11 DevOps Tools for 2024

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Discover key DevOps tools to use for each phase of the DevOps life cycle.

[Featured image] A devops engineer writes code on a laptop with an external monitor attached.

DevOps integrates an organisation’s development (dev) and operations (ops) teams. It encompasses an organisation’s culture, processes, and philosophies. DevOps tools help facilitate the core principles of DevOps, including communication, unity, and efficiency. DevOps tools enable faster development cycles and higher software quality when used in conjunction with the methodology. This article explores 11 tools you can use to optimise all seven phases of the DevOps life cycle. 

What are DevOps tools?

DevOps tools are applications that support the software development process. Often, they’re also referred to as DevOps technologies. Their primary focus is to enhance collaboration through project management and automation. There are several different types of DevOps tools, a few of which are outlined below:

  • Version control tools. Version control software (VCS) is also known as source control or source code management (SCM). These tools track and manage any changes made to a software’s code. 

  • DevOps automation tools. DevOps automation tools remove the burden of repetitive tasks from the workflow. Some focus on specific processes like testing or deployment, whilst others may be end-to-end tools. The term ‘end-to-end’ refers to the entire development process, from conceptualisation to deployment and continued monitoring. 

  • Performance monitoring tools. These DevOps tools monitor the performance of applications and help manage the infrastructure as a whole. They typically have robust reporting capabilities and artificial intelligence (AI) for defect detection. 

  • Container management tools. In the context of software development, a container is an application or software that is packaged into a portable environment. They contain an application’s libraries, frameworks, and any associated dependencies. Containerisation makes it possible to run applications in various environments independently from the environment’s operating system (OS). Container management tools enable developers to package, monitor, and change these distributed applications.

  • Configuration management tools. Configuration management is the process of monitoring and maintaining system functionality. In DevOps, configuration management helps ensure that all applications and services perform consistently with expectations. 

DevOps tools for each phase of the DevOps life cycle (7 Cs)

The 7 Cs mnemonic device comes from the fact that each phase of DevOps development begins with the word continuous. Continuity is an important aspect of DevOps, hence using an infinity loop to symbolise its life cycle. Before DevOps, people relied on linear development methods like the Waterfall model. The Waterfall model requires each stage of development to conclude before moving on to the next. This can make resolving problems that arise later on in development difficult. 

In contrast, the DevOps life cycle is a series of automated workflows in an iterative development cycle. In other words, work is done in small batches and continuously monitored, tested, and improved. The sentiment here is reminiscent of the common phrase, 'don’t put all your eggs in one basket'. If all your eggs are in one large basket and that basket’s handle snaps, you risk breaking all of them. If you divide your eggs up into smaller baskets and one of them fails, you risk only losing a few. 

The following seven sections match 11 DevOps tools to their respective processes. Although the list is numerical, remember that each phase of the DevOps life cycle can iterate or repeat multiple times throughout the project until it’s finished. 

1. DevOps tools for continuous development (CD)

In the DevOps life cycle, continuous development encompasses the planning and coding of the software. Two of the most popular DevOps tools for this phase of development are Jira and Git [1]:

  • Jira: Although no specific DevOps tools are required for planning, many DevOps organisations use Agile project management software like Jira. Agile project management focuses on continuous releases and incorporating customer feedback in each iteration. The Jira DevOps template can be an efficient tool for managing projects, creating workflows, and tracking bugs. 

  • Git: Git is an open-source version control system, meaning anyone can use it for free. As mentioned above, version control tools manage the source code of an application or software. Git is an excellent DevOps tool because it supports nonlinear workflows and collaboration among programmers. You can bridge the gap between development and operations with GitHub, a web-based hosting platform for Git code repositories. It enables further collaboration through features like support ticket management.

2. DevOps tools for continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD)

In the DevOps pipeline, continuous integration requires developers to commit changes (like new features or bug patches) to the source code. One of the most used DevOps tools in this phase of development is Jenkins:

  • Jenkins: Jenkins is a Java-based, open-source program. It can be used solely as a CI server or become a hub supporting continuous delivery. A few features Jenkins is known for include extensive workflow customisation, easy installation, the ability to distribute work across multiple machines for cross-platform development, and hundreds of plugins and integrations.

