DevOps tools vary in complexity and function, but the best ones rise above the rest. DevOps can be viewed as a movement, culture, way of working, methodology, group of tools, etc. Fundamentally, it's a better method for creating and deploying software and it is vital to know about DevOps tools and platforms and why they are is it essential, which you can read about here. There’s no shortage of DevOps tools. From automation testing tools to continuous improvement tools, DevOps have plenty at their disposal to do their jobs.
But instead of looking at specific tools to perform specific tasks, we want to show you the absolute essential tools every DevOps engineer should know about (and use), regardless of their responsibilities or project.
Many of the tools we list in this post are considered some of the best DevOps tools ever developed. And they dominate their respective markets.
We’ve curated a list of DevOps tools and top DevOps platforms, check them out below and decide for yourself.
List of the Best DevOps Tools
Git is one of the most popular, most used DevOps tools in existence.
It’s a source code management (SCM) tool, meaning it’s used by programmers and developers to manage code, such as tracking revisions in software or merging them with other revisions and so on.
One of the major reasons Git is so widely used in the industry is that it’s free and open-source. It’s available to practically everyone who needs to use it. And it can handle big or small projects with ease.
Plus, it’s easy to learn and use.
Git’s main feature is its intuitive branching model. It allows you to create multiple local branches that don’t have to be interconnected, they can exist independently of one another. And it has a load of great features, such as:
- Frictionless Context Switching - Create a branch, commit a couple times, switch back to where you originally branched from, apply a patch, switch back to the branch you committed and merge it. Easy and straightforward.
- Role-Based Codelines - Create one branch that contains only what goes to production, another branch that merges work into testing, and a series of smaller branches for the day-to-day grind.
- Feature-Based Workflow - Create branches for every feature you’re developing to easily switch back and forth between them. Once the feature is merged into your main line, delete each branch.
- Disposable Experimentation - Create a branch for experimentation, decide it’s worthless, delete it, and abandon that particular project without anyone ever seeing it or knowing you tried to create it.
And that’s not all.
If you want to push a branch to a repository, you can do so without pushing all of your branches. You’re in control of what you merge and share, meaning you have total control over the new ideas you want to pursue, even if you start them without a plan.
And all these features are largely error-free, unlike many of its competitors.
All these features and more have made it the go-to SCM for remote teams and developers across all industries.
Jenkins is another open-source DevOps tool that lets you automate various stages of the delivery pipeline through its continuous integration and continuous delivery server (CI/CD).
One major reason why Jenkins is used so often is because of its massive plugin library. To date, Jenkins offers over 1,000 plugins and integrates with almost every DevOps tools out there, like Docker or Puppet. And you can install Jenkins with preloaded plugins or create a custom config.
You can also customize your own CI/CD pipeline based on your needs for each project.
Plus, Jenkins runs on nearly every Operating System, from Windows to Mac to Linux.
The main feature of Jenkins is the ability to iterate and deploy new code rapidly while measuring the success of each step in your pipeline.
Docker is a DevOps tool that bills itself as the “#1 container industry conference for enterprise IT professionals, developers, architects and business leaders.”
They’re not wrong. Docker is used by scores of developers, for good reason.
Docker’s container software is excellent for developers and their teams to experiment with container-based apps.
If you’re unfamiliar with containers, here’s a useful definition:
“Containers are packages that rely on virtual isolation to deploy and run applications that access a shared operating system (OS) kernel without the need for virtual machines (VMs).”
Here’s why Docker is so well-received:
- Docker Desktop lets you launch an app from a Mac or Windows toolbar and access all it's content from Docker Hub, the largest library of community and certified Linux and Windows Server content.
- If you’re a large organization, Docker has plenty to offer you. They can manage and secure legacy and new applications, allowing you to modernize your app environment.
- For businesses of all sizes, Docker gives the IT department and all developers the flexibility to securely create essential apps for their organization without worrying about lock-in from managers or executives.
