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Cloud and DevOps: A match made in heaven

How the relationship between Cloud and DevOps affects the industry.

Development teams look for new tools, methods, and approaches for developing and delivering the most advanced technologies every day. For many of today’s most creative innovators, the cloud offers a scalable and adaptable route to success. It provides novel security, automation, and development options. Integrating DevOps into the cloud enables businesses to compete more effectively in a complex and ever-changing industry. Rather than reinventing DevOps, effective cloud integration requires implementing and adopting best engineering practices.

Often, this involves upgrading the core infrastructure and ecosystem in preparation for cloud redeployment. In this article, we’ll look at what DevOps is and how it works, as well as the connection between cloud and DevOps, cloud-based DevOps solutions, and the benefits of cloud-based DevOps solutions.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a technique that companies use to manage the development and release of software. DevOps is a methodology for rapidly providing services and applications. The development approach combines software development and operations into a unified process emphasizing automation and efficiency.

The goal of DevOps is to have frequent incremental improvements rather than periodic significant releases. This method enables businesses to produce higher-quality software products more smoothly and effectively.

DevOps Best Practices
DevOps Best Practices

The primary benefits of DevOps in today’s environment are as follows:

  • Effective application release automation 
  • Infrastructure automation choices
  • CI/CD
  • Rapid Delivery with Agile frameworks
  • Rapid issue resolution

How DevOps works?

Development and operations teams do not divide themselves in the DevOps environment, as they would be in traditional development setups. In specific scenarios, these two teams combine to form a single unit where engineers may work throughout the entire development lifecycle, from development to deployment and operations.

Here, you may acquire a variety of talents unrelated to any particular role. Security mechanisms and quality assurance may become increasingly engaged in the application development lifecycle in some instances. When everyone on a DevOps team focuses on security, the team becomes a DevSecOps solution.

In a DevOps environment, teams use a variety of techniques to automate formerly laborious and slow operations. They use the most advanced technology available to accelerate the development of apps. For example, in DevOps, automating tasks like code deployment and infrastructure provisioning that previously needed assistance from other teams to improve the team’s pace.

What is the relationship between DevOps and Cloud?

Both cloud computing and DevOps have plenty of other advantages in the area of the agile enterprise. Cloud technology enables businesses to access an infinite number of features and solutions at their own pace. There is no limit to the amount of capability that a company may access through the cloud. Cloud technology enables rapid feature upgrades and enhancements in any setting.

Similarly, DevOps fosters an agile workplace for all parties involved. Both systems provide distinct advantages in terms of speed and production. However, when cloud and DevOps combine, their capabilities complement one another, resulting in an even more attractive solution.

The cloud enables centralized deployments and may include built-in DevOps assistance. For instance, if DevOps teams are required to build the components of a solution in a particular manner, the cloud’s sophisticated automation capabilities may help simplify and repeat the process.

Cloud-Based DevOps Tools

Nowadays, you can operate your complete DevOps stack in the cloud through cloud-managed DevOps solutions. We have discussed two of the most popular ones: Azure DevOps and AWS DevOps.

Azure Cloud and DevOps

Azure DevOps
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft’s integrated DevOps platform is Azure DevOps (previously known as Visual Studio Team System or VSTS). It allows you to manage the whole of your DevOps cycle via a single integrated interface. While Azure DevOps Services is a cloud-based DevOps solution that you may use as a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) application, Azure DevOps Server is a self-hosted on-premises version of the same product.

Microsoft’s DevOps solution comprises several products, each of which addresses a unique step of your process. Azure Boards enable planning and project management. The Azure Pipeline is a continuous integration and delivery tool. Azure Repos provides cloud-hosted Git repositories, Azure Test Plans is a testing toolkit, and Azure Artifacts enable the creation, management, and deployment of packages.

However, you don’t need to utilize all of the tools included in Azure DevOps Services; you may alternatively subscribe to them separately. If you need more capabilities, the Visual Studio Marketplace has over 1,000 Azure DevOps extensions, including integrations, statistics, visualizations, and crash reporting.

AWS Cloud and DevOps

AWS & DevOps

AWS DevOps is a service offered by Amazon Web Services that consists of a collection of integrated DevOps tools for managing the entire software development lifecycle. While AWS is mainly utilized in the cloud, you can also run all the tools on-premises using AWS Outposts, which enable you to deploy any AWS infrastructure component on your in-house server.

In contrast to Azure DevOps Services, a PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) solution, AWS is an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) solution, which means it is connected to the underlying infrastructure. While packages may be deployed from Azure DevOps Platform to another environment, such as AWS, the opposite is not feasible. You can only deploy to AWS infrastructure through AWS DevOps, such as EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) or S3 (Simple Storage Service).

