DevOps adoption keeps booming despite economic uncertainty.

86% of businesses admit the importance of faster development and releases, based on a study by Harvard Business Review on DevOps implementation. Yet, only 10% are very successful with faster deployments.

The tech stack is one of the biggest bottlenecks. DevOps lacks standard approaches, and the team must know which tools and technologies are the best available and how to use them with maximum efficiency. 

Let’s look at the best open-source DevOps tools for speeding up innovation and software delivery. Plus, the key considerations.

1 What are DevOps Tools?

DevOps tools encompass a wide variety of platforms, utility programs, and tools needed to collaborate across the entire software lifecycle: 

  • continuous integration
  • continuous delivery
  • automation at scale
  • collaboration

Unless you have a simple app, you will need a toolchain: DevOps engineers use 10.3 tools on average. This steepens the DevOps learning curve. 

Soft skills are equally crucial. Implementing proprietary and open-source DevOps tools is possible with a cultural shift in the project organization. 

For instance, DevOps for startups goes beyond Agile methodology to connect app development and maintenance within one seamless process.

2 How to Choose the Right Open-Source Tools for DevOps in 2024?

Key considerations affecting the choice of to-be-integrated instruments include: 

  • Popularity

Risks of vendor dependence are lower when using popular tools with large communities and backed up by large teams. You get assistance faster when encountering a problem. Updates are regular.

  • Environment

Choose effective instruments for your infrastructure type: a private, public, hybrid cloud, or bare metal. Some technologies are platform-specific and can block project transfer to a competing platform.

  • Customization

Think of an all-in-one vs. open DevOps toolchain. The former provides a complete set, which is best for starting. The latter is a custom-built mix of various tools, granting the best flexibility and adaptability.

  • Integrations

If you have already applied DevOps technologies to your project, consider the open-source DevOps tools you can easily integrate with the existing stack. Avoid heterogeneous ecosystems and, thus, unnecessary complexity.

  • Costs

Although many tools are free, convenience comes at a price. Tools can tie you to a specific cloud provider. Or the features you need can be hidden behind a subscription. Carefully weigh what you get.

An important point here. All instruments often have subtle nuances in their use. Ensure that the composed DevOps toolchain covers all steps of your DevOps transformation map

  • Planning

Break the scope of work into small chunks, considering the challenges of both development and maintenance teams.

  • Building

Manage the same environments across all stages. Eliminate manual provisioning.

  • Integration

Automatically check produced source code, detecting problems and improving stability. 

  • Deployment

Reduce time to production. Ensure frequent code deployments. 

  • Operation

Optimize resource consumption. Scale smart. Monitor system health. 

  • Feedback

Turn collected feedback into actionable insights that serve scope planning.

3 15 Top Open-Source DevOps Tools in 2024

The tools and technologies below will let you build top-notch infrastructure and development workflow:

devops open source tools
  • Kubernetes

Kubernetes is a leading container orchestration platform designed by Google. It enables developers to run all sorts of apps and rapidly growing ecosystems.

Highlights: 

  • Kubernetes provides "building blocks" that DevOps teams can use to construct and configure unique, flexible environments.
  • Developers can deploy containers at scale.
  • Load balancing is flexible and automated as per user needs.
  • The self-healing feature helps the project services survive in any circumstances.

Alternatives: Docker Swarm

  • Jenkins

One of the best open-source DevOps tools, Jenkins serves as a hub for the entire CI/CD ecosystem. It has evolved into a must-have tool that gently supports the efforts of all who seek a timely, smooth delivery. 

Highlights: 

  • Jenkins provides exceptional flexibility, enabling engineers to fine-tune any advanced settings.
  • Jenkins X is designed to harmonize orchestration and provide automated CI/CD for Kubernetes.
  • Serverless Jenkins is available. What does it provide? Improved scalability, more efficient disk space utilization, and reduced cloud expenses.

Alternatives: GitHub Actions

  • GitHub Actions

GitHub Actions also automates workflows and creates CI/CD pipelines. Users can manage, customize, and execute their workflows right from the GitHub repository. 

Highlights: 

  • GitHub Actions is super friendly to beginners, providing simple visualizations through the GitHub interface.
  • Basic integrations with Docker and Kubernetes are available.
  • The tool is free for public repositories. Yet, the engineering team is tied to the GitHub platform.
  • Fees apply for private repositories.

Alternatives: TeamCity

  • GitLab

GitLab started in 2011 as a Git-repository manager and grew into one of the top DevOps open-source tools in 2024 for code deployment and management. It continues to expand its features and services. 

Highlights: 

  • GitLab distinguishes itself as an AI-powered DevSecOps platform that is used to develop mission-critical software.
  • The platform offers deployment flexibility, freedom to choose any cloud provider, AI assistance in building workflows, and an open core.
  • GitLab is known for global team power, contributing remotely from all over the world.
  • It is a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

Alternatives: GitHub

  • Argo CD

Argo CD is a GitOps instrument for pulling the latest code and infrastructure configuration from the depository. Deployment becomes transparent and automated. 

Highlights: 

  • It simplifies comparing the cluster's desired and current software states, ensuring faster debugging and software reliability.
  • Argo CD integrates with many CI/CD DevOps tools, such as Kubernetes, BitBucket, or GitLab CI.
  • Access control is flexible. Authorized developers approve the pull requests without creating a Kubernetes account or a cluster role.

Alternatives: Flux

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  • Terraform

Terraform is an infrastructure-as-a-code management solution. It unifies and automates the provisioning of almost any resources. DevOps engineers build self-service infrastructure models.

