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Pavan Belagatti for Harness

Posted on • Originally published at harness.io

11 DevOps Predictions Every Developer Should Know

Time to pull out our crystal ball again! Here are Harness’ top 11 DevOps predictions for 2022. What’s inside: IaC, Service Meshes, & more.

Today, every company is powered by software. To be competitive, they must quickly deliver new features and products while keeping security and governance in mind. Using DevOps principles, Development and Operations teams make software delivery more agile, error-free, and fast. Their impact on software delivery cannot be overstated. DevOps is one of the fastest-growing and most disruptive trends in technology these days.

With the evolution of microservices and cloud-native technologies, adoptions such as hybrid cloud, zero-touch automation, artificial intelligence (AI), DevSecOps, and modern ways to debug and monitor the CI/CD pipelines have gained tremendous momentum. In addition, the collaborative principles of DevOps have enabled software companies to survive in challenging times like COVID.

As we close out 2021, it is a good time to consider what’s coming down the road. We may not be able to predict specific events with certainty, but we can make a guess and be prepared for them. With that in mind, here are 11 DevOps predictions that are likely to happen in 2022.

Prediction 1 – Container Registries Will Proliferate

The emergence of containers made DevOps principles easier for companies to adopt. As a result, we saw a complete revolution with the packaging and shipping of software. This enabled Dev and Ops to work together with genuine cooperation and get the software delivered smoothly to the end customer.

One of the results of embracing DevOps principles is Continuous Delivery and Deployment, which helps DevOps engineers & SREs significantly reduce release times and get their products and services to market faster.

Why will DevOps adoption continue to grow? The old ways of deploying software are being challenged from all sides by new approaches, technologies, and talents. In other words, it’s time to embrace change and move ahead of your competitor to win with a significant margin, and to do that, you need DevOps.

Containers have been a popular choice among Developers for quite some time. They’re an efficient way to package software to move quickly from one environment to another. In the past, containers were mainly used by Developers as a way to ensure that their code could be tested in different environments before it was officially released. But as containers become more mature and easier to use, they increasingly get used in production, which means they’ll be more accessible by organizations of all kinds. Along with this, we also see so many companies setting up their own container registries to help customers store their images.

Prediction 2 – Hybrid Cloud Will Climb the Ladder

As more companies adopt a cloud-based infrastructure, they’ll need to develop a strategy for managing their servers on-premises and in the cloud. Many companies find that this needs to be done with a hybrid cloud strategy that combines onsite infrastructure with public cloud infrastructure.

Also, most businesses have a mix of private and public cloud services. The best way to ensure that your data is protected is with a hybrid cloud deployment. A hybrid cloud deployment will help you streamline your operations by using the benefits of both public and private clouds. By using the right features for both, you can give your business their advantages.

When you use a hybrid cloud deployment, it’s easy to move your workloads from one type of cloud to another when necessary. Likewise, if there are any problems with one type of cloud, you can quickly switch to another. With this kind of flexibility, it’s easier to scale up or down in order to accommodate growth or changes in demand. In addition, this makes it easier to maintain control over your business’s workflow while still taking advantage of the best features available.

You’re not limited to choosing just one type of cloud either! You can use multiple types for different purposes in order to get the most of your data protection efforts. So, even if you want to take advantage of the many security features offered by traditional private clouds, you’ll still be able to take advantage of cheaper prices and new technologies on public clouds like AWS, Azure, or GCP.

Prediction 3 – The Scope of AI, ML, and Automation Will Evolve

AI and automation will become even more important than they already are. AI is already used to automate tasks like security scans, bug fixes, and quality assurance testing, but it’s expected that AI will continue to evolve to automate more complicated tasks. For example, robots can now create code automatically without human intervention, and machine learning (ML) is used in Continuous Delivery to fix your pipeline. One such example is Harness CI – we introduced a feature called Test Intelligence, which uses ML to select and prioritize the execution of unit tests.

Both AI and ML help DevOps teams deliver faster, but the industry has been slow to adopt the many benefits AI and ML have to offer. With ML, DevOps teams can inject multiple test suites into CI/CD pipeline and repeat them to find bugs, detect antipatterns, and uncover unique insights. In your SDLC, you can use ML to prioritize event-driven alerts, perform root cause analysis, and recommend actionsL.

Prediction 4 – DevOps Engineer Jobs Will Enrich and Expand

DevOps is not just for Developers anymore. As more organizations adopt it’s principles, there will be more job opportunities for DevOps engineers. Due to the rise in DevOps adoption, there will be a significant increase in demand for professionals with DevOps skills.

A survey conducted by the DevOps Institute on upskilling the DevOps enterprise skills in 2021 concluded that DevOps teams are vital for a successful software-powered organization, and they remain critical to ongoing IT and business operations.

The demand for professionals with necessary DevOps engineering skillsets (automation skills, collaboration skills, technical skills, functional skills, etc.) is growing exponentially because of the growing number of SaaS startups and their increased reliance on automation tools by software development teams. This trend will only continue as automation tools get even better at simplifying the entire software development process.

Prediction 5: Cloud-Native Technologies Will Increase Market Share

Cloud-native tools and technologies provide companies with a wide variety of options to build scalable software and maintain them with high availability. Developing in the cloud is not a new idea. In fact, the first-ever web browser was created for a cloud-based operating system. But this new generation of cloud native tools makes it possible to do more than ever. For example, Docker (2013) made a huge impact with containerization that made collaborating, distributing and testing software much easier. And thenKubernetes (2014) was crowned king of container orchestration where it significantly influenced the developer market by orchestrating and scaling containers, and deploying them smoothly. Then came Terraform (2014), Helm (2015), Prometheus(2012) and Pulumi (2017), etc., along with existing technologies such as NGINX and Promethius which help companies build out their own cloud-native stacks.

