DevOps is a term that has been around for more than a decade. It’s a framework that integrates software development and IT operations so they can work together as teams to streamline software delivery processes, reduce bugs, and increase end-user adoption. As our production software becomes more reliant on automation and CI/CD, organizations need to leverage DevOps practices even more intensely than ever before.
That’s why the word “deprecated” can cause such anxiety in the DevOps community. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a quick rundown: In programming circles, there are several types of warnings or alerts that programmers use to signal problems or potential security threats. These include “warning,” which means you should take appropriate action but don’t need to panic; “info” means this is something you should be aware of; and “error,” means stop everything immediately and fix it immediately because we won’t be able to check again at this point in time.
Often times these terms are used interchangeably in everyday speech, but they have specific meanings in programming when used as part of common coding practices like naming conventions, commenting code, and scope naming conventions.
Read more below to learn about Azure DevOps!
What is Microsoft Azure and How does it work?
Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure, is available to the general public. Azure provides a wide variety of services, such as PaaS, IaaS, and managed DBaaS. What is Azure, though, and how does it function?
Virtualization is the technology upon which Azure, and other cloud platforms, are built. Virtualization technology has allowed for the emulation of nearly all computer hardware. Hardware in a computer is nothing more than a set of instructions burned into silicon or stored in some other permanent medium. To translate between software and hardware instructions, emulation layers are utilized. By acting as a bridge between the virtual machine and the underlying hardware, emulation layers make it possible for virtual machines to perform hardware-like tasks in software.
The cloud is composed of a network of physical servers that are housed in one or more data centers. For their clients, the data centers run hardware virtualization. So how does the cloud manage to spin up, shut down, and delete millions of copies of virtualized hardware on behalf of millions of customers all at once?
Let’s examine the data center’s hardware layout to learn more about the servers. Each data center houses numerous servers, which are stored in racks within the facility. One or more server blades and a network switch are housed in each server rack. There’s a power distribution unit (PDU) and network connectivity there, too. The term “cluster” is used to describe groups of multiple racks.
Clusters of servers are selected to host the user’s virtual machines. Certain servers, however, host the cloud management software known as a fabric controller. It’s important to note that the fabric controller is a decentralized application that serves multiple purposes. It handles service provisioning, service health monitoring, and server recovery.
Each instance of the fabric controller communicates with a front end or a separate set of servers that run cloud orchestration software. All cloud-based operations are supported by the front end, which houses the necessary cloud services, RESTful APIs, and internal Azure databases.
The front end may, for instance, house the services that deal with incoming requests from customers. Among the Azure services and resources requested are virtual machines and the Azure Cosmos DB. The front end first checks the user’s credentials to make sure they have permission to release the requested resources. In that case, the front end queries a database to find an available server rack, at which point it sends an allocation request to the fabric controller.
In Azure, a large number of servers and networking equipment power a set of intricate distributed applications. These programs control how the virtualized software and hardware on those servers are set up and run. Azure’s power comes from the way in which all of these servers are orchestrated. Azure takes care of routine maintenance and software updates automatically, relieving users of this burden.
What’s an Azure DevOps “Deprecated” Warning?
The word “deprecation” has different meanings in different contexts—in computer science, it means removing functionality from your system, and in marketing, it means removing products from your shelves and stores. From a software development perspective, it’s when you decide to remove something from your system (typically in a backward-incompatible fashion) to maintain compatibility with older applications that still use it and to avoid breaking existing clients of your system. In other words, it’s the process of removing features, products, and components from a system until it no longer works and can be removed safely.
This, in turn, helps maintain application and platform stability, reduce client disruption, and facilitate the upgrade of existing clients. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how this impacts you as a developer, let’s talk about how this relates directly to Azure DevOps.
Is Azure DevOps being deprecated?
Azure DevOps was first introduced in 2014 as a way to bring together the power of Azure, the agility of DevOps, and the reliability of Azure. Since its inception, Azure DevOps has grown to be a powerful tool for managing and deploying applications in the cloud. However, recent changes to Azure DevOps may signal that the platform is being deprecated.
First, Microsoft is discontinuing the Azure DevOps Services Preview Program. This program allowed users to try out new features and get early feedback. With the program ending, feedback will no longer be available to help improve Azure DevOps.
Second, Microsoft is introducing a new tool called Azure Automation. Azure Automation is a machine learning platform that can automate the deployment of applications and services. Azure Automation is similar to Azure DevOps Services, but it is not a preview program.
These changes suggest that Microsoft is no longer prioritizing Azure DevOps. This could mean that the platform is being discontinued or that it is being replaced by Azure Automation. Overall, these changes suggest that Azure DevOps is being deprecated. However, the platform still has a lot of potentials and is still useful for some applications.
Is the deprecated feature going to be removed from Azure DevOps?
No. Deprecation notices won’t be removed from Azure DevOps.
Open deprecation notices for Azure services are aggregated in a public GitHub repository called the Azure Deprecation Dashboard. Each notice is tagged with information about its potential impact, affected domains, and affected services.
Whenever a new deprecation notice is released, you will have access to all the relevant details from the official deprecation, as well as additional context, links, and information from the community or Microsoft PMs. Labels make it simple to narrow down notifications based on criteria like these, for instance concerning service runtime deprecation.