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The World of Jenkins: Better #withSpinnaker

Folks in the DevOps community often ask me, “I’m already using Jenkins, so why should I use Spinnaker?” We’re hosting a virtual talk to address the question! Register here to join us 3/26 and learn how Jenkins and Spinnaker cooperate for safe, scalable, maintainable software delivery.

A delivery engineer I spoke with last week said it best:

“I came from a world of using Jenkins to deploy. It’s great but, you’re just modifying Jenkins jobs. It can do a lot, but it’s like that line in Jurassic Park – ‘Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.’”

Many of us came from that world: we built delivery automation with scripts and tools like Jenkins, CircleCI, Bamboo, and TeamCity. We found configuration management, and used Puppet or Ansible to provision infrastructure in our pipelines as code. We became addicted to D.R.Y. (don’t repeat yourself), and there is no looking back.

Jenkins provides approachable automation of continuous integration steps. Spinnaker works with Jenkins to pick up and deliver build artifacts, and to delegate pipeline stages. As a true continuous delivery platform, Spinnaker codifies your unique software delivery culture and processes to your comfort level. It also adds production-ready value to your pipelines:

  • Turnkey automation of advanced delivery strategies such as canary deployments
  • One-click rollbacks
  • Single pane of glass to view deployments, applications, server groups, clusters, load balancers, security groups, and firewalls
  • Centralized API to automate and integrate across your toolchain

Jenkins taught us many lessons. It popularized the use of imperative pipelines to execute ordered steps in a SDLC. It taught us that centralizing delivery workflows into one platform makes strategic sense in scaling operations. At the same time, especially when used for deployments, it suffers from instability and maintenance overhead brought by unchecked plugin sprawl. It struggles to offer a scalable model for managing multiple jobs and distributed apps. But the way it consolidated SDLC tasks within a full-featured GUI empowered developer teams to start doing delivery.

In the new world of fast innovation through immutable infrastructure, Spinnaker has adapted that visibility to the realms of cloud and cloud native. It provides a centralized vantage point on all of your ephemerally-packaged applications, in their many variations.  Within your pipelines, its guardrails identify invalid or non-compliant infrastructure before deployment even happens. Spinnaker’s smart delivery workflows insulate customers and end-users from impact to their software experience.

This sense of safety is Jenkins’ missing ingredient. Jenkins introduced a world where developers could independently chain together a path to production. It enabled us to improve our efficiency and code quality through testing and build automation, with self-service. This giant technological shift sparked a move away from waterfall development and ITIL-style delivery.

But, culture cannot change overnight. Developers who exercised this newfound power struck terror in the hearts of those accountable for availability and software-driven business goals. Culture lagged behind tooling, sparking fear and risk aversion. That fear still permeates many organizations, allowing baggage-free startups and the most nimble companies to digitally disrupt the status quo. These innovators prove that delivering highly valued interactions through software means increased profit and influence. Enter Armory Spinnaker.


Watch Armory CTO Isaac Mosquera’s Supercharge Your Deployments With Spinnaker and Jenkins presentation at CD Summit, or check out the longer version with Q&A at DeliveryConf.

Stop spending time and talent knitting your toolchain together with pipeline steps that rely on brittle, expensive-to-maintain scripts and repetitive GUI fiddles! Attend “I have Jenkins; why do I need Spinnaker?” to learn more about how Spinnaker can free your developers and evolve your continuous delivery game.