There has been much talk in the tech industry about DevOps, but what exactly is it? It is a term we use to describe the combined efforts of developers and operations personnel as they work to improve automation, continuous integration and frequent software deployment. Our best DevOps practitioners utilise their skills in automation technology to ensure cross-enterprise collaboration and software deployment.

The DevOps platform acts as an automation tool whose functions encompass provisioning, source-code management, monitoring and deployment. Some of the most popular tools are open-sourced and include Ansible, Jenkins, Chef, Vagrant and Puppet. We’d like to give you a brief outline of each now.


First up, Ansible, the Red Hat-owned, straight-forward automation engine that can be used for configuration management, task execution, continuous integration and deployment. Free of third party software, suitable for multi-tier implementation and able to run on an SSH connection or APIs, Ansible makes writing and maintaining automation code simple.

Ansible’s easy-to-use nature means that it is ideal for businesses of all sizes and is even a favourite among government departments.


Jenkins is a continuous-integration (CI) and continuous-delivery (CD) tool whose primary use is to search for and address bug issues. It allows for the continuous amalgamation of source code into the mainline, simultaneous testing. It also ensures the delivery of production-ready code. Compatible with more than 1,000 available plug-ins and able to oversee workflow from source to software delivery, it supports shell scripts, Windows batch commands, sbt projects and Software Configuration Management (SCM) software.

Jenkins is deemed to be among the best open-source CI and CD automation engines available, hence it is no surprise that the likes of Verizon, Cisco and General Electric all use it.


As a configuration management tool, Chef is well known thanks to its server configuration and maintenance capabilities. Compatible with Azure and EC2, it automates the configuration, deployment and management of both physical and virtual servers. Additionally, it uses scripts known as “recipes” and stores them in the cloud. This makes testing simple and frees the user up from making manual changes.

Its analytics function provides real-time visibility – no wonder it is a popular program for organisations like Facebook, Indiegogo and Disney.


This globally popular automation tool is able to manage virtual machines (VMs) with just a few Ruby-written commands. Virtualisation processes can be completed quickly and easily using the declarative script. Vagrant can configure every machine independently using its base box and it is also easily demolished come the project’s completion. Vagrant users include Disqus, Expedia, Yammer and the BBC.


This adaptive configuration management and software deployment platform uses an accessible script to define state and infrastructure function. It automatically delivers, configures and manages networks and the majority of IP-connected devices within an organisation. This ensures visibility and maintains security, while enhancing speed and consistency in deployment.

If you’re looking for a role in DevOps, speak to Alex!