Scaling Jenkins, Homegrown, and CI Tools
Chances are that if you’ve landed on this page, you’re looking for solutions to your Jenkins or homegrown CI/CD systems scale challenges. At Armory, we have purpose-built continuous deployment solutions that help your business scale efficiently, letting your developers write code that adds value and keeps your customers happy, not just code that keeps your CI/CD running.
Whether you’re an enterprise or smaller organization, this information can help you better understand the challenges scaling Jenkins as well as offer CI tools and home grown CI/CD systems.
What is Jenkins?
Jenkins is an open source automation server for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). It is a widely popular devops tool written in Java and is used to implement CI/CD workflows (also known as pipelines).
The goal of a continuous integration tool like Jenkins is to:
- Build Automated Pipelines
- Automate Testing
- Deploy to Pre-Production and Production Servers
One of the main values of Jenkin, besides its wide scale use, is its vast library of plugins. Most of these plugins were built by the community and are free and open source. These plugins help solve a variety of problems; without them, Jenkins wouldn’t be as helpful and developers wouldn’t use it as widely. Because of the vast network of plugins, almost no two Jenkins builds are the same.
What are Homegrown CI Tools?
Homegrown tools are ad-hoc scripted solutions and code created by developers at your organization to support CI/CD efforts. Developing a stable home-grown CI/CD platform can cost a lot of engineering effort, and the benefits for business and products are not always clear.
Engineering efforts can be wasted developing home-grown CI/CD solutions with disjointed tooling and ad-hoc scripting (glue code), or even building tools with a feature set similar to existing commercial offerings.
Over time as your organization grows, the delivery process naturally relies on these homegrown tools. Reality is that the more a tool is fit for business by embedding process knowledge, the less it is fit for engineering. The team feels invested in their homegrown tools, even if they have reached their peak of maturity and extensibility.
The overwhelming majority of IT leaders (82%) say ensuring reliable deployments is their top app development and deployment priority.
Problem: CI ≠ CD and Jenkins was never designed to deploy
Jenkins and CI tools were never designed for continuous deployment, and especially not for multi-cloud environments. In order to implement cloud deployments in Jenkins, you have to manually write external scripts in the pipeline.
As your organization gets larger and you need multi-cloud environments, each manual pipeline script becomes more fragile, prone to breaks, and can lead to outages. When your software is down, you lose customer trust and satisfaction.
While a single instance of Jenkins is easy to install, production-level Jenkins can be difficult to implement, especially complex pipelines which are tough to manually code, debug, and maintain.
- Jenkins instances are complex and not always reliable.
- You need a Jenkins expert for even the most basic maintenance, leading to bottlenecks and hidden knowledge that can be lost due to employee turnover.
- Bottlenecks lead to slower development, releases, and time to value.
- Manual scripts and the vast network of community plugins leads to fragile, chaotic Jenkins builds; mature organizations need repeatable, dependable CI/CD processes to decrease risk and increase efficiency.
Solution: Scaling Beyond Jenkins and CI Tools with Armory
Multi-cloud deployment with Jenkins requires brittle scripts. However, Armory’s solutions can deploy applications on multiple platforms including Kubernetes, Docker, AWS, and more.
Armory’s solutions let you automatically deploy, verify, and roll back, across multiple environments with pre-built pipelines. You can also declare your application targets and deployment strategies using our declarative GitOps approach that is powerful, flexible, and secure.
Whether your organization is looking to perform Blue/Green, Canary, or other deployment strategies, we’ve got you covered with a git-like approach. Simply define your pipelines or deployment file to automatically sync them from your source control for you and your teams to reuse, contribute to, and validate.
Safeguards and Governance
Increase reliability and avoid service outages. Follow your organization’s governance rules, prioritize which tests to run, automatically verify changes as they are deployed, run two versions of your application in parallel and control traffic between them, receive automated notifications, automatically roll back, and more safeguards for your deployments.
Jenkins and Armory Work Better Together
Jenkins is for continuous integration. Armory is for continuous deployment. Together you get the best of both worlds. Armory continuous deployment solutions can complement Jenkins with easy extensibility and custom solutions; seamlessly integrate with Jenkins to fetch code and automatically test and deploy to multiple clouds
Try a simple, straightforward, consistent, and scalable approach to continuous deployment. Write your code, package your artifacts, declare your application targets, and commit — Armory Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service will take care of the rest.
“The main benefit we’ve realized in adopting Armory CD-as-a-Service is that we have converged on a simpler model of CI/CD which enables us to do more, so it’s easier, it’s simpler, and we have more functionality. Simply put, it raises the bar for quality across our engineering org as a whole.“
How Does it Work?
Ultimately, getting your software into the hands of your users is your goal. However, most developers aren’t experts at Jenkins and CI/CD, and very few have built ongoing, successful homegrown CI/CD solutions.
All you have to do is sign up for free, add your deployment targets, and start building and deploying.
Here are step-by-step instructions for how to get started with CD-as-a-Service right now to explore scale beyond Jenkins and try it out for yourself.
What are the Benefits of Scaling Beyond Jenkins?
- Easy configuration – with a repeatable, simple configuration, you can create scalable CI/CD processes that are more predictable across your organization.
- Faster & Safer deployment – no more fragile scripts and chaotic builds. Rely on automated pipelines and tests without having to build them yourself.
- Secure pipelines – no need to cobble together solutions from plugins; take advantage of tried-and-true pipelines that are secure and high-performance.
- Federation and governance – trust that your pipelines and processes are visible, federated, and can be governed at scale.
Who Does it Benefit?
Scaled deployment strategies and solutions benefit:
- Application Dev teams: no need to focus on learning, creating, and maintaining homegrown tools. Focus on creating value and customer satisfaction.
- Platform Ops teams: enable and empower your developers with purpose-built Continuous Deployment. Spend less time scripting and troubleshooting fragile homegrown CI/CD systems that just won’t let you scale.
- Jenkins is popular but it’s also chaotic
- Jenkins is a continuous integration tool, but it lacks continuous deployment capabilities
- Scaling beyond Jenkins requires a continuous deployment tool and strategies for secure and consistent deployment.
- Armory provides purpose-built Continuous Deployment solutions that scale beyond Jenkins and CI tools to help your business scale efficiently, letting your developers write code that adds value and keeps your customers happy, not just code that keeps your CI/CD running.
Scale beyond Jenkins and other homegrown CI/CD solutions. Scale beyond the chaos with simplified, declarative deployments and a GitOps experience you’ll love. Try Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service for Free.
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Commit. Deploy. Repeat.
Continuous Deployment at any scale, for all developers.