AWS DevOps toolset includes:

  • A continuous integration/continuous delivery service called AWS CodePipeline.
  • A managed service build tool called AWS CodeBuild.
  • A deployment automation tool called AWS CodeDeploy.
  • A platform for managing DevOps projects called AWS CodeStar.

In general, AWS DevOps is probably the most refined DevOps platform for existing or prospective Amazon Web Services customers.

Which one to choose between Azure and AWS?

The primary distinction between the Azure and AWS DevOps toolsets is how they integrate with their respective platforms. Both products, for obvious reasons, combine the appearance and feel of their different cloud platform’s user interfaces. AWS DevOps is much simpler to get started with, while the Azure DevOps suite is more integrated across the various Azure DevOps toolsets and has a considerably more extensive set of integrations with the whole Azure Marketplace.

Moreover, upon choosing, it all comes down to what your employer thinks. That is, whatever job you get is of primary importance. If the sole job available targets Azure systems, then focus on completing an Azure DevOps certification. On the other hand, the industry has shifted toward AWS. Many companies and hiring managers prefer individuals with an AWS-based DevOps certification, owing to AWS’s increasing market dominance and various other fundamental options that perform better when AWS systems are used.

Apart from that, it all comes down to your work needs and which one you believe is most advantageous for you since this is the only way to choose between the two and seek a source of DevOps certifications.

Advantages of cloud computing DevOps

Cloud solutions and DevOps complement one another well in an environment designed for agility and adaptability. When DevOps and cloud computing are integrated, they can significantly improve the software development lifecycle. Businesses that use DevOps in the cloud may improve software delivery performance by an average of 81 percent.

The following are the primary advantages of cloud-based DevOps:

Automation options based on the cloud

Automation is a critical component of DevOps efficiency. Numerous cloud platforms provide sophisticated automation capabilities for DevOps operations, such as continuous development and integration. These technologies provide uniformity and efficiency while requiring less human involvement.

Centralized platform

The cloud offers a centralized framework from which businesses can manage all aspects of their production workloads, including testing, deployment, monitoring, and operation. This enables you to keep track of everything in one location. When all of your DevOps information is in one place, it’s simpler to manage compliance and security. This way, you may get even more actionable insights and business information.

Scalable infrastructure

The cloud is the most cost-effective method to guarantee that you can scale up or down any infrastructure required without spending a fortune on equipment. As a result of this scalability, DevOps is a highly effective way to roll out new features, functionality, and possibilities as your company develops. You can mix cloud computing with DevOps agility to provide limitless development possibilities for your organization.

Agile development

The cloud can offer a variety of staging and testing servers, allowing DevOps teams to continue working while waiting for servers to become available. Utilizing DevOps across the cloud environment enables teams to experiment more freely since builds may occur more often. DevOps teams can rapidly provision servers that meet their requirements.

Reliability and stability

Since cloud providers emphasize availability and stability, they can manage and maintain all aspects of the platform. Instead of worrying about these problems, IT firms can concentrate on product development, which results in better product performance, user experience, and speed to market. The key to success, in this case, is selecting a cloud provider capable of delivering the appropriate degree of uptime for your company.

Conclusions

Cloud computing, on its whole, has risen in popularity over the last several years. Businesses of all sizes can discover how a cloud environment enables them to develop at their speed. Just as cloud communications continue to increase in popularity, cloud-based development and application management procedures become more attractive as your team realizes the full advantages of cloud-based DevOps.

Later, you’ll find that you’re using various DevOps techniques to increase the efficiency of your whole workforce. When this occurs, your team’s performance and efficiency are sure to soar.  There are no limits to what your DevOps team and the cloud can achieve with the proper cloud provider guiding and supporting you.

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What is Cloud storage security and why is it important?

Cloud Encryption: Best practice for Cloud Security

Cloud Encryption is a critical component of Cloud Computing Security Best Practices since it ensures that your cloud data is secured at rest and in transit. It is a solution offered by cloud storage companies that encrypts and stores a customer’s data in the cloud. Cloud encryption is almost identical to on-premises encryption. Still, for one important distinction: the cloud customer must learn about the provider’s encryption and key management policies and procedures. The cloud encryption capabilities of the service provider must be consistent with the sensitivity of the stored data. In this article we will discuss how it works, its importance, challenges, benefits, and how Alibaba Cloud offers high-security infrastructure capabilities, allowing users to store and utilize data securely on a trusted cloud platform.

Cloud encryption’s advantages

Cloud encryption acts as proactive protection against data breaches and assaults, allowing businesses and their users to use the advantages of cloud collaboration services without jeopardizing data security. It can secure data from end-to-end throughout the transit to and from the cloud and against unwanted access. Additionally, it complies with a large number of consumer and governmental data security standards.

