Web Application Deployment Strategies You Need To Know About

 

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Description: You need a deployment strategy to ensure that the implementation of a new application or the configuration of an old one meets its purpose. However, to choose the right approach, you need to understand your requirements. There are several application deployment scenarios, and they all meet different needs.

What is Deployment, and Why Do We Need It

Deployment of a mobile app is a complex system of predictable implementation of the final product on the customer’s server. In other words, this means transferring the application code to a working state on a particular host. You can deploy either a brand new project or a new version of an old one.

When you update or modify the application, you need deployment to work stably and adequately without downtime.

How to Сhoose the Right Deployment Strategy

Deployment is a complex process, and there is no universal recipe that will work for every context. 

The specifics of deployment depend on the project and are dictated by a large number of variables, which are:

  1. The business requirements. They imply the maintenance of operational reliability, speed, budget, whether it is an app for a small business or for an enterprise, etc.
  2. The developing team. It implies the team’s skills, size, a good DevOps expert, and other factors related specifically to the people working in the group.
  3. The location. Here we mean the location to which you deploy the application. 

In addition, we must consider that the deployment of an application for business looks like one project. Still, these are two different entities with different features for front-end and back-end developers. For example, front-end developers prioritize the product’s end-user, while back-end developers think about the flow of data to the project.

If you have no practical experience, it is better to contact web development consultants to analyze your case and offer the most suitable solution. The solution can be the deployment strategy selected. The consultant will dive into the client’s workflow and talk to the development team to learn their working methods and technologies. In addition, the consultant will analyze the project data and desired goals to select an effective strategy based on them and, if necessary, combine or alternate several.

Deployment Strategy Types 

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Having clear and reliable data about the project, its purpose, and all the variables, the team can choose the appropriate strategy. To date, the following methods have proven effective:

Recreate deployment

Recreate deployment is probably one of the most inconvenient strategies for the end-user because it involves completely closing the old version and deploying a new version. Its obvious disadvantage is that the application will be entirely unavailable to users for some time. Sometimes this time is extended to the point where the application starts losing regular users. So you need to be clear about whether this strategy is suitable for your industry and whether the downtime won’t be disastrous.

However, this strategy has its advantages, but those are more relevant to developers. Recreate deployment is easy to set up and update completely without crashing or hassle. Developers perform all processes one at a time without any parallel tasks.

Ramped/Rolling deployment

This strategy involves progressive rolling out a new version with outdated features replacement. Developers can replace one feature at a time or do it in parallel. The application doesn’t lose users due to downtime with this strategy, yet implementing a running application takes more time.

The clear disadvantage of using this strategy is the lack of traffic control and the difficulty of controlling the workflows, as they go alternately at a time. Among other things, the development team must ensure that users do not have the two versions overlapping.

Blue/Green deployment

The name of this deployment strategy is not really about color. Blue/Green refers to the old/new version. The application is rolled out concurrently in the old and new versions, and once the new version meets all requirements, the traffic flow is switched from the old version to the new one. If some new version features don’t work, it is possible to roll back to the old version.

This deployment is expensive for a company because it requires maintaining two viable versions of the application, although it is very convenient.

Canary deployment

The canary strategy involves transferring traffic from the old version to the new, often balanced. The central mass of users see the old version, and only a small part encounters the new one. This strategy makes it possible to reduce the number of audiences that meet a failed release, track down bugs, and make a quick rollback.

The most significant disadvantage of this strategy is that it is time-consuming, as it is carried out in several stages. Users may also encounter compatibilities of two versions running simultaneously.

Shadow deployment

This strategy intercepts traffic from the old version and redirects it to the new version, which is released alongside. The user searches for the old version but is redirected to the latest version when they switch. This way, it is possible to test the production traffic, and the user is not affected in any way.

It is a costly deployment, challenging to set up with increased time lag. Still, it allows splitting API targets in a mobile device or browser, depending on the client’s input. In addition, the shadow deployment helps to evaluate bugs and performance of both versions.

A/B Testing deployment

This strategy is used when it is necessary to identify specific features’ conversion statistics to make a business decision. To do this, users are directed to that feature based on browser conditions, request parameters, geolocation, technical characteristics, the language used, etc.

Deployment based on A/B testing gives control over traffic, but the load is difficult to balance and, therefore, difficult to eliminate errors.

Summary

In conclusion, we would like to say that every change in an application initiates a new process, either valid or defective. When choosing the right deployment strategy, you need to make decisions based on business goals and take into account front-end and back-end metrics. None of these strategies is one-size-fits-all, so when deploying, you need to hire a good developer team, or at least someone who can start and change processes promptly.

About the author:

Louis Sawyer is a professional writer, editor and a web design expert. She loves writing about technology trends, web development, mobile games and business issues. Also, Louis works as a proofreader at Computools. Follow her on Twitter