DevOps Challenges to Watch Out for in 2023 – and How to Approach Them

May 3, 2023
Leaders to Leaders, Tech
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We sat with our senior DevOps engineers and asked for their professional predictions for the coming year. Here’s what they said. 

DevOps has never been more popular than it is right now. The global DevOps market, valued at approximately $7 million in 2021, is expected to surpass $37 million by 2030. 

While the emerging methodology brings efficiency and convenience, it also opens the door to new risks and challenges. If your company is among the many adopting a collaborative approach to optimize software delivery, this article is for you. In it, we’ll outline the most significant hurdles a DevOps team may face in 2023, discuss the best way to overcome them, and offer tips on maintaining an effective working environment. 

Moving away from legacy systems

As the need for digital transformation grows, many companies still use legacy systems. Outdated technologies are often difficult to maintain or update and may be limited in their capabilities compared to more recent solutions. Even if your infrastructure has served you faithfully for years, it could be holding you back right now. 

An efficient CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Development) pipeline is the backbone of a successful DevOps implementation. A series of automated steps, it helps streamline the software development process by building, testing and deploying code changes with each commit. A robust pipeline in place ensures that your code changes are integrated and tested quickly, increasing the velocity of the entire software development cycle.

But none of that can happen in an older system that’s incompatible with modern tools and processes. For example, a legacy system may not have the APIs or hooks to work smoothly with modern-day CI/CD tools. 

Consider using IaaS(Infrastructure as a Service) – a cloud-computing model that can provide you with virtualized computing resources. As such, it’s a cost-effective way to modernize your infrastructure, move away from outdated models and bring your operation to 2023. 

IaaS also works well with microservices, especially in a DevOps environment. The ability to develop, deploy, and manage them independently allows for faster development cycles and greater scalability. 

That, combined with the easy resource management brought by cloud-based infrastructure, makes for a powerful DevOps platform that can quickly respond to changing market conditions and customer needs. 

Automating complex release processes 

As technology advances, the complexity of software development, deployment, and maintenance increases. With more features and dependencies being added, DevOps teams need to manage and release software at a faster pace while ensuring stability and scalability. 

Using specialized software to automate repetitive tasks throughout the development lifecycle greatly reduces complexity and improves release stability. By automating as much of the development-operation relationship as possible, you can optimize your production lifecycle. Furthermore, eliminating repetitive tasks streamlines the entire production. Team members have more time to work together, fostering communication and reducing the risk of errors. 

There’s an array of DevOps automation tools you can use. Two widely popular choices are Docker and Kubernetes. Docker is a containerization platform that lets you build software containers and distribute them to different environments, while Kubernetes automates their management at scale. Together, they’re a powerful combination that facilitates faster software delivery.  

DevSecOps – the future of DevOps

In the past, IT security was often a separate stage late in the development process, carried out by a dedicated team. If a vulnerability was found, the application would be sent back for review and testing. That made sense in a longer development cycle. 

DevOps practices, however, aim for shorter development cycles and treating security as a downstream activity can cause delays. According to a 2021 study by Security Compass, 73% of respondents observed a slowdown in code releases due to manual security processes. 

As a result, DevSecOps (development, security, and operations) emerged. The practice is gaining popularity alongside DevOps, as organizations recognize the importance of integrating security into all stages of the development process. By considering security throughout the entire cycle, you can identify and fix issues early on and optimize your software delivery. 

To implement DevSecOps practices, involve a security team early on in development, and ensure they’re involved at every stage. Automate security tests as part of your CI/CD pipeline, to be triggered at the appropriate stages of development. And remember to continuously monitor and evaluate them to confirm your systems are as secure as possible. 

Maintaining high availability and scalability

As you adopt DevOps, maintaining scalability becomes increasingly important. A growing number of services and dependencies, combined with the inevitable spikes in demand, makes it hard to optimally identify issues in a timely manner. 

You can overcome these challenges by implementing monitoring and logging tools to keep track of your systems and services. Integrating them with your CI/CD pipeline would give you early warning of any potential issues, letting you address them preemptively. If your system has trouble meeting high demand, auto-scaling and load balancing solutions such as Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling will help your system remain responsive. 

Last but not least, use load testing to evaluate your system’s performance under real-world conditions. Tools like Apache JMeter or Gatling can simulate high-traffic scenarios and measure response times and resource utilization. This is the recommended way to uncover and resolve bottlenecks before they impact your operation. 

Wrap up

The DevOps market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years – and with growth come new challenges. Moving away from legacy systems can be tricky, especially if you’re used to a particular way of working. Trusting automation can be difficult, and changing your security practices might seem daunting at first. 

But as technology moves forward, it’s crucial to be aware of the challenges ahead. By taking the time to understand the potential hurdles of 2023 and beyond and developing strategies to overcome them, you’re setting yourself up for long-term success. 

Dilyan Dimitrov

A reader who loves writing, a marketer who loves tech, a nerd who loves sports. Dilyan, our resident writer, half-jokes that his days are filled with everything you can think of - except free time. He joined our team several years into his copywriting career - and he seems to feel at home here. Because, as he puts it, “there’s always cake at the office”.  If he doesn’t have his nose buried in a book, you can typically find Dilyan writing his latest piece, tinkering with his PC, or off swimming/cycling somewhere.

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