Difference between Azure and AWS DevOps

What’s is DevOps?

DevOps is an amalgamation of software development and IT operations. It evolves organizations to improve and deliver their products at a higher pace than organizations with conventional software development models. This enables organizations to effectively & efficiently service their customers and command a strong reputation in the market.

How DevOps function?

A DevOps model consists of a development team merged with the operations team during the entire application lifecycle (i.e., development, testing, deployment, and operations) as opposed to the method where both these teams worked independently in earlier models. At this time, there are other teams also integrated with this team such as security. In that case, it becomes known as DevSecOps. The overall function of a DevOps team is to automate processes that were manual earlier by using specific DevOps tools that help evolve applications rapidly and reliably. The DevOps tools enable team members to handle tasks independently without taking help from other teams.

What are DevOps practices?

DevOps practices are the innovation objectives an organization wants to achieve by automating and streamlining the software development and infrastructure management processes with the help of appropriate DevOps tools.

The following are DevOps practices available in the industry:

  • Continuous Development (CD)
  • Continuous Testing (CT)
  • Continuous Integration (CI)
  • Continuous Delivery (CD)
  • Continuous Deployment (CD)
  • Monitoring & Logging
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
Let’s talk about each practice briefly:
    1. Continuous Development – This practice involves the coding and development phases of the DevOps lifecycle. This also facilitates the version-control feature.
    2. Continuous Testing – This practice involves the automated, pre-scheduled, and continued tests that should be executed against application code. This includes the continuous testing of application code (update or fresh code) against pre-programmed tests.
    3. Continuous Integration – This practice involves the continuous feedback mechanism between testing and development to make code ready for production as early as possible. It encompasses the configuration management, test, and development tools to mark the progress of the production-ready code.
    4. Continuous Delivery – This practice involves the delivery of code changes to the staging environment, post testing and before going live on the actual production environment.
    5. Continuous Deployment – This practice involves the delivery of code changes to the production environment. It uses container technologies such as Docker or Kubernetes to make production changes available rapidly.
    6. Monitoring and Logging – This practice involves the continuous monitoring of application code in production and the infrastructure that supports it. It is necessary to monitor the environment 24/7 so that issues or bugs can be reported to the development team on a continuous basis to improve code quality.
    7. Infrastructure as Code – This practice involves the automation of cloud infrastructure provisioning with the help of integrated tools. The infrastructure can be set up with the help of API driven mechanisms to enable the developer to interact with it.

Since we have discussed the DevOps scope and practices, let’s now talk about AWS DevOps and Azure DevOps tool offerings in the subsequent sections.

AWS DevOps Tools

  • AWS CodePipeline
  • AWS CodeBuild
  • AWS CodeDeploy
  • AWS CodeStar

AWS CodePipeline

AWS CodePipeline is a fully managed continuous delivery service offering from Amazon that helps you automate the deployment process for applications and infrastructure updates. It helps you build, test, and deploy the release of the application every time a code change occurs to deliver features & updates rapidly and reliably. For example, an application developer can specify which tests will be executed by the CodePipeline and to which staging environment it will deploy it. The CodePipeline service can run these steps in parallel with the help of multiple processors to avoid queuing and expedite workflows. This works on a pay-as-go model, with no upfront charges involved.

AWS CodeBuild

AWS CodeBuild is a fully managed continuous integration service offering from Amazon that helps you automate the code integration process for applications and software. It helps you compile the source code, and runs the pre-scheduled tests to create the software packages that are ready to deploy. With CodeBuild, you don’t need a separate build server to provision builds and your multiple builds are processed in parallel, to avoid queuing. CodeBuild can be used in a pre-packaged environment or custom build environment that uses its own build tools. This works on a pay-as-you-go model for compute resources with no upfront charges involved.

