Favorite Personal Applications To Improve Your DevOps Productivity

DevOpsers, which personal applications do you use most frequently? Here are my favorite applications, as a DevOps professional.

Check it out. Oh, yes. Please share your preference with me!

Favorite Applications For My DevOps Work


Original Article: http://dennyzhang.com/devops_tools

There are tons of tools for DevOps work. Like Chef, puppet, Jenkins, Docker, Vagrant, etc. Definitely an endless list!

Here we only talk about tools for personal use. They shall dramatically improve our productivity, as DevOps professionals. Below are my favorite ones. Let me know yours!

  • Comfortable laptop. I live happily with mac air 13-inch [1] + Linode. This mac air only costs me about $1100, and the battery lasts for 6-8 hours. One mistake I shall admit. It only has 128 GB SSD. I should buy 256GB!

Favorite Applications For My DevOps Work

Working in a moving environment, I do most of my work in the cloud. With a monthly payment of $10 in Linode, I get a reliable VM with 2GB RAM. Also a public IP, which is tremendously helpful for trouble shooting. (Tips: export your laptop to the Internet easily like this).

Favorite Applications For My DevOps Work

Note: previously I was using DigitalOcean, now I’ve switched to Linode. Here is why.

  • Local knowledgebase. In daily DevOps work, we may run into same issues quite often. Emacs Org-mode is the King to build up a powerful local KnowledgeBase. I spend almost 2 months learning how to use it. Yes, 2 months! To use Org-mode, we have to get familiar with emacs first. It’s not a pleasant experience, or I shall say struggling. However I’m very proud to say it’s the most important skill I have learned in my whole life.

Favorite Applications For My DevOps Work

Can you believe that? Every sentence of this blog is created and updated via emacs org-mode. Now I can share anything I’ve learned in a user-friendly format. And I only takes less than 5 seconds!

  • Safe and automatic backup. Always be prepared for your computer crash at a bad time. I use Dropbox + Local git repo. I keep my core data as minimum as possible. Currently it’s only 400MB, which includes almost everything I’ve learned in the past 10 years! Then I create a local git repo for this, which gives me version support.

Favorite Applications For My DevOps Work

Any unrecoverable data is protected by Dropbox. My total size is 3GB.

  • Quick test. Previously I use Vagrant a lot for local test, now I switch to Docker. Guess you’re the same, right?
  • Draw diagrams. I want to be professional in documentation. Omnigraffle [2] is quite efficient to draw various diagrams. You may notice that in multiple blog posts. example1, exmaple2.

Favorite Applications For My DevOps Work

Yes, it costs almost $100. But it saves a lot of troubles and it’s way better than tools like Microsoft Visio.[3]

  • Easy and fast monitoring. For any critical envs, I will setup an external monitoring by Uptimerobot.com.[4]

Favorite Applications For My DevOps Work

It’s totally free. And I use it for http url and tcp port check.

  • WebOps and Integration. Here I choose Jenkins.

Favorite Applications For My DevOps Work

Routine tasks in my daily life will be wrapped up as Jenkins jobs. The GUI operation is usually easier and help me to track the running history.

  • Personal Email account. If you’re doing any consultant work, I would suggest you use emails with your own domain. Currently I’m actively using *@dennyzhang.com to communicate with my clients or sales leads. Here is an example.

Favorite Applications For My DevOps Work

Try ZOHO mail.[5] We can create 25 mail accounts for free! It’s pretty reliable, according to my experience.

Your input, please.

As a DevOps professional, I also recommend tools or products, maintain online services.

  • guido gutierrez

    Good devops stuff man, I almost use all the tools you posted.

    • Excellent, guido!

      Please leave me comments in below, if you happen to find some more awesome tools. Let’s grow stronger together.

  • guido gutierrez

    Yeah cool, well i leave you a little variation of tooling stuff.

    Automation stuff ( network infrastructure + clustering + whatever you image to deploy in the cloud ) = ansible + terform

    Cloud computing provider = I use amazon at the moment( expensive )

    Ci, Cd deployment = jenkins , altough I’m testing travis also.

    Packaging tool = fpm-cookery, to cook my own
    deb packages.

    Scripting languages = ruby, bash scripting, python ( sometimes ) and Golang ( new horizon for me).

    Editor = atom ( excelent ).

    My cloud ecosystem stack = aws ec2 + ds/os + docker + mesos + kubertes- marathon + openshift.

    • Nice! So you’re a fan of atom, guido.

  • guido gutierrez

    Yeah, I am .
    So let’s keep in touch Denny
    Best regards.
    Guido ( from Argentina).