- It dramatically reduces the time to market for apps, effectively freeing up major resources you can use to invest in other projects.
- Docker seamlessly integrates with apps like Jenkins, further improving or automating your workflow.
Finally, AWS and Google Cloud have both added support for Docker. This means, Docker is one of the best DevOps tools you can use for cloud migration and computing.
Nagios is an essential DevOps tool monitoring tool that’s both free and open source. It’s highly recommended for network monitoring.
It watches your network to identify problems caused by data links or network connections that are overloaded. It also monitors routers, switches, and other aspects of your network like nodes. Nagios will observe the availability, uptime, and response time of the nodes on your network.
Many developers consider Nagios to be the best server monitoring software available today.
Nagios is superbly flexible and gives you the option of agent-based or agentless monitoring. Plus, you gain access to 5,000 different add-ons used to monitor servers, all thanks to the high-quality community it built over many years (over 1 million users).
Beyond servers and networks, Nagios also offers excellent application monitoring.
Nagios will detect any problems with your app, service, or process and take immediate action to eliminate downtime for end users. This DevOps tool can monitor all forms of applications, including Windows, Linux, UNIX, and web-based apps.
With so much monitoring going on, it would be easy to lose track of everything.
Not with Nagios.
You can keep organized records of events, outages, failures, and much more using built-in graphs and reports. You can even forecast errors and detect security threats.
Here’s a list of even more awesome features from Nagios:
- Script APIs for monitoring of in-house and custom apps, services, and systems.
- Centralized view of your IT infrastructure and everything being monitored.
- Detailed status updates through the web.
- Deliver alerts to staff via email or SMS.
- Availability reports ensuring SLAs are met.
- Multi-user access to the web interface ensures your clients only see their components.
- Failover capabilities that ensure continuous monitoring of your IT infrastructure.
Plutora is an all-in-one Value Stream Management (VSM) solution.
Their goal is to help you scale at enterprise levels and continuously control, manage, and deliver software.
Plutora was developed because they recognized the problems of achieving that goal using ad-hoc tools like Excel
Plutora relies on aggregated metrics, enabling you to manage delivery from a system level and eliminate waste while ensuring consistency in value delivery.
Plutora also focuses on bridging the gap between teams. They do this by enabling teams to use cutting-edge tools, architectures, and development methods mixed with automation - improving collaboration and efficiency.
Here’s a list of additional features:
- Intelligent tracking of the dependencies inherent in releases for your projects and system.
- Integration with existing tools for enhanced coordination, especially with diverse teams.
- Deep reporting and analytics for decreased risk of a release failure.
- Maintenance of an auditable history of changes to any project to virtually guarantee compliance with established regulations.
- Self-service booking engine for more efficient teamwork.
- Monitoring of use rates to reduce resource conflicts.
- Management of timing and sequence of deployment tasks for reduced risk.
Monit is a free and open-source utility built specifically for managing and monitoring Unix systems.
In the event of an error, Monit will automatically jump into repair and maintenance mode.
Because it’s open source, you can redistribute or modify Monit under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL).
Monit is always on and always making sure things are running properly. And when they’re not, it takes the appropriate causal actions.
For example, if Apache is using too many resources, Monit can restart it and send you an alert about what’s happening.
Monit is especially useful for monitoring daemon processes on local hosts, like Sendmail, SSHD, or MySQL.
Monit is also a reliable DevOps tool for monitoring files, directories, and file systems. Monit can detect timestamp changes, checksum changes, or size changes.
Monit is great for monitoring network connections to different servers on both localhost and remote hosts. Monit supports TCP, UDP, and Unix Domain Sockets. You can perform network protocol tests such as HTTP, SMTP, and so on.
Monit even lets you test programs and scripts at certain times to test the exit value of a program. If there’s an error, Monit will perform some kind of action and alert you. You can pretty much check anything you want if you write a script for it through Monit.
Lastly, Monit is used often for monitoring general system efficiency concerning CPU usage, memory, and load average.
