The growing inclination of businesses to software as a service (SaaS) models and applications is evident, given the new levels of added agility, scalability, productivity, and cost-savings. Of all the public cloud market segments, SaaS continues to hold major shares, estimates Gartner. By 2022, the end-user spending on SaaS around the world will be in excess of US$ 145 billion.
As the adoption of software-as-a-service grows more pervasive, the gap in organizations’ backup strategy for their applications continues to widen. It is imperative that organizations focus on availability, even though uptime for SaaS applications are comparatively better. Moreover, data deletion by accident or malicious attacks is a common sight. Hence, automation is essential, not only in operations but also in security.
DevOps is a ‘Must-Have’ for Software as a Service
One of the key challenges faced by organizations managing SaaS products is productivity. The software development lifecycle methodology addresses this challenge by encouraging accelerated and streamlined processes through CI/CD and automated pipelines. Keeping SaaS offerings updated necessitates continuous innovation, which must be materialized and deployed quickly. In addition, organizations must maintain an efficient mean time to resolution, thereby maintaining their credibility in responding to their customers’ issues in no time.
Some of the reasons why DevOps is important for SaaS include
- Better innovation
- High scalability
- Reduced outages
- Increased agility
- Configuration management
- Continuous updates
For example, a leading software platform provider wanted to deploy a software as a service solution with certain customizations, which would significantly improve the cost-to-deliver, scalability, and adaptability. Their existing deployment module was complex, running in multiple instances/clusters. Blazeclan, through DevOps-based infrastructure automation, helped the customer in achieving a complete deployment automation and unified dashboard to seamlessly monitor logs and events and logs across different environments. The benefits achieved by the customer for their SaaS solution were
- Reduced Time-to-Market: Onboard clients can be done within a week, down from 4-5 weeks.
- High Availability: DevOps deployment, followed by continuous monitoring, made the software platform highly available.
- Agility: Real-time monitoring and log analytics allowed the customer to perform root cause identification faster in the event of issues.
DevOps Best Practices for Software as a Service
When SaaS applications are developed using CI/CD, infrastructure as code (IaC) is as important as application software to be included in the pipeline. An organized IaC with modules that are unit tested as a software library and automated IaC deployments in the pipeline is what organizations must consider as a priority.
Through continuous integration, organizations can
- Easily identify and eliminate challenges faster
- Enhance software quality significantly
- Trim the time needed to validate and roll out newer software updates.
Continuous delivery, on the other hand ensures that changes to code are automatically fixed, tested, and addressed for deployment.
Security & Compliance
Although compliance and security are completely different entities, CI/CD pipelines help automate the review processes, enabling organizations to take informed actions about what code or data goes in different environments. Ensuring compliance during development becomes easy by automating this process, empowering the development teams to remain productive as the the time spent on security or compliance issues is effectively minimized.
Logging and Monitoring
Calibrated log management means faster identification of problems. On the other hand, continuous monitoring helps organizations respond to system conditions on time. Some of these conditions include the CPU load, free server space, and so on.
Using a microservices architecture for Software as a Service applications provides organizations with hosting facility, quick recoveries, stable solutions, and the flexibility of leveraging different programming languages or frameworks.
To Sum Up
Implementing DevOps for Software as a Service fills the existing gap between the development and operations. Organizations resorting to SaaS solutions are highly likely to maintain a competitive edge by deploying DevOps, which enables zero downtime and continuous delivery. DevOps for SaaS is like a mix of tools and best practices, which consequentially increase the delivery speed of applications compared to traditional software development.