Highlights: 

  • Terraform lets the DevOps team manage multiple clouds and service providers with one tool and extend workflow automation to all teams across an organization.
  • The teams can easily reuse, share, and version configuration files, adjusting to specific needs.
  • Terraform Cloud facilitates processes. Changes are implemented step by step, supporting the existing hierarchy.

Alternatives: Puppet

  • Progress Chef

Progress Chef, formerly Chef, is a popular configuration management tool for streamlining server maintenance. Cloud migration is also simplified. 

Highlights: 

  • Like Terraform, Progress Chef is platform agnostic, meaning engineers can use it for different OSs and cloud providers.
  • Chef works best for smaller applications. However, the support of complex orchestrations is also impressive.
  • Chef community has prepared a large collection of modules and configuration recipes.
  • Test automation is available for inspecting Chef scripts on security and compliance.

Alternatives: Ansible

  • Puppet

Puppet is used to configure and optimize IT infrastructure. It enables automated software deployment, flexible configuration management, software compliance, and more.

Highlights: 

  • Puppet provides built-in reporting about configuration changes and the state of nodes, increasing visibility.
  • The logic takes place on the server. Puppet compiles catalogs on the primary server and sends the unambiguous catalog to the agent for execution.
  • Basic programming knowledge is required to benefit from Puppet’s event-driven model.
  • It works best for large-scale deployments.

Alternatives: Progress Chef

  • Ansible

Backed by Red Hat, Ansible is a leading infrastructure automation platform that optimizes configuration, manages deployments, and enhances security.  

Highlights: 

  • Ansible is lightweight. It uses agentless project architecture. Hence, it does not run on the controlled node.
  • It is compatible with many platforms and programming languages. Yet, DevOps must install Python and OpenSSH.
  • IBM Watsonx Code Assistant powers Ansible Lightspeed. This AI assistant generates code recommendations to boost productivity.

Alternatives: Terraform

  • Prometheus

Prometheus is a go-to tool for monitoring and alerts. It collects information on specific metrics while setting a timestamp. Samples arrive at regular intervals.

Highlights: 

  • The system includes built-in, active scraping, and rule evaluations. It offers a multi-dimensional data model needed to detect issues faster.
  • An alert manager helps the DevOps team set up notifications precisely based on PromQL.
  • DevOps engineers can integrate custom libraries into the system. Bridging enables an easy import of third-party data to Prometheus.

Alternatives: Nagios

  • Grafana

Grafana is the best open-source DevOps tool and the industry standard for data collection and display. It brings data observability and visualization to the next level. 

Highlights: 

  • DevOps engineers can visualize data as charts, heatmaps, graphs, and more—whatever helps draw insights faster.
  • Grafana complements Prometheus perfectly. Prometheus collects metrics while Grafana visualizes them.
  • A centralized dashboard streamlines monitoring. Multi-dimensional alerts notify of emerging problems.
  • Grafana Scenes provides a declarative API for building interactive dashboard elements in Grafana apps. Customization becomes limitless.

Alternatives: Datadog

  • Bamboo

Atlassian’s Bamboo Data Center replaces outdated on-premises Bamboo software, providing functionality for building and managing CI/CD pipelines. 

Highlights: 

  • Bamboo streamlines deployments and related activities on the enterprise level.
  • Non-clustered and clustered deployments of Bamboo are possible, depending on load. The latter is designed for high-load, mission-critical instances.
  • Jira integration enables the team to link the discovered issues automatically.
  • Installation and proper configuration management can be challenging without previous experience.

Alternatives: Jenkins

  • OpenStack

OpenStack was initially developed as an effort to standardize NASA websites. It resulted in the leading technology for building and managing cloud environments. 

Highlights: 

  • OpenStack uses a set of APIs to abstract resources from vendor-specific programs and hardware into discrete pools with which DevOps interacts directly.
  • Although OpenStack hides an extremely complex IT infrastructure, creating and deploying a new cloud is easy.
  • OpenStack's six core services enable infrastructure for virtual machines, bare metal, and containers.

Alternatives: AWS

  • AWS

AWS is the leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, which once started as a platform for managing Amazon’s ecommerce activities.

Highlights: 

  • A wide range of products, tools, and utilities covers the needs of different businesses, institutions, and organizations.
  • Flexible pricing plans enable the users to pay only for the resources they actually use—but be careful with automated scaling! Costs skyrocket immediately with a wrong configuration.
  • Multiple DevOps and development tools and technologies integrate perfectly with AWS. An apt example is Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).
  • ML instruments are available to fight fraud, scale smart, enhance customer experience, and more.

Alternatives: Google Cloud

  • Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure provides a comprehensive cloud platform encompassing 200+ products and cloud services to eliminate deployment challenges and barriers for everyone.

Highlights: 

  • A large collection of DevOps tools for Azure Cloud is available to boost the team's productivity.
  • DevOps engineers can work in a cloud using Azure DevOps services or start on-premises Azure DevOps servers.
  • Microsoft Azure Cloud works best for teams using Microsoft technologies for product development. It is extremely well suited for enterprise-level solutions.

Alternatives: IBM Cloud

! Bottom line

Many great DevOps tools and technologies are worth your attention.

Still, the list of best open-source DevOps tools varies depending on the specific nuances of your project. Always start with an audit and consulting.

Whatever instruments you consider, remember skills are of major importance—57% of DevOps professionals agree that lacking required skills is the biggest challenge.

Ensure you select a DevOps team that knows how to use DevOps open-source tools with the most profit for you.  

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