resource allocation to ensuring high availability and low latency across multi-cloud environments.
We’ve journeyed through some of the most potent DevOps automation tools, showcasing how each of these tools can revolutionize your operations. Now, the ball’s in your court. If you want to unlock the future of seamless cloud management with no vendor lock-ins and full workload portability, sign up to Control Plane.