DevOps and Security Glossary Terms

Glossary Terms
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Software Deployment - definition & overview

In this article
What is software deployment?
Why is software deployment important?
Software deployment vs. software release - what's the difference?
Software deployment methodologies
What is the software deployment process?
Monitor and secure your software deployment with Sumo Logic
FAQs
What is software deployment?
Why is software deployment important?
Software deployment vs. software release - what's the difference?
Software deployment methodologies
What is the software deployment process?
Monitor and secure your software deployment with Sumo Logic
FAQs

What is software deployment?

Software deployment includes all of the steps, processes, and activities that are required to make a software system or update available to its intended users. Today, most IT organizations and software developers deploy software updates, patches and new applications with a combination of manual and automated processes. Some of the most common activities of software deployment include software release, installation, testing, deployment and performance monitoring.

Key takeaways

  • Software deployment refers to the process of making the application work on a target device, whether it be a test server, production environment or a user's computer or mobile device.
  • Software and application deployment are terms that can be used interchangeably.
  • Today, most IT organizations and software developers deploy software updates, patches and new applications with a combination of manual and automated processes.
  • Software developers have created workflows that enable faster and more frequent deployment of software updates to the production environment where they can be accessed by users.

Why is software deployment important?

Software deployment is one of the most important aspects of the software development process. Deployment is the mechanism through which applications, modules, updates, and patches are delivered from developers to users. The methods used by developers to build, test and deploy new code will impact how fast a product can respond to changes in customer preferences or requirements and the quality of each change.

Software development teams that streamline the process of building, testing and deploying new code can respond more quickly to customer demand with new updates and deliver new features more frequently to drive customer satisfaction, satisfy user needs and take advantage of economic opportunities.

Software development teams have innovated heavily over the past two decades, creating new paradigms and working methods for software delivery that are designed to meet the changing demands of consumers in an increasingly connected world. In particular, remote software deployment and continuous delivery have created workflows that enable faster and more frequent deployment of software updates.

Software deployment vs. software release - what's the difference?

For the uninitiated, software deployment and release may sound like the same thing. These terms describe two aspects of the overall software deployment process that should be understood separately.

The software release process

The software release cycle refers to the stages of development for a piece of computer software, whether it is released as a piece of physical media, online, or as a web-based application ( SaaS ). When a software development team prepares a new software release, it typically includes a specific version of the code, and associated resources are assigned a version number. When the code is updated or modified with bug fixes, a new version may be packaged with supporting resources and assigned a new release number. Versioning new software releases in this way helps to differentiate between different versions and identify the most up-to-date software release.

The software deployment process

Software deployment refers to running an application on a server or device. A software update or application may be deployed to a test server, a testing machine, or into the live environment, and it may be deployed several times during the development process to verify its proper functioning and check for errors. Deploying software is running an application on a server or device. Software and application deployment are terms that can be used interchangeably. Another example of software deployment could be when a user downloads a mobile application from the Integration Store and installs it onto their mobile device.

To summarize, a software release is a specific version of a code and its dependencies made available for deployment. Software deployment refers to making the application work on a target device, whether it be a test server, production environment or a user's computer or mobile device.

Software deployment strategy types include:

While many development teams still choose to host applications using on-premises IT infrastructure, cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure now offer IT Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products that help developers deploy applications into live environments without the additional financial and administrative burden of managing their own storage and virtualization servers.

Software deployment methodologies

DevOps is a best practice and methodology for software development whose primary goals are to shorten delivery times for new software updates while maintaining high quality. In the DevOps framework, there are seven steps in the software development process:

  1. Coding
  2. Building
  3. Testing
  4. Packaging
  5. Releasing
  6. Configuring
  7. Monitoring

CI/ CD software deployment

Software deployment falls into the software releasing step and includes release coordination, deploying and promoting applications, back-ups and recovery and scheduled or timed releases. DevOps especially emphasizes the use of automation to streamline the software deployment process. DevOps usually incorporates a framework called Continuous Integration (CI), where new code is integrated into a shared repository by working teams regularly, sometimes even several times daily. Newly integrated code can be tested through an automated build process to support early bug detection and removal, helping to ensure that releases contain only quality code with few or no errors.

Continuous Deployment (CD) describes a software release strategy where new code passes through a battery of automated tests before being automatically released into the production environment where users can interact. Continuous deployment works best for software development teams that have invested heavily in automated testing that helps ensure new code is production-ready as it is developed.