3. DevOps tools for continuous testing

Continuous testing in the DevOps life cycle means that the developed software is consistently checked for bugs and defects. DevOps automation tools are handy for constant testing. They allow quality assurance (QA) teams to enhance the scope of testing through features like automated test execution and parallel testing across multiple codebases. Selenium and Bamboo are two of the most relevant continuous testing solutions:

  • Selenium: Selenium is another open-source development tool. It’s an automated testing framework for writing test scripts in commonly used programming languages such as Java, Python, and C#. It is primarily used to automate web applications, but you can also use it to automate web-based administration tasks. Selenium’s versatility provides automation support across several browsers and operating systems (OS).

  • Bamboo: Bamboo is a server-based DevOps tool. It allows users to create complex build plans and trigger them to start automatically. Bamboo is well known for its tight integration with Jira and parallel testing capabilities.

4. DevOps tools for continuous deployment

Continuous deployment in the DevOps life cycle refers to the phase wherein code is deployed to the production servers. Since this occurs continuously, DevOps tools that can support fast and frequent deployments are essential. Both container management tools and configuration management tools can be beneficial for continuous deployment:

  • Docker (container management): A development team can use the Docker application to package, manage, and execute distributed applications. A few of Docker’s key functionalities include a standardised packaging format, tight integration with GitHub, and Docker Hub. Docker Hub encourages collaboration among DevOps team members by providing a platform for easy image publishing and access management. 

  • Ansible (configuration management): Ansible is an open-source automation platform used primarily for configuration management and infrastructure orchestration. Its minimalistic nature makes it easy for developers, IT professionals, and administrators to use. Ansible enables the creation of machine groups and controls how they will run in production environments. 

Tip: Ansible can automate Docker and build and deploy Docker containers.



5. DevOps tools for continuous feedback

Analysing and incorporating feedback is a crucial component of DevOps methodology. Continuous feedback enables continuous improvement. It requires the collection of internal insights like employee surveys and bug reports and external responses like support tickets or social media mentions. Several DevOps tools exist to support your continuous feedback loops:

  • Jira Service Management: Jira Service Management is a DevOps tool built into the Jira platform. Its primary purpose is to enhance communication by organising feedback from various sources in a single hub. It allows customers to submit service requests and feedback by widget, portal, email, or a customisable help centre. 

  • Parlor: Parlor is a customer feedback tool for user relationship management. It engages with active users in real time to gather contextual insights. It is integrative with business tools, such as support ticket systems like ZenDesk, technical task management platforms such as Jira, communication tools like Slack, and data management programs like Excel.

6. DevOps tools for continuous monitoring

In the DevOps pipeline, continuous application monitoring requires frequent checks for bugs, system errors, performance issues, and anything else that could impact product quality. Your DevOps monitoring tools should support two types of monitoring: application and server.

  • Prometheus: Prometheus is an open-source, community-driven performance monitoring database that supports continuous monitoring processes. It equips developers and QA teams with strong reporting capabilities and extensive client libraries. Prometheus is also suitable for DevOps because it has multiple modes for data visualisation.

7. DevOps tools for continuous operation

Continuous operation means that applications and services must be continuous, with no interruptions or downtime. Several of the tools mentioned above have features that can assist you in constant operations. However, an incident management platform like Opsgenie may be beneficial.

  • Opsgenie: Opsgenie is a DevOps tool used to prepare for, predict, and resolve service disruptions. It integrates with continuous monitoring tools, chat platforms, ticketing systems, and other business applications. Opsgenie enables scheduled customisations to ensure the right people are notified through the proper communication channels when a challenge occurs. Its automated escalation features provide that critical bugs are caught.

5 key takeaways

  1. DevOps phases do not occur linearly. Instead, they iterate as needed to ensure peak software product quality.

  2. DevOps tools do not make DevOps. They support DevOps methodology by enforcing practices like open collaboration and continuous feedback collection. 

  3. DevOps automation tools are essential to continuous development and testing because they help scale down manual tasks. 

  4. Open-source DevOps tools can be excellent resources for organisations adopting DevOps methodology.

  5. Collaboration is a pillar of DevOps. It’s vital to ensure the DevOps tools you choose support communication and collaboration across your organisation, not just your team. 

You can learn how to successfully implement DevOps methodology in your organisation with a DevOps Culture and Mindset from the University of California Davis. 

Learn more about DevOps optimisation with Coursera

Gain the skills you need to optimise your entire DevOps life cycle with IBM’s online course, Introduction to DevOps.

Article sources

  1. Statista. “Programming/development tools used by software developers worldwide from 2018-2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/869106/worldwide-software-developer-survey-tools-in-use/.” Accessed March 3, 2023.

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