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What is DevOps orchestration?

What is orchestration, and why invest in it? Learn more about why DevOps orchestration is essential for managing the complexity of modern IT operations.

Organizations are increasingly adopting DevOps to stay competitive, innovate faster, and meet customer needs. By helping teams release new software more frequently, DevOps practices are an essential component of digital transformation.

Yet, ensuring code quality and breaking down silos are some of the many challenges that come with DevOps methodologies. It is critical that organizations adopting DevOps practices understand and leverage orchestration tools to avoid common challenges of DevOps complexity.

What is DevOps orchestration?

DevOps orchestration tames the complexity of DevOps toolchains by automatically managing workflows and dependencies in DevOps workflows.

DevOps is a widely practiced set of procedures and tools for streamlining the development, release, and updating of software. In their most basic form, DevOps procedures can result in complicated processes, data silos, and fragmented responsibilities.

Despite DevOps’ benefits in supporting and improving specific steps in the software development lifecycle, these procedures can make managing IT operations difficult. Thankfully, DevOps orchestration has evolved to address these problems.

Why invest in DevOps orchestration?

Organizations that are engaged with large-scale digital transformation initiatives are driving increased adoption of both public and hybrid cloud services. Cloud providers enable faster delivery of new services but require new practices, including a need for closely monitoring costs.

One of the primary reasons to invest in DevOps orchestration is to address the developer experience gap. The developer experience gap describes how organizations will invest in multiple, disparate DevOps tools to address different yet specific pain points. Yet, this often results in developers spending more time piecing the tools together instead of innovating. Without seamless orchestration to automate DevOps toolchains, organizations waste time, talent, and resources.

Additionally, as IT operations become more complex, manual, and siloed, developers are facing higher expectations to accelerate release cycles. Manually managing and securing multi-cloud environments is no longer practical. Monitoring and logging tools that once worked well with earlier IT architectures no longer provide sufficient context and integration to understand the state of complex systems or diagnose and correct security issues.

Today, DevOps orchestration is necessary to gain a comprehensive view and means of control over infrastructure, services, and software development practices.

DevOps orchestration in practice

DevOps orchestration allows for more consistent, reliable operations by coordinating the various automation scripts and procedures that organizations have developed. In a similar way that developers automate a single task to improve consistency, efficiency, and speed, orchestration tools can coordinate the automation of tasks across platforms. This ranges from deploying virtual machines and configuring software to ensuring that software development operations are proceeding efficiently and reliably. This kind of orchestration often benefits from integrating a variety of tools and platforms.

For example, JFrog’s DevOps platform — which includes continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines — integrates with Dynatrace’s observability and automation platform. One key advantage of this integration is a single point of access to monitoring, logging, and other information needed to keep software development operations running efficiently. Additionally, DevOps engineers can specify automated quality gates that evaluate code early in the CI/CD pipeline to reduce the chance of deploying code with errors.

Automation versus orchestration

Automation and orchestration are common terms; while closely related, they are distinct concepts.

Automation refers to creating machine-executable processes to perform a task, such as deploying a virtual machine or performing a backup. Organizations may use automation to reduce the likelihood of errors, lighten the workload of staff, and control costs.

Meanwhile, orchestration refers to coordinating the execution of multiple steps in a more complex workflow or pipeline. Orchestration leverages DevOps tools that allow for rapid updates and releases, version control, and other best practices for software engineering.

Get started with DevOps orchestration

DevOps orchestration emerged as a response to the growing complexity of IT operations. Automation helps reduce errors and improve consistency, but automation alone is not enough to ensure operations are observable, reliable, and scalable. It is crucial that organizations looking to transform employ DevOps orchestration tools and practices.

The Dynatrace platform helps you get started with DevOps orchestration easily. Purpose-built with AI and automation at the core, Dynatrace allows you to leave the bag of tools behind and embrace an all-in-one platform. With its unified view of multicloud environments, Dynatrace allows teams to break down silos, automate critical tasks, and ensure seamless, speedy software delivery.