Consul is a top-notch service mesh solution that provides developers with a robust control plane that features service discovery, configuration, and segmentation functionality.
You can use those features separately or in conjunction with one another. It also supports a proxy integration along with a native integration model. Of course, Consul comes with a built-in proxy but it supports 3rd-party proxy integrations if that’s what you prefer.
Here’s a list of the Consul’s notable features:
- Service Discovery - If you’re a client, you can register a service like MySQL, and additional clients can use Consul to uncover providers of service using DNS or HTTP.
- Health Checking - You can designate an infinite number of health checks associated with a service or local node. This information can be used by an operator to observe the health of a cluster. It can also be used to route traffic away from bad hosts.
- KV Store - Applications can use Consul’s hierarchical key/value store for dynamic configuration, feature flagging, coordination, etc.
- Secure Service Communication - Create mutual TLS connections by generating TLS certificates for services. And through Intentions, you can define access control.
- Multi-Datacenter - You don’t have to bother with building additional, abstract layers to grow more than one region, Consul supports numerous data centers already.
Consul was designed with flexibility in mind for modern infrastructures, making it friendly for DevOps and app developers.
Kubernetes is a platform for automation orchestration or a "container platform." One of the top DevOps platforms, it enables programmers to run containerized apps across Kubernetes clusters, referring to a collection of nodes.
To increase speed and efficiency in production, developers use Kubernetes to automate tasks like container configuration, scalability, networking, security, and more.
Here are some features of Kubernetes:
- Auto Scaling - Automatically increase or decrease the resources of containerized apps based on usage
- Lifecycle Management - Automate updates and deployments with the capability to Revert to earlier versions & Pause the deployment, then resume it
- Declarative Model - Declare the intended state, and K8s will work behind the scenes to keep it and recover from any errors.
- Resilience and Self-healing - Application self-healing is provided through auto-placement, auto-restart, auto-replication, and auto-scaling.
- Persistent Storage - the capacity to dynamically mount and add storage
- Load Balancing - To meet a range of purposes, Kubernetes enables several internal and external load balancing methods.
- DevSecOps support - DevSecOps is a cutting-edge security strategy that integrates security across the container lifecycle, automates container operations across clouds, and makes it possible for teams to produce secure, high-quality software more quickly. Developer productivity is increased by utilizing Kubernetes and DevSecOps techniques.
The Kubernetes platform has gained popularity because it offers a variety of significant benefits, including:
- Integration and Extensibility
- Cost efficiency
- Simplified CI/CD
If you’re planning to use Kubernetes as a DevOps Platform, check this Whitepaper and read about how you can use it to your company’s advantage.
When multiple divisions and teams are working on a project and there is a need for constant communication, email is outperformed by Slack for office communications. Internal real-time communications, idea generation, information sharing, project management, and app integration are all excellent uses for Slack.
Some reasons that make Slack a popular choice over other technologies for DevOps are:
- Quick communication Slack enables fast information exchange and real-time communication.
- Slack's ability to integrate with apps makes it the ideal all-around stand-alone solution for offices.
- Slack is inclusive to all. In contrast to email, all channel participants have access to channel information.
- Slack makes content searching simple, and information can be accessed from a single search box.
- A user can be segmented in Slack. Information may be exchanged while maintaining privacy thanks to private groups, channels, and DM inboxing.
Slack doesn’t lack anything! It’s fast, convenient, organized, and some might say even addictive because of its user-friendly UI.
Next on our list of top DevOps tools is Terraform. It is used as a tool to build, modify, and version infrastructure effectively and safely. It's fantastic for developers, cloud engineers, DevOps engineers, and IT professionals. This DevOps technology makes it possible to construct, modify, and version infrastructure securely and effectively.
These are Terraform's key characteristics:
- Infrastructure as Code - IT experts describe the infrastructure in declarative configuration files that are understandable by humans using Terraform's high-level configuration language (HCL). You can construct a blueprint or template with Terraform that you can version, distribute, and reuse.
