DevOps: Terms to Know

If you’re not a developer or IT specialist, technical lingo can be very confusing. Business decision-makers know the outcomes the technology can provide, but they don’t always know what DevOps means, or why CI/CD is important. Here’s a list of key DevOps terms that you can refer back to during your enterprise’s digital transformation. 


Containers are software packages that contain everything the software needs to run. This includes the actual program, as well as system tools, libraries, and settings. Containers are not installed and can be run in different environments at the same time. Read the first in our blog series on containers.  

Continuous Delivery (CD):

Continuous delivery produces software in short cycles, ensuring that the software can be reliably and manually released at any time. It allows you to build, test, and release software faster and more frequently. 

Continuous Integration (CI): 

Continuous integration merges all working copies to a shared mainline several times a day. Each check-in is verified, allowing teams to detect and address problems early. 

Deployment Automation:

Deployment automation streamlines applications and configurations to various environments used in the software development lifecycle. It ensures teams have secure, self-service deployment capabilities for CI, environment provisioning, and testing. Deployment automation can help you deploy more often while reducing errors and failed deployments. 

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DevOps (Development + Operations): 

DevOps is a set of practices that automate the processes between software development and IT teams so they can build, test, and release software faster and more reliably. DevOps helps build a culture of collaboration between traditionally siloed teams. 

DevSecOps (Development + Security + Operations):

DevSecOps means integrating security processes within the DevOps process. Read more about implementing DevSecOps. 

Feedback Loop:

A feedback loops use a system’s output as input for future operations. They lighten the load on development, reduce the fear of deployment, create a better relationship between Dev and Ops, and heighten productivity. 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):

IaaS is cloud-hosted virtual machines that are typically billed on a “pay as you go” basis. Users have full control of their machines but need to install and configure any required middleware and applications. 


Microservices is an approach to application development in which a large application is built as a suite of modular components or services. 

Open Source:

Open source is source code that can be modified by anyone. In a complex enterprise environment, a DevOps platform can integrate open source tools and streamline them into the delivery pipeline.

Platform as a Service (PaaS):

PaaS is cloud-hosted application runtimes that are typically billed on a “pay as you go” basis. Customers provide the application code and limited configuration settings, while the middleware and databases are part of the provided runtime.

Understanding these terms is just a small piece of DevOps. Learn how Perficient can help you with your DevOps strategy. 

About the Author

Caitlin is the Marketing Coordinator for Perficient's Automation, DevOps, and API practices. She's been in her role since September 2019, and has a background in editing and writing for a variety of brands and publications. She lives in St. Louis and is a proud St. Louis Blues fan.

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