Book Review: The DevOps 2.0 Toolkit: Automating the Continuous Deployment Pipeline with Containerized Microservices

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Most people interested in this book will be somewhere in the web development/IT field. The title refers to the amalgamation DevOps meaning Development + Operations.

The idea is to combine these areas to learn how to automate the delivery, launch, and update procedure of the server and the hosted website/web application.

The DevOps 2.0 Toolkit is the perfect primer for anyone looking into continuous delivery or automation. You’ll learn all the core fundamentals before learning how to automate these tasks.

DevOps is a big field and it’s growing every year. If you can learn both sides of the coin you’ll become a true asset to any team you join.

Book Contents

This book spans 428 pages which is fairly large. It does cover a lot of material, but the way it’s explained is the real value.

You’ll learn about continuous delivery and the primary foundations of Docker. Chapters are broken into sections with 16 in total.

  1. The DevOps Ideal
  2. The Implementation Breakthrough
  3. System Architecture
  4. Setting Up the Environment with Vagrant and Docker
  5. Implementation of the Deployment Pipeline: Initial Stages
  6. Configuration Management in the Docker World
  7. Implementation of the Deployment Pipeline: Intermediate Stages
  8. Service Discovery: The Key to Distributed Services
  9. Proxy Services
  10. Implementation of the Deployment Pipeline: The Late Stages
  11. Automating Implementation of the Deployment Pipeline
  12. Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment Tools
  13. Blue-Green Deployment
  14. Clustering And Scaling Services
  15. Self-Healing Systems
  16. Centralized Logging and Monitoring

I have to admit after going through just a few chapters I could tell this book was thorough. The author Viktor Farcic really knows his stuff and I have respect for his writing.

The first few chapters explain how DevOps works, what it means, and what you should be trying to attain for the ideal environment.

This subject doesn’t just relate to a DevOps engineer. This is valuable to absolutely anybody working on the web or on a system where Docker and continuous deployment can be utilized.

The early setup of Vagrant wasn fun and something I hadn’t done in a while. I really like the author’s explanations because they tell you explicitly why you’re doing something. If there’s a way to automate something you always learn after doing it yourself manually.

When you get into chapter 6 you’ll really start automating with Ansible and Docker. This book covers a bunch of other tools as well like Chef and CFEngine.

ansible homepage

Viktor explains the differences and benefits of all the tools he teaches. He explains the concept of containers and clusters but also explains why he recommends following his route.

The “why” questions are usually the ones that don’t get answered in technical books. I have to say that’s probably the most pleasing aspect of the DevOps Toolkit. You really do learn how and why you’re doing something before you even do it!

Who Is This For?

Absolutely anyone who’s serious about learning DevOps should get this book first. The DevOps 2.0 Toolkit has every single topic you need to know to get started in that field.

If you’re even remotely curious to learn about continuous deployment then this book will also help a lot.

It does cover Docker extensively so you really don’t need any prior knowledge. But if you want to start there I’d recommend Docker in Action, a book I recently reviewed as a great intro to the crevasses of Docker.

If you’re a developer who prefers writing code then this book will not be much help. You might learn the theories behind continuous deployment along with the tools & technologies to get you there.

But if you have no intentions of getting your hands dirty then you won’t learn much.

Since most people going into DevOps really want to learn how it works I think this book would be the ultimate resource to have at your side every step of the way.

Pros & Cons

Ultimate pro: this book has basically everything a beginner needs to learn.

You’ll practice with all the most popular tools for continuous deployment and you’ll dive into the heart of Docker. Microservices are covered in great detail and Viktor provides incredible examples to illustrate these lessons.

I did get lost in the “Proxy Services” chapter explaining a reverse proxy service. This isn’t an area I know much about so the concepts really confused me more than the tutorials.

But this is a testament to Viktor’s writing because I was able to Google my questions and keep moving through the book.

The level of detail in writing for every single technique is exquisite. You always learn why and how to do something manually before you learn how to automate.

This gives you a tangible idea of what you’re actually doing at each stage of building, testing, and deployment. You also don’t take the automation for granted because you know how difficult it is to do everything manually.

The continuous deployment pipeline is not brand new. However the concept of microservices on the web are fairly new, and the growth of web development has paved the way for rapid automation in all areas.

This book introduces continuous deployment as a philosophy and as a technology. You have to think a certain way about the technology you’re using before you can truly understand automation and deployment.

For this I give Viktor’s book a huge 5/5 stars. I can’t think of much to complain about other than some parts being a little confusing to me. But with a little research I was able to pick up my lapses in knowledge and move through the book with ease.

Final Summary

This book is the guide that every DevOps engineer has been waiting for. There is no better option I can think of when it comes to learning continuous deployment for real-world projects.

The DevOps 2.0 Toolkit is a must have for anyone serious about continuous deployment and automation. In my opinion this is the absolute best way to break into this side of the DevOps industry. You learn theoretical concepts along with real-world patterns for both manual and automated techniques.

If you’re in any way interested in DevOps then you must start with this book. It’ll teach you more than any basic Google queries could, and it’ll teach you in a way that just makes sense to the modern web dev pipeline.

Review Rating: 5/5


Alex is a fullstack developer with years of experience working in digital agencies and as a freelancer. He writes about educational resources and tools for programmers building the future of the web.