A Platform for Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery and DevOps are taking off. Over the last year, they’ve gone from being backroom topics at tech conferences to being boardroom topics. Last year, IT was begging the business types to spare them a few pennies for build and staging machines. This year, the business types are asking IT for their plans to get to continuous delivery.

Google trends for Devops and CD (“continuous delivery” + “continuous deployment”)

 

At CloudBees, we’ve experienced the excitement of being in the middle of the phenomenon, thanks to Jenkins and our full-lifecyle PaaS focus, from development through deployment. That exposure has led us to a true hybrid offering for continuous delivery based on Jenkins - the CloudBees Continuous Delivery Platform.

People who have been involved with continuous delivery and devops know that the adoption barriers are largely organizational and cultural. At a smaller scale, the same has been true of continuous integration; but, those problems are typically confined within the development organization. A tool doesn’t solve the problem. Your toolchain choice can, however, be instrumental in helping in the organizational and cultural transformation. In the CI realm, some of Jenkins early success centered around helping development organizations to keep the build working all the time. And that was a difficult transformation for a development team to make, not so long ago! With CD, the goal is to keep your software in a release-ready state at all times. That requires you to deploy what you produce, to staging if not production, and to automate testing around those deployments. Ops has the same problem as they deal with updates from development, hardware suppliers and patching activities. Jenkins once again becomes the go-to tool for both dev and ops teams.

Dev and Ops Toolchains Intersect at Jenkins (Graphic inspired by http://www.infoq.com/presentations/devops-patterns)

 

What does a hybrid CD platform look like? In true continuous delivery fashion, we’ve been delivering on it incrementally for a while now, and we’re introducing some new features this week. It’s hybrid because companies moving to CD need to be able to do so on-premise, in the cloud or by bridging both of those worlds. They have existing resources to make use of and constraints to operate within. So, while many companies are interested in taking advantage of the cloud - particularly for development-time activities - they want to do so in ways that let them use their existing source control, services and identity/access management facilities. The cloud-side of the platform also lets you connect to existing on-premise Jenkins executors, secured by VPN. Companies often have a large investment in Jenkins already. Jenkins Enterprise by CloudBees and our Jenkins Operations Center by CloudBees are the key parts of our on-premise support for Jenkins at scale. Now we are also introducing Elastic Cloud Pools to make it simple for all Jenkins users to use CloudBees’ large pool of managed, hosted Jenkins executors - fully isolated, secure and instantly available.

Jenkins extensibility and community engagement is an incredible success story. The new Deployment Notification plugin we’ve introduced is a great example of both. CloudBees collaborated with the Puppet and Chef teams (both open source success stories in their own right) to close the loop between deployment processes and Jenkins fingerprinting. Now Chef and Puppet can call back to Jenkins, providing the fingerprint of artifacts they deploy. In typical Jenkins style, work was done in open source and in an extensible manner, so other tools can easily plug in to improve artifact tracking from code change through to production.

You should expect to see a lot more from CloudBees as we continue to enhance our platform’s strong position in continuous delivery. The upcoming Jenkins User Conferences are great places to learn more about what we’re doing in open source Jenkins and how that adds further value for CloudBees customers. Kohsuke and Jesse will be talking about the exciting workflow capabilities being added to Jenkins, and CloudBees will be joining with Forrester, partners and customers for a series of Continuous Delivery seminars.

To find out more about the CloudBees Continuous Delivery Platform and how CloudBees can help you in your journey to continuous delivery, please check out our white paper on the topic.

 

— Steven G. Harris

www.cloudbees.com

Steven Harris is senior vice president of products at CloudBees. Follow Steve on Twitter.

 

 

 

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