Have you ever Googled “continuous delivery infrastructure?”
If you have, you have probably come across a cluster of articles that, no doubt, do their best to explain the concept. Unfortunately, they overwhelmingly fail.
Why, oh why, is the concept of continuous delivery infrastructure so difficult for most IT service providers to explain? Most importantly, why is there such a dearth of information about which industries would benefit from continuous delivery? Why is it relevant?
If you're a business owner, you've got thousands of concerns; from understanding and adhering to constantly changing regulations, to daily operational challenges, to adjusting to consumer demands. Continuous delivery infrastructure just seems like another technological jumble.
Why do you need to know about this? After all -- your business probably isn't as big as Netflix or Amazon. What can continuous delivery infrastructure do for you?
Let's say you own a small restaurant that serves authentic Peruvian cuisine. If that's the case, you have absolutely no need for continuous delivery infrastructure strategies.
However, if you're a small tech start-up hoping to compete with DoorDash, Postmates, or Grubhub, your application will have to offer benefits to your end-user that the world's largest online food ordering platforms do not. That's where continuous delivery infrastructure comes in.
Information delivery businesses of all sizes recognize the strategic importance of continuous delivery infrastructure. It demands significant resources to implement the infrastructure and processes, but the effectiveness and measurable outcomes it can deliver can encourage DevOps professionals to allocate substantial resources.
Suppose you're trying to encourage small Peruvian restaurant owners to use your platform because it is flexible enough to meet the evolving needs of both their business and their customers. In that case, you need continuous delivery protocols in place.
Every code update is automatically released after it has been subjected to a battery of automated tests and validations. This function is called continuous deployment. When software practices are the lifeblood of the business, continuous deployment is a desirable process since it facilitates a fast time to market. Product management defects and more risks are associated with it, but these risks are managed. Netflix and Facebook have demonstrated that continuous deployment is possible and have shown innovation in this area.
With continuous delivery, code changes can be delivered to various internal customers continuously via testing and validation environments, in accordance with continuous deployment practices. As a best practice, continuous delivery consists of both automated and non-automated processes that are continually updated and changed as the software is being released. Before changes are deployed to production, internal customers can review them. Approvals can be manual or automated. No matter how many approval steps there are or how many manual tests, there is enough automation that only human judgment calls are included in manual steps. Every other verification on the release is fully automated. The difference between continuous delivery and continuous deployment is whether manual approval is given or not.
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