In particular, Kubernetes deployments will become the most popular framework for deploying applications and will continue to gain market share. Products from companies likeompanies like VMware, Red Hat, Suse, Microsoft, Google and event AWS use Kubernetes to manage containers, clusters, and microservices. It’s no surprise that Kubernetes deployments will continue to rise.

Prediction 6: GitOps Will Flourish

GitOps is an evolution of the DevOps movement. It is an extension of the traditional Git workflow where Git is considered as the single source of truth. GitOps relies on Continuous Delivery and Deployment to allow organizations to react more quickly to changes in their business landscape, market, or customer needs. It offers a more collaborative and adaptive way to manage software releases to reduce risk.

Continuous Integration and Deployment have been a software development process since 2009. They are designed to help Developers create, test, and deliver software continuously instead of the slower waterfall model, where teams would focus on doing all of these tasks in one long development cycle.

GitOps builds on this concept of Continuous Integration and Deployment where companies can achieve increased speed, transparency, security, reliability, and collaboration through automation, while benefiting from a single source of truth for infrastructure and application configuration details. Think of GitOps as a way for organizations to implement DevOps practices for their SDLC and operations life cycle. Git plus Continuous Integration, plus Continuous Deployment, plus automation equals GitOps.

Prediction 7: DevOps Security Will Become the Priority

Practicing DevOps can be a speedy game where things might go wrong. While speed is necessary, we also need to insert security checkpoints at every stage of our SDLC. With some significant advancements in security, such as Biden’s executive order on cybersecurity, there is a lot of light on security when it comes to DevOps and securing your DevOps pipeline. One best approach is the zero-trust security framework that grants individuals with the least privileged access to the IT resources as it treats everything and everyone as hostile.

The cost of fixing any error or a bug in production will cost your company more and impact the brand and morale of your developers. Hence, shifting security left as early as possible in your development pipeline and making everyone aware that security is everyone’s job is a must. With so many cyberattacks last year, companies have learned to take aggressive actions with their security setup. In 2022, DevOps and security are expected to work together hand-in-hand to tackle the various security issues that arise.

Prediction 8: Security Breaches Will Continue to Soar

Security breaches will continue to rise if companies don’t take security seriously. As we have seen, DevSecOps has just become another buzzword with a lack of implementation ideas. There were many high-profile security breaches in 2021, which shows the companies’ negligence and poor security policies. It is also because of the lack of highly skilled security professionals and rapid technology growth in recent years.

Cybersecurity is not just limited to firewalls and secured networks; instead, it is an ongoing effort that demands continuous attention to your SDLC and the whole infrastructure. Keeping your pipelines, secrets, environments, and clusters safe and secure with the least privilege access, having role-based access, etc.

Prediction 9: JAMstack Will Drive Modern Web Development

Web development is constantly changing. The responsive design revolution of the early 2010s ushered in a new era of website development but has shown its limitations. JAMstack is a recent web development toolkit that lets you leverage client-side JavaScript frameworks, preprocessors, and serverless technologies to create powerful websites.

The JAMstack flips the traditional approach on its head by combining static site generators, JavaScript, and CSS into one package. These tools give you the flexibility and scalability for modern web projects. JAMstack’s goal is to provide developers with an all-inclusive platform with no restrictions on how you can code your application. With The JAMstack, it’s possible for teams using different languages and frameworks to collaborate without any friction. JAMstack is becoming the new standard for web development in 2022 and beyond.

Prediction 10: Infrastructure as Code Will Become the DevOps Norm

A DevOps culture enables developers to get closer to the user by gaining a better understanding of user requirements and needs. As a result, DevOps aims to make agile software delivery more efficient, shorten lead times and deliver high-quality features without sacrificing quality and reliability. After the wide acceptance of DevOps culture, there was a need for IT automation The concept of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) has made this possible with tools like Terraform, Ansible, CloudFormation, Pulumi, etc.

For DevOps teams to scale, they need tools that provide repeatable, scalable, and transparent ways of managing their cloud infrastructure. IaC and the tools mentioned before will accomplish this. IaC helps teams quickly manage their infrastructure and enriches developer experience by mitigating the burden of unwanted manual tasks. In addition, IaC boosts the DevOps culture of blurring the lines between Dev and Ops with increased collaboration. This year, we will see a rise in the adoption of IaC and this particular approach becoming a DevOps standard by teams that embrace DevOps.

Prediction 11: Service Meshes Will Gain Traction

Whether big or small, every company desires to move fast and embrace the DevOps path. The DevOps landscape is moving closer towards cloud-native technologies where the influence of microservices is huge. However, we all agree that microservices come with their own limitations of connectivity, security, and monitoring as the number of microservices grow.

To tackle this, the concept of service mesh has gained tremendous attention lately. Service meshes help companies that employ a vast number of microservices to automate networking, monitoring, and security. In addition, service meshes aid developers in deploying new services and making changes to the existing ones without worrying about how this will impact the other microservices and their operational properties. Service mesh tools like Istio and Linkerd have gained massive awareness, but it is this year that we will gain traction.

Conclusion

While buzzwords come and go, companies are constantly looking for technological advances to enable their teams to increase innovation, and make their customers and partners happy. Sometimes the trends can be surprising. Either way, DevOps engineers will be needed to figure it out and implement them.

All of these trends – containerization, hybrid cloud adoption, AI and automation, cloud-native development, GitOps, security, JAMstack, IaC, service meshes – will have a major impact on the software industry. As DevOps methodologies continue to mature, Developers and DevOps professionals need to be up to date with what’s happening around this space. The following are recommended articles from Harness:

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