Buying Time with CloudBees Accelerator v11 - AWS Cloud Bursting, Android and Yocto Acceleration

Written by: Electric Bee

4 min read

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“I can buy anything I want, basically, but I can’t buy time.” – Warren Buffet

Time and iteration: The two key ingredients of innovation

Competition in the consumer software, embedded, cartech and IoT space continues to be relentless, with end-users constantly demanding newer and secure user experiences. The companies winning this race are those that can deliver innovative software updates to end-users faster than their competitors. While release orchestration, pipeline and environment management, and analytics can help companies streamline and simplify their release process, there are still some parts of the software delivery lifecycle that, according to common knowledge, “take a long time and can’t be eliminated.” Take builds and tests, for example. In almost every industry, we hear people complain about slow software builds and tests that waste time and resources, slow down feedback cycles, and reduce an organization’s ability to iterate and experiment. With Android builds that regularly take 5 hours, and embedded Linux builds and Bitbake recipes that can run for days, there is often a shortage of time for integration and iteration. If waiting wasn’t bad enough, time wasted repairing broken builds and tests or manually managing those builds across in-house hardware further impedes innovation. In fact, the “Accelerate: State of DevOps 2018” report shows that developers spend 50%-70% of their time on non-value-added work, the bulk of which is rework or unplanned work. That’s an innovation buzz kill, too. Source: Accelerate: State of DevOps Report 2018

Time in a Bottle: CloudBees Accelerator

You may not be able to buy back lost time, but you can buy time for more iterations with CloudBees Accelerator. In the month of December 2018 alone, just 21 of our customers saved over 2 MILLION hours of developer time on nearly 300,000 builds. And with CloudBees Accelerator v11, we’ve made it easier for more people to save even more time. CloudBees Accelerator 11.0 introduces several new capabilities that dramatically shrink development cycles, giving organizations the time to release innovative software on business demand:

  • Plug-and-play support for accelerating embedded Linux builds based on Yocto project, buildroot, and Android platforms.

  • Cloud bursting for both AWS and Kubernetes environments to optimize build infrastructure utilization and costs without compromising performance.

Out-of-the-box support for accelerating Embedded Linux builds

This release adds support for the latest Android version (Android Pie v9.0) and extends support to the LineageOS Android distribution. It introduces drop-in support for embedded Linux builds based on the Yocto Project and buildroot, accelerating the embedded Linux builds through both distribution and caching. Customers testing the pre-release version have reported lowering their Yocto build times by as much as 70%! Bitbake users can use ElectricInsight to analyze their buildstats file in order to predict likely build time improvements. We’ll be publishing a blog post shortly that walks you through how to do that. Watch this space.

Cloud bursting for optimizing infrastructure utilization

We’ve also added out-of-the box support for cloud bursting for both AWS EC2 and Kubernetes environments. Now resources can be extended to allow “cloud bursting” functionality to spin up agents dynamically when the demand exceeds the capacity of statically configured agents. Instead of committing to cloud resources – and paying for that commitment – now you can use those resources when you need them most and keep your costs under control. One of our customers lowered their AWS build cloud costs from $1200 per day to between $300 - $400 PER DAY. That’s a cheap way to buy time.

There’s More

In addition to these new features, we’ve added capabilities that make it even easier to manage cloud resources. We’ve also improved reporting on agent and cluster utilization, made Android incremental builds even faster, and expanded the number of supported platforms. You can see the CloudBees Accelerator 11.0 Release Notes for more information about product improvements, etc. The release notes and other documentation are available at https://docs.cloudbees.com/docs/cloudbees-accelerator/latest/ .

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