- Execution Plans - Terraform generates an execution plan when the user describes the infrastructure. Before beginning any infrastructure changes, Terraform will explain what it will do in this plan and request your consent. Before Terraform creates, updates, or deletes any infrastructure, you have the opportunity to review modifications in this phase.
- Resource Graph - Terraform creates or modifies non-dependent resources concurrently while generating a resource graph. This graph gives customers more understanding of their infrastructure while allowing Terraform to construct resources as effectively as feasible.
- Change automation - Almost no human input is required for Terraform to apply complex changesets to the infrastructure. Terraform determines what has changed when users update configuration files and generates an incremental execution plan that takes dependencies into account.
Gremlin is a DevOps tool that engineers often use for testing. Users can launch dozens of attack paths using Gremlin, thwart and roll back attacks, and enhance system security. Gremlin, a tool created to build a stable and sustainable internet, identifies software flaws to reduce lost revenue and unfavorable systemic effects.
Some noticeable pros of Gremlin that got it on the list of DevOps tools everyone should use:
- Multiple attacks and testing can be carried out simultaneously thanks to customizable UI setups.
- Support for automation using CLI, API, and UI
- Examines a range of variables to determine how resilient a person is
- Controlling errors with precision and control
- Personalized scenarios with multiple degrees of system attacks
- Testing for disc fill-ups, latency injections, memory leaks, and other issues
SignalFx is offered as a service, a DevOps platform that can be used for real-time application and infrastructure monitoring. Development teams use SignalFx to collect and engage with a variety of streaming time series data across their whole stack. Custom data pipelines, real-time analytics without the need for a query language, and built-in dashboards allow them to better understand how their apps function and get alerts only when they are relevant. These features help the team and organization make strategic business-wise decisions.
Recently SignalFx was acquired by Splunk and revealed a brand-new, ground-breaking version of SignalFx Microservices APM.
This version includes some noticeable features and advantages, including:
- Accelerate each user's time to insight throughout the organization.
- Receive timely notification of a problem to aid in organizing corrective steps.
- Gather information about operations and inform the staff about the best practices.
- Receive metrics alerts in a matter of seconds.
- Operational intelligence in real-time streaming for data-driven advances
- Provide exceptional assistance throughout the whole lifecycle.
- Obtain smart alerts and real-time visibility across the various diverse cloud settings.
You can keep an eye out for any new updates about the release of the brand-new product here. Everyone has high hopes for the new and improved SignalFx, hopefully, it can make it to the list of top DevOps tools once again.
Another essential DevOps tool that serves a similar function to SignalFx is Raygun. It is a cloud-based platform that gives your web and mobile applications error, crash, and performance monitoring. Teams may achieve total insight into issues their users encounter with code-level detail into underlying causes thanks to Raygun's potent toolkit.
Here are some features that make Raygun a logical option for DevOps tools:
- Raygun offers a thorough picture of issues spanning your whole development stack. Instead of receiving notifications for every problem, intelligent categorization of errors allows you to focus on the issues that need your attention the most.
- Every major programming language and operating system is supported by Raygun. It can be used by any developer. The cost of developer time makes it unnecessary to waste time trying to find bugs. Fix problems more quickly and provide new features instead!
- Raygun was designed with teamwork in mind. There are no limits on the number of team members you can invite to your account. In addition to offering personalized notifications and a daily digest of error events for your entire team, Raygun assists you in developing a collaborative workflow for bug repair.
- Raygun Enterprise offers cloud support for large corporate entities as well as the option to safely self-host a version of the service that suits your requirements.
One of the crucial DevOps tools for developing projects is Maven. Apache Maven is more than just an automation build framework, in contrast to the ANT build system. It is also intended to manage the activities associated with reporting, documentation, distribution, releases, and dependencies.
With the use of automation, Maven streamlines the build and monitoring processes for its users. This contributes to maintaining a consistent build process, enabling consistency and effectiveness. The name Maven, which translates from Yiddish to mean "accumulator of knowledge," refers to this tool's ability to provide thorough project information through high-quality documentation. This along with other features mentioned below, make Maven an important DevOps tool.
