Feb 13, 2020 Linux / Open Source

Embedded DevOps: Implementing CI/CD in Embedded Development

By Michel Genard


DevOps and other modern Continuous Integration/Continuous Development (CI/CD) practices are being quickly adopted in enterprise software development and are making their way into the embedded world.

Market demands for ever more complex systems and faster development cycles mean that the adoption of more efficient development methodologies is rapidly turning into an absolute imperative for embedded systems companies. Even if you had infinite budget, there aren’t enough qualified engineers to get the work done. Using traditional embedded development methods wouldn’t allow the sort of gains that you would see by adopting more efficient methodologies.

Organizations need solutions that enable and support the implementation of embedded DevOps processes. Explore how Wind River’s portfolio of solutions makes this possible.

Market demands require faster development cycles and further necessitate the need to implement embedded DevOps methods.
Find out how you can implement embedded DevOps in your organization.
Free eBook: Realizing the DevOps Vision in Embedded Systems

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A Quick Review: What Is Embedded DevOps?

DevOps is a method that is the culmination of software development, IT, operations, and quality assurance (QA). This combined process has evolved to meet organizational needs for faster development cycles.

1.      Traditional development: Traditional development siloes the three processes included in embedded DevOps. Having separate teams write, arrange, and test code works fine in “waterfall” software development methods but is too slow to meet the demands of today’s market.

2.      Agile methods: These methods offer a new approach to embedded DevOps that makes it possible to push out new code releases at a more rapid pace. This is the first step toward combining these disparate processes and teams under the “DevOps” term.

3.      Continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD): This iteration of DevOps methodology was developed as teams began pushing out new code faster than ever before. It became impractical to do an uninstall/reinstall with every iteration. Using CI/CD methods allows the code to be placed into production without halting any functionality.

4.      Fully integrated DevSecOps: As development teams get busier and new code is regularly released, there is increased exposure to security risks. DevOps has now been tasked with including security as part of the team’s workflow.

Embedded DevOps processes have continued to evolve as teams must meet security requirements and regularly deploy code with minimal downtime.

Combining Embedded DevOps and CI/CD

Organizations looking to remain competitive must effectively implement DevOps and CI/CD processes. Although these methods are technically separate, they must be integrated for organizational success, with support from different toolsets along the way.

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Teams must collaborate in real time as new code moves through the workflow. The development tools and cloud platforms teams utilize must support these methodologies for them to be effective.

Embedded DevOps Challenges

Embedded DevOps is becoming increasingly popular for embedded systems makers. While these advanced processes speed up time-to-market, improve collaboration, and help create better products, many organizations must overcome a variety of challenges for successful implementation.

Barriers to the DevOps Vision:

·         Company culture: Embedded DevOps requires the coordination of numerous teams. Organizations can’t just say they want to implement these new methods; they must effectively transition their management processes and their technology stacks.

·         Ensuring security: Application security can be challenging and can hold back the implementation of more agile methods. Ultimately, more releases mean a larger attack surface area and more risk. Security needs must be met across the entire embedded development process.

·         Toolset compatibility: DevOps processes are still relatively new in the embedded world. Many organizations are still using tools that are designed to support traditional waterfall methods. New toolsets must be implemented to drive embedded DevOps and CI/CD processes.

·         Hardware access: Traditional development ties code creation to specific target hardware. As production cycles shorten, it becomes nearly impossible to provide physical hardware as quickly as required. Teams need ways to develop and test without this reliance on physical hardware.

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Implement Agile Practices in Embedded DevOps with Wind River

The Wind River portfolio of tools enables DevOps and CI/CD in the embedded systems world. The portfolio adheres to the established DevOps and CI/CD workflow:

·         Wind River Linux & VxWorks include dev-test toolsets that enable quick embedded development from prototype to production, including meeting security requirements.

·         Helix Platform & Cloud Platform simplify code deployment. Helix Platform enables a single-compute system on edge devices for application consolidation, and Cloud Platform is a production-grade Kubernetes solution designed to support 5G.

·         Simics eliminates the need for physical hardware. It can simulate anything from the simplest to most complex interconnected systems to improve collaboration and speed up developers, QA, and Ops teams processes.

Don’t let personnel limitations hold you back—implement solutions that support the future of embedded DevOps.

The Wind River portfolio offers embedded teams systems and tools that facilitate DevOps to support the specific demands of embedded system development. Organizations no longer have to be held back based on personnel limitations. Move into the future of embedded DevOps with Wind River, the leader in delivering software for the intelligent edge.

To see how each of these solutions helps combat the challenges associated with CI/CD, download our eBook:

Realizing the DevOps Vision in Embedded Systems

Download Now

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