Co-written with Marc Hornbeek a.k.a. DevOps_the_Gray esq, www.EngineeringDevOps.com
DevOps CI/CD pipeline tools such as open-source Jenkins are popular because they are easy to get started with, and for simple CI applications, do not cost very much for limited deployments. However, as an organization’s DevOps capabilities requirements mature, there is a tendency for “tool sprawl” and requirements exceed the capabilities of open-Jenkins alone.
As indicated in the white paper “Unified Enterprise DevOps Platform Why? How? And What?” the enterprise needs a more complete, high-performance, end-to-end automated DevOps platform. The platform must be extremely reliable, scalable, secure, and maintainable. Out-of-the-box DevOps tools, such as open-source Jenkins, are not sufficient, on their own, to meet the needs of Enterprise level DevOps platform requirements.
In his March 26, 2021 article “Unified DevOps Platforms Eliminate Bottlenecks”, Marc Hornbeek indicated that the following are general requirements for a unified enterprise DevOps platform.
- A unified approach that supports end-to-end capabilities for continuous delivery of software, as a managed service, for multiple streams of pipelines.
- Unified metrics that show business value, costs of the value stream and timing for end-to-end continuous delivery flow across multiple pipelines.
- Unified capabilities including visibility, orchestration, integration, security, governance, traceability and management of flow for application value streams across multiple pipelines.
- Capabilities to unify continuous testing/QA, troubleshooting, and debugging.
- A unified approach to simplify and accelerate toolchains that support new cloud-native and cloud-adapted applications, infrastructures, machine learning, commercial off-the-shelf and open source, software.
Release IO’s Unified Enterprise DevOps Platform was developed to address the above requirements and overcome specific pain points that occur with pipelines that are constructed solely with open-source Jenkins.
The following are pain points with pipelines using open-sourced Jenkins that are addressed by ReleaseIQ’s Enterprise DevOps platform, working together with Jenkins.
- Tribal knowledge and excessive customizations are needed to connect different Jenkin pipeline segments into an end-to-end value stream. ReleaseIQ provides end-to-end automation, that connects the different pipeline segments in a consistent manner and documents end-to-end automation processes and workflows.
- Plugins for integrating tools with Jenkins are not well maintained. Plugin upgrades are a frequent source of pipeline downtime. ReleaseIQ’s platform capabilities integrate, test, and monitor end-to-end pipeline performance and quickly identify and diagnose faults in the pipeline to ensure that faulty plugins are detected early and mitigated quickly.
- High Availability configurations are not supported with open-source Jenkins. By integrating Jenkins’s pipeline segments into the end-to-end ReleaseIQ DevOps platform, availability is improved.
- Connecting Jenkins data to popular dashboards to improve pipeline visibility is difficult and error-prone. By integrating Jenkins’s pipeline segments into the end-to-end ReleaseIQ DevOps platform a consistent and flexible ReleaseIQ dashboard improves consistency for monitoring the performance of the pipeline and application changes.
- Jenkins does not have features to coordinate orchestration and get visibility across parallel pipelines. By integrating Jenkins’s pipeline segments into the end-to-end ReleaseIQ DevOps platform the ReleaseIQ platform can be used to orchestrate and provide insights across multiple pipelines.
- Jenkins does not have good features for the management of multiple Jenkins servers. Integrating Jenkins pipeline segments into the end-to-end ReleaseIQ DevOps platform and using ReleaseIQ administration capabilities improves the management of the Jenkins servers.
- In many applications, multiple Jenkins servers are required because one Jenkins server has performance limitations. Integrating Jenkins pipeline segments into the end-to-end ReleaseIQ DevOps platform provides a higher performance solution than Jenkins alone.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Mature Enterprises need a DevOps Platform tool that is more capable than the capabilities offered by open-source Jenkins alone. ReleaseIQ’s Enterprise DevOps Platform addresses all the pain points inherent in pipelines that were constructed using open-source Jenkins alone. The ReleaseIQ solution supports end-to-end capabilities for continuous delivery of software, as a managed service, for multiple streams of pipelines.
A New Approach to Automation and Orchestration Across Multiple Jenkins Instances