AWS CodeDeploy

AWS CodeDeploy is a fully managed continuous deployment service that automates code deployments to any instance, including Amazon EC2 instances, AWS lambda, and On-premises instances as well. CodeDeploy enables you to release new features rapidly and helps you avoid downtime during application deployment. It also manages the complexity of your application update. AWS CodeDeploy can be used to deploy applications or software via automation, thus avoiding the need for error-prone manual operations. It also matches your environment needs for the deployment. This works on a pay-as-you-go model for deploying software/applications on on-prem instances with no upfront charges involved.

AWS CodeStar

AWS CodeStar enables its customers to develop, build, and deploy applications/software within their AWS environment. It provides a unified interface for all software development activities in one place in AWS infrastructure. With CodeStar, you can set up a continuous delivery tool chain to release code updates faster and it also provides an integrated authorization mechanism to control access for owners, contributors, and viewers for your project. Every CodeStar project comes with a project dashboard to track the progress of your team’s software development effort in every aspect. This works on a pay-as-you-go model with no upfront charges involved.

Azure DevOps Tools

  • Azure Pipelines
  • Azure Repos
  • Azure Artifacts
  • Azure Test Plans
  • Azure Boards

Azure Pipelines

Azure Pipelines is a cloud service offering from Microsoft that helps customers automate the build and testing phase of code projects to ship to any target. It incorporates the continuous integration and continuous delivery mechanisms to build and test your code rapidly and reliably. Azure Pipelines integrates with version control systems such as Github & subversion, supports any language, like JavaScript or Python, and deploys code to any target, even VMs.

Azure Repository

Azure Repository is a version control tool that helps manage multiple versions of your code. With Azure Code Repository, we can track changes done by each developer, merge them, test the changes, and release them into the production environment.

Azure Artifacts

Azure Artifacts helps you create, host, and share packages with different teams. We can share code across teams, and manage all package types, such as Marven, npm, Gradle, NuGet, etc. It allows you to add fully integrated package management into your existing continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines with minimal configuration.

Azure Test Plans

Azure Test Plans provides you with three types of test case management for your qa team: i) Test Plans, ii) Test Suites, and iii) Test Cases. Test Plans consists of test suites as well as individual test cases and can include static test suites, requirement-based test suites, and query-based test suites. Test Suites consists of individual test cases based on scenarios to test. Test Case validates the specific section of the application code. With the help of test cases, you can make sure your application code doesn’t have any logical errors and meets the expected behaviour of the customer and business. A single test case can be a part of multiple test plans or test suites and doesn’t need to be cloned/copied for each plan or suite.

Azure Boards

Azure Boards is the cloud service offering from Microsoft to manage software projects in terms of user stories, backlog items, tasks, features, and problem reports for the project. It has native support of Scrum and Kanban and also supports customizable dashboards and reporting. Project users can track work items based on the type of work item available in the project and can update the status of the work using a pre-configured Kanban board as well. Lead developers can assign work to team members and use labels to tag information.

Considering both DevOps vendors, AWS & Azure, the one main similarity between both of them is they aim to automate the software development life cycle.
 
AWS DevOps is a set of development tools that allows developers to provision a CI/CD pipeline from the build phase to the deploy stage. AWS DevOps allows customers to integrate AWS services like EC2 and Elastic Beanstalk with very minimal configuration. It can easily automate a complete code deployment process with AWS and On-prem resources.
 
Azure DevOps, on the other hand is a tool provided by Microsoft that allows developers to implement a DevOps lifecycle in business. It allows customers to integrate Azure and other third-party services such as GIT and Jenkins very efficiently and effectively. Azure DevOps also has Kanban boards, workflows, and a huge extension ecosystem.
 
AWS and Azure DevOps have similar practices in terms of general DevOps practices, such as development, integration, testing, delivery, deployment, and monitoring in a collaborative environment, but there is a fine line between the two that should be considered. The major difference between AWS DevOps and Azure DevOps tools is their integration within the scope of their cloud environment and with third-party services. AWS DevOps tools are much easier to start with, whereas Azure DevOps is better suited within Azure environments and third-party services available in Azure marketplace.