Why Pay for Armory When Spinnaker Is Free?

Aug 10, 2018 by Armory

Note: An updated version of this post can be found here.

At the recent Google Cloud Next conference in San Francisco, Google positioned open-source Spinnaker as the “Ops-Centric way to do continuous delivery.”

We’re often asked why companies should work with Armory when OSS Spinnaker is open source and free.  The short answer is: It’s a matter of how you want to invest your development dollars.

Armory is Spinnaker at Enterprise Grade. Our entire purpose is taking the promise of Spinnaker and making it a reality for enterprise companies moving to multi-cloud continuous delivery so they can deliver better software, faster.

Running containers and microservices at scale can be messy.  Think of Spinnaker as the paved road of the CI/CD process across multiple targets and clouds, and Armory as the fastest way to get your application teams driving on that road.  We extend open-source Spinnaker, add enterprise-feature functionality to make it work at scale with an eye to ease of use for your entire team, and provide 24×7 enterprise support. This allows your engineers to do what they love doing most: Ship better software, faster, instead of operationalizing an open-source project.

If you think you will save money by not paying for Armory, you will find the cost of installing and managing Spinnaker has a high cost of its own.  When you partner with Armory, we smooth the Spinnaker roadway, freeing up your engineers to work on new projects, not babysitting infrastructure.  And it’s not just a matter of time. Engineers are happiest when they’re not required to work on babysitting infrastructure instead of creating things.

How much time?  Spinnaker consists of nine sub-services (plus additional external dependencies like S3 and Redis).  Not only is installing and configuring Spinnaker is notoriously difficult, each sub-service must be manually installed and configured individually.  Additionally, there is no clear path for upgrades and your engineers will repeat the configuration process for each upgrade. For each service. And each sub-service revs independently, making it a challenge to keep up.
Moving to microservices and running continuous delivery at scale means using many other resources that are also with open source, and will also need your engineer’s attention.

So, you can pay for your engineers to install/configure/manage/maintain this free software, or you can invest in Armory and free up your engineers do the job they were hired to do.

Why Armory?

Shortly put, we become the team member who does the Spinnaker infrastructure work for you.  We abstract away the complexities to get you moving as quickly as possible, letting you use Spinnaker without having to be an expert on installation, upgrades, monitoring and maintenance.  We have a strong relationship with the OSS community and are always on the lookout (and contributing to) best practices for Spinnaker use.  And we empower your teams with training and support.

Armory has more experience installing Spinnaker in complex enterprise environments than any other company.

Our product is enterprise grade, scalable, and packed with features that help you use Spinnaker at scale, including Kubernetes, Slackbot, and Jira integrations.  Armory Installer™ is easy to use and is production-ready so it “just works,” getting Spinnaker up and running in minutes instead of months.  And we take care of all of the upgrades and software updates so you don’t have to.

Our immediate value is in the speed of installing Spinnaker, reducing the process to 3 steps with less than a minute of engineering time.  Our ongoing value lies in the ongoing maintenance of the system.

Included with the standard install are the Armory Per-App SLA™,  Armory Lighthouse™,  Armory Composition™,  Armory 1-Click App Creation™, Datadog and New Relic APM integrations for Kayenta, and Dinghy™, our enterprise-grade Pipeline as Code solution.

  • Armory Per-App SLA™ measures SLA for customer-installed apps, letting you understand what is affecting the health of your pipeline.  Once configured, users are notified to changes in application health due to code changes, which is especially useful as companies move to microservices.
  • The Armory Lighthouse™ UI monitors and protects your Spinnaker installation while giving you a view across your stack.  When Spinnaker’s single pane of glass is paired with Per App SLA and additional cross-account features it becomes more powerful.
  • Armory Composition™ extends and enables Spinnaker to deploy (and rollback) Spinnaker with intelligent built-in monitoring.
  • Armory 1-Click App Creation™ allows users to configure standard templates and provision new services with one click, codify processes to create scaffolding, and create new services for different teams.
  • Dinghy™, our Pipeline as Code feature allows you to keep Spinnaker Pipelines in sync across the organization. When running Spinnaker at scale, it allows you to have seamless release and upgrade process that does not affect your flow.  With Pipeline as Code, Spinnaker Pipelines can be dynamically created and stored as code in a github repository, avoiding the need to manually create Pipelines in the Spinnaker UI.  This allows you to inherit modules and enable templates to include configurations from other templates.  All of which is critical as you scale.
  • Armory also offers 24×7 enterprise support, access to a Solutions Architect, one hour response time for P0 issues, and a robust enterprise-grade release process with upstream OSS bug fixes.

Something else you won’t get with free Spinnaker: we empower your teams with robust documentation, training and support.

So yes, Spinnaker is open source and free, but everything comes at a price.   The hidden cost is the time your engineers will be spending installing, motioning and upgrading free software instead of creating proprietary value for your business.

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