Cloud encryption solutions protect data during transmission to and from cloud-based applications and storage and between users in several locations. Additionally, these technologies encrypt data stored on cloud-based storage devices. These protections prevent unauthorized users from accessing data during its transfer to and from the cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud all provide cloud services that encrypt data at rest.

Difficulties with cloud encryption

While the security benefits of cloud encryption exceed the drawbacks, administrators should be aware of typical issues. Historically, performance and integration issues have prevented many organizations from adopting encryption as a regular practice since the users who need quick access see encryption as excessively complex or inconvenient for users. While modern systems are faster and simpler to use, it is critical to try any platform to verify that integration and usability satisfy needs. Due to the resource-intensive nature of the encryption process, which adds time and money to daily operations, it’s also critical to monitor access times and resource consumption levels.

The loss of encryption keys is a serious issue since it renders all encrypted data unusable, and poor key management may risk essential data. However, the most significant issue is ensuring that any cloud encryption services are in use correctly.

Best Cloud Encryption Approaches

To guarantee compliance issues with the company’s security strategy, security teams should sketch out the security needs for any data that travels to and from the cloud. This will assist in identifying cloud service providers that provide adequate encryption choices and services. Security teams must decide on the following:

  • Which data must be encrypted based on its data categorization and compliance requirements
  • When encryption is required — in transit, at rest, and during use
  • Who should be in possession of the encryption keys — the cloud service provider or the enterprise?

Continous Encryption

All data in transit must encrypt anytime it leaves the internal network. It will always travel through an unknown number of third parties, and it should secure sensitive data even while sent inside. While web browsers and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) software safely handle natively in transit, all connections must utilize a secure protocol. While virtual private networks (VPNs) and IP security (IPsec) are other methods for protecting data in transit, they provide an additional degree of complexity. Cloud access security broker (CASB) solutions provide security administrators with a centralized interface for controlling and managing cloud resources and ensuring users adhere to the organization’s security rules.

Memory and Backup

You should always encrypt and back up critical data locally before transferring it to the cloud. This guarantees that data is accessible and safe in the cloud. Numerous vendors provide robust disc encryption at both the client and network levels. We require Complete disc and memory encryption to protect sensitive data in use, however, this may prevent specific programs from processing the data; thus, tight access controls and limited access to particular data sets are critical alternatives.

Encryption Key

Extensive encryption key management is essential, from key registration to enable complete lifecycle monitoring. The keys should be kept separately from the encrypted data, with off-site backups and frequent auditing. Additionally, administrators should enable multifactor authentication (MFA) for the master and recovery keys. While some cloud encryption companies offer to handle encryption keys, an appealing feature for businesses lacking in-house expertise and resources, regulatory compliance requirements may compel some to retain and manage keys internally.

Cloud Security in Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud offers high-security infrastructure capabilities, allowing them to store and utilize data securely on a trusted cloud platform. Alibaba Cloud architecture protects and scans hardware and firmware, and enables a TPM2.0-compliant computing environment. Moreover, it provides hardware encryption (HSM) and chip-level encryption computing capabilities at the cloud platform layer.

Alibaba Cloud Architecture
Alibaba Cloud Architecture

At the cloud product layer, data security integrates with the security aspects of cloud products. It includes end-to-end data encryption, backup, and verification. Among them, end-to-end data encryption is the best data encryption practice.

End-to-end data encryption enables the data encryption on transmission connections (i.e., data in transit), compute nodes (i.e., data in use), and storage nodes (i.e., data-at-rest). Specifically, transmission encryption depends heavily on SSL/TLS encryption and protects data using AES256 encryption.

Moreover, it supports AES256 data-at-rest encryption in different products. It also supports Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) through Key Management Service (KMS). Alibaba Cloud, in conjunction with KMS, may offer customers end-to-end data encryption security.

A data encryption process uses globally recognized/standardized encryption methods to generate the ciphertext from plain text data. Proper security protection and management of keys are critical components of the encryption process. If one retains control of the key, one has control of the encryption processes as a whole.

Conclusion

While cloud encryption has a number of disadvantages and difficulties, it is required by standards, laws, and organizational security needs. Security experts would agree that cloud encryption is a critical component of data security. Additionally, cloud service providers provide a variety of encryption solutions to accommodate a variety of budgets and data security requirements.

To enjoy the advantages of cloud encryption, an organization should spend time understanding its data protection requirements and studying the most appropriate and effective encryption services offered by various suppliers in order to avoid putting itself in danger. In this article, we have also discussed how Alibaba Cloud offers high-security infrastructure capabilities, allowing them to store and utilize data securely on a trusted cloud platform.

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