Why Open Source is Best for Jenkins and Jenkins X

The Jenkins community and CloudBees took a bold step in joining with the Linux Foundation in creating the Continuous Delivery Foundation. It assures that Jenkins and Jenkins X will be truly free and open source.

It stands in stark contrast to recent moves by Redis and Mongo. The headline from Business Insider sums up the move to close off open source:

“Redis Labs creates a new software license because it says traditional open source isn’t enough to protect startups from Amazon.”

The Jenkins Community, led by Kohsuke Kawaguchi, and CloudBees, led by Sacha Labourey, have a much different opinion of the purpose of open source - it is not to protect a startup - but to benefit the whole community. One of the cornerstones to the amazing success of Jenkins, and the emerging success of the next generation Jenkins X, has been the open community. One of the often quoted metrics is that there are over 1,500 plugins to Jenkins. This community continues to grow with 15 million developers and over 1 million public Jenkins servers:

As DevOps becomes more important, and represents a larger market, there is a need to keep Jenkins and the next gen Jenkins X open to the whole community and not subject to the financial whims of a single company.

Source: Grand View Research, March 2018, DevOps Market Size Worth $12.85 Billion by 2025 | CAGR: 18.60%

Closing off access or building artificial walls creates a bunch of disorganized and inefficient stovepipe solutions. There is absolutely no logic in having Amazon, Microsoft, Google, VMware, ServiceNow or others fork versions of Jenkins or Jenkins X.  It is like a kids sandbox where everyone is sharing toys and then someone huffs off with their toys in tow to start another sandbox. Which sandbox should all the kids play in? Very confusing.

The Jenkins community and CloudBees have been inspired to partner with the Linux Foundation by the creation and rapid adoption of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and the Kubernetes platform.

Looking forward, there is the realization that Jenkins X is serving that same role for the next wave of computing with Kubernetes, microservices and serverless architecture. By ensuring Jenkins X is open, it encourages collaboration efforts like the one between Tekton and Jenkins X.

Kudos to Kohsuke and Sacha, as well as the Tekton and Spinnaker projects, in taking this bold move, and the many, many contributors to the past, present and future success of these important open source platforms.