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Zero Downtime Deployment – A lifesaver for your applications and your business

Venky Chennapragada

The COVID-19 crisis has caught many organizations off guard, with whole industries being completely disrupted. Your applications and overall technology landscape will play a critical role in how successful your business will be in weathering these turbulent times. But the constraints that come with DevOps teams that are forced to work remotely can pose some major challenges here.

#scrumathome: Working together but apart is easier said than done

Remote work can have adverse effects on the coordination and efficiency of your development, testing, and operations DevOps teams. Moving code from one environment to another while attaining all the appropriate approvals can be riddled with confusion, delays, missed sprint deliverables, and ultimately, unhappy customers and failed promises. Believe me, I’ve personally experienced just how painful scheduling a call between three or more leads can be.

Zero Downtime Deployment (ZDD): don’t touch, don’t panic

The key to overcoming these challenges is a solid emphasis on automating the entire DevOps lifecycle as part of a structured journey that embodies seamless coordination across teams. Especially in more chaotic times, I’ve found that our clients who drive a more mature, coordinated DevOps practice and employ higher levels of automation at every step of their software development lifecycle (SDLC) have fewer or even zero manual handoffs that require meetings or calls for coordination and approvals. Essentially, they are deploying what’s called a Zero Downtime Deployment (ZDD) workflow.

What ZDD can do for your DevOps – and your business  

With ZDD, your deployments contain a significant level of automation in each piece of your SDLC with mature development, testing, and deployment processes. ZDD also helps to create a strong culture of collaboration and trust between teams and fosters heightened support and involvement from leadership. This results in higher customer satisfaction with frequent new features and functionalities being released with higher quality, speed, and business agility.

What does ZDD look like in practice?

Within ZDD, workflow orchestration is kick-started by a developer committing their code to a version control system with say, for example, GIT. The code is built and deployed to a DEV environment and fully tested through unit test automation.

Automated development, testing, and deployment with quality gates for a touchless SDLC

Figure 1. A sample Zero Downtime Deployment (ZDD) workflow

Additionally, there are “quality gates” at the end of each cycle. If they pass, the code gets promoted to the next environment, for example, QA. Then, it’s on to the PROD environment. As you can imagine, there is no physical intervention needed if the quality of code is up to standard and there are no meetings necessary.

Setting up automated quality gates for code promotion from one end to other, removing any touch for approvals, and implementing continuous delivery and deployment reduces much of the risk for your  DevOps teams working remotely. More automation in interfaces that require physical touch can enable your teams to avoid unnecessary meetings and work more efficiently together from anywhere in the world – perfect for weathering this current crisis.

To find out more about what ZDD can do for your business – especially during these uncertain times – contact me now to get started.