Introducing Sandbox Clusters

Nov 1, 2022 by Paul DiPietro

Test out Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service without needing your own cluster.

In June, Armory launched Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service (CD-as-a-Service). Our goal in the Armory design team is to continually improve your experience with CD-as-a-Service so that you can get the most out of the solution.

One of our key items of UX research post-launch was to learn about user behavior during the onboarding process after signing up. The initial part of the user journey consists of three steps:

  1. Connect a Kubernetes cluster to CD-as-a-Service via the Remote Network Agent (RNA)
  2. Install the Armory CLI
  3. Using the CLI, login and deploy the sample application

After deploying the sample application, users can invite their team and join our community Slack before digging deeper into CD-as-a-Service with their own applications. The foremost goal of onboarding, however, has always been to show the user the value of CD-as-a-Service through a painless, easy-to-use set of steps.

Although we made incremental changes to enhance usage, we discovered that users often ran into roadblocks as early on as the very first step of connecting their Kubernetes cluster. 

Not every user had a cluster readily available, and in some cases they weren’t familiar with doing that themselves if their responsibilities skewed towards focusing on app development. UX sessions indicated that this step was far more of a barrier to a successful first deployment, so we worked to remove it.

After some planning, we developed a new feature we believe will vastly improve your experience of getting up-and-running with CD-as-a-Service: sandbox clusters. The sandbox cluster is available as an option when going through the first step of the onboarding workflow and removes the burden on the user to provide one.

Selecting the first option will spin up a sandbox cluster in just a couple minutes.

This cluster lives for two hours after spinning up and only accepts the sample application for deployment. During this time you’ll be able to easily try out CD-as-a-Service for yourself and see within minutes how the canary deployment strategy can accelerate your deployments.

Give the sandbox cluster a try today and reach out if you have any more questions or feedback!

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