What technology stack does CloudBees use

DevOps World: CloudBees is building the cloud-native future

While the CI / CD server Jenkins, developed by CloudBees CTO Kohsuke Kawaguchi, is celebrating its 15th anniversary, the DevOps World (formerly Jenkins World), organized by CloudBees for the second time in Europe at the beginning of December, was all about the much younger cloud native variant Jenkins X. The open source project is based on Kubernetes and is designed for cross-cloud and cross-platform use.

Jenkins X is an important building block in the CloudBees strategy, which aims to establish a unified DevOps data model for software delivery management (SDM) in companies. As part of a preview, Jenkins X is now available as Software as a Service (SaaS) on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Software delivery management

With SDM, CloudBees not only wants to offer developers comprehensive tools for continuous integration and continuous delivery, but also in particular to provide decision-makers in companies with detailed information and optimization options for all processes from the idea to the ready-to-use application or a marketable product. Software delivery management enables companies to continuously improve their go-to-market strategy by monitoring and evaluating all aspects of software development, including security, compliance and efficiency, and providing feedback to everyone involved, explains CloudBees CEO Sacha Labourey.

In this context, Jenkins X not only opens up accelerated CI / CD pipelines for developers from packaging to merge in the master branch, but product management also receives direct insight into the development process and can, if necessary, exert influence via pull requests. By parallelizing code reviews and merges, Jenkins X contributes to more efficient processes within the organization, but also allows more intensive testing, which should lead to higher quality.

Cloud-native in the Kubernetes ecosystem

In addition to the integrated GitOps functions (version control, CI / CD automation, trunk-based development, etc.), a feature of Jenkins X that is particularly important from the developer's point of view are the preview environments available "at the push of a button". James Strachan, who works as a Distinguished Engineer at CloudBees on the development of automated CI / CD offers based on Kubernetes, is convinced that the preview environments available in the Kubernetes cluster, if required - and without complex application processes - both individual developers and teams Make work easier in the long term.

The SaaS offer “CloudBees CI / CD powered by Jenkins X” also frees software developers from the complex administrative tasks that can be associated with the Kubernetes container orchestration. While the Jenkins X team has been using Jenkins X internally for a long time to develop Jenkins X, the CloudBees managers are eagerly awaiting the first experiences that users will gain as part of the preview of the service on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) . The close cooperation with Google is only to be seen as a first step. Both companies have faith in the bridging capabilities of Kubernetes.

As a universal runtime environment, Kubernetes creates the conditions for cloud-native software development and deployment in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Despite competing approaches such as Docker Swarm, Mesosphere and VMware, Kubernetes has meanwhile blossomed into a quasi-standard that is supported by all major cloud providers. Jenkins X not only uses the full functionality of Kubernetes, but also builds on the Tekton execution layer. The open source project, which is also part of the Kubernetes ecosystem, provides a new level of control for software development with CI / CD systems on Kubernetes. Jenkins X integrates Tekton as an execution engine for build pipelines.

From on-premises to the multi-cloud

The Kubernetes cluster offers from Google, AWS, Azure and other cloud providers usually only differ in details, but seamless, cross-cloud work or even migration of applications is hardly possible or at most with severe restrictions. The Anthos project, promoted by Google, aims to fade the boundaries between platforms. Anthos provides a central platform for managing Kubernetes installations (with Google Kubernetes Engine on GCP and GKE On-Prem), which also integrates the service mesh Istio and the serverless middleware Knative, of which Jenkins X is even more prominent should benefit.

In order to make its own product portfolio more attractive for corporate customers, CloudBees does not rely solely on Jenkins X. The two most recent acquisitions of Electric Cloud and Rollout should also contribute to this. While the Electric Cloud Accelerator accelerates Jenkins X through parallelization and load distribution of tasks, Electric Cloud Flow completes the CI / CD offer for customers who still have to support legacy environments, such as those that are still widespread in telecommunications and the semiconductor industry.

The feature flags of Rollout, on the other hand, are not only of direct benefit to developers when it comes to hiding or activating individual code sections in a targeted manner - even after the build has been rolled out. The product management of software providers can also use the flags to test new functions with a selected group of users or to divide their own application into different versions with a graduated range of functions based on a single build.