- Easy Set-up - All projects have a straightforward setup that adheres to best practices throughout.
- Accesbilibily - Having the ability to work with several projects at once with ease and having immediate access to new features with little to no additional settings
- Dependency management - Excellent dependency management with automated updating.
- Repository - A huge and expanding collection of metadata and libraries. Dependencies for a project can be fetched from a repository.
- Extensible - It is extensible and makes it simple to create plugins in Java or scripting languages.
- Model-based builds - Any number of projects can be assembled using Maven into predefined output kinds such as JAR, WAR, and metadata.
- Coherent project information site - Maven may produce a website or PDF with the necessary documentation by using the same metadata as for the build process.
- Release management and distribution publication - Maven will interact with your source control system, such as Subversion or Git, and manage the release of a project based on a certain tag with little further configuration.
- Backward Compatibility - We can quickly transfer a project's numerous modules from Maven 2 to Maven 3.
- Improved Error and Integrity Reporting - Maven has made improvements to error reporting and now includes a link to the Maven wiki page where a detailed discussion of the error can be found.
Maven is a must-have DevOps tool that your development team will thank you for.
When all your teams are working hard to develop a product, the last thing you want is an unexpected error or crash that no one could’ve predicted. That is where Sentry comes into the picture.
Sentry is a DevOps tool for reporting crashes that gives you "real-time insight into production deployments with information to reproduce and fix crashes." It collects them for you on a web dashboard and warns you of any exceptions or errors that users encounter while using your app. This makes fixing the issues/errors more efficient and avoids overwhelming scenarios for the team.
Let’s look at some key features that make Sentry a dependable DevOps Platform:
- Unified role-based access control - Regardless of how users access data, uniformly implement fine-grained permission policies for users based on their roles. Once the policy is created, you can relax knowing that it will never need to be repeated or mirrored and that only the data for which your users have permission will be accessible.
- Seamless Use - Simple and consistent management of user role policies using either SQL or the HUE GUI. Sentry synchronizes automatically with Active Directory group assignments as well.
- Compliance-ready - To achieve regulatory compliance with rules like PCI, HIPAA, GDPR, and others, authorization is a crucial step. Sentry makes it possible.
- Open-sourced and secure - Using multi-tenant permission and granular access restrictions, store sensitive data alongside non-sensitive data on our platform and make it available to users across all departments. Users will maintain the same data rights regardless of the workload, including batch ETL, interactive SQL, machine learning, and so on.
It makes it simple to keep track of mistakes and logs and facilitates speedy problem-solving. Any application, including desktop, mobile, and web ones, can use Sentry.
How to Go From Using a Few DevOps Tools to Full DevOps Implementation
The journey from using a few DevOps tools to fully implementing DevOps techniques can seem daunting. You might be one of the many executives we speak to who hear great success stories of “other companies” implementing DevOps…
But you’re still struggling to make it work.
So you come to a post like this and get a better idea of the tools out there. That’s a good start, but it’s not the end goal.
The outcome you’re looking for is total integration with DevOps to bring together all the teams who would eventually interact with a new software project and allow them to collaborate simultaneously, give and receive feedback, and speed up the development and deployment cycle.
But just like the Agile methodology, DevOps can seem too frustrating and complicated to implement, leading you to settle for your current processes instead of trying something new.
That’s where we come in.
ATC specializes in DevOps consulting. We can help you:
- Audit your current processes, identify inefficiencies, align your team around a common end-state vision, and create an actionable plan for implementing DevOps.
- Assist you in setting up your “continuous delivery pipeline” and applying DevOps’ end-to-end process automation while improving security, compliance, and productivity.
- Achieve full DevOps integration in your organization and handle release management, continuous deployment, and new server setup while reducing the costs of ongoing management.
Reach out today to discover how to make DevOps work for your business.