Frequent integrations of new code and automated testing are crucial to effective continuous deployment. Developers that use CD also depend on real-time monitoring to help detect performance and operational issues once the code has been deployed to the live environment.

What is the software deployment process?

Every organization must develop its own process for software deployment, either basing it on an existing framework of best practices or customizing a process that meets relevant business objectives. Software deployment can be summarized in three general phases: preparation, testing and the deployment itself.

Preparation

In the preparation stage, developers must gather all of the code that will be deployed along with any other libraries, configuration files, or resources needed for the application to function. Together, these items can be packaged as a single software release. Developers should also verify that the host server is correctly configured and running smoothly.

Testing

Before an update can be pushed to the live environment, it should be deployed to a test server where it can be subjected to a pre-configured set of automated tests. Developers should review the results and correct any bugs or errors before deploying the update to the live environment.

Deployment

Once an update has been fully tested, it can be deployed to the live environment. Developers may run a set of scripts to update relevant databases before changes can go live. The final step is to check for bugs or errors that occur on the live server to ensure the best possible customer experience for users interacting with the new update.

Monitor and secure your software deployment with Sumo Logic

Sumo Logic provides the network monitoring and security capabilities that software developers and IT organizations need to verify and ensure the correct functioning of newly deployed software applications. With Sumo Logic, developers can gather real-time operational and performance data from new software deployments, streamlining the detection and correction of errors before they negatively impact users. Start using Sumo Logic for free.

FAQs

How can companies scale their software deployment processes as they grow?

Scaling software deployment processes as companies grow involves more than simply buying the right software deployment tool. It also means implementing strategies to handle increasing complexity and volume effectively. Here are some ways companies can achieve this:

1. Automated software deployment: Investing in automated deployment tools, like Octopus deploy, PDQ deploy or AWS CodeDeploy, and processes can streamline repetitive tasks, reduce human error and enhance efficiency as deployment requirements grow.

2. Standardization: Establishing standardized deployment procedures and templates, such as Rolling Deployment or Canary Deployment, can promote consistency across different projects and facilitate easier scaling without sacrificing quality.

3. Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Embracing IaC principles enables companies to manage and provision infrastructure resources programmatically, allowing for easier replication and scaling of deployment environments.

4. Containerization: Adopting containerization technologies like Docker or Kubernetes can help encapsulate applications and dependencies, leading to more scalable and portable deployments.

5. Microservices architecture: Breaking down applications into smaller, independent services allows teams to deploy, update, and scale components individually, improving agility and scalability.

6. Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): Implementing CI/CD pipelines automates testing, integration, and deployment processes, enabling rapid and efficient delivery of software updates at scale.

7. Scalable infrastructure: Leveraging cloud services, like Google Cloud Platform or Azure, provides the flexibility to scale infrastructure resources up or down based on demand, optimizing costs and performance.

8. Monitoring and performance tuning: Utilizing monitoring tools and performance optimization techniques can help identify bottlenecks, optimize resource usage, and ensure smooth operation as deployments scale.

9. Collaboration and communication: Encouraging cross-functional collaboration and communication between development, operations, and other teams ensures alignment and efficiency in scaling deployment processes.

10. Capacity planning: Proactively forecasting resource requirements, identifying potential constraints, and planning for scalability can help companies adapt their deployment strategies to handle increasing workloads effectively.

How can companies ensure a successful deployment?

Change management, patch management, asset management, configuration management, and endpoint management are all integral components contributing to successful software deployment.

Change management ensures that all software changes are carefully planned, tested, and implemented to minimize disruptions and potential errors during deployment.

Patch management is crucial for maintaining the security and stability of software by applying patches and updates to address vulnerabilities and enhance performance before deployment.

Asset management involves tracking and managing software and hardware assets throughout their lifecycle, facilitating efficient deployment by ensuring that the necessary resources are available and properly configured.

Configuration management focuses on maintaining a consistent and documented configuration of software and systems, enabling easier replication and deployment in different environments.

Endpoint management plays a significant role in successful software deployment by overseeing and securing devices and ensuring they are correctly configured, up to date, and compliant with security policies. By effectively implementing these practices, organizations can streamline the deployment process, reduce risks, and ensure that the software operates smoothly and securely across all endpoints.

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