CloudBees this week announced it is making available a streamlined distribution of the open source Jenkins X continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) platform for Kubernetes that the company plans to update every 30 days.
Ethan Jones, director of product management for CloudBees, says enterprise IT organizations have made it clear they need access to a more stable distribution because they can’t keep pace with the new innovations being added to the core open source Jenkins X project.
CloudBees will curate the CloudBees Jenkins X Distribution in a way that ensures the capabilities added to that distribution are stable enough to be employed within an enterprise IT environment, says Jones.
Jenkins X is a CI/CD platform designed from the ground up to accelerate the development and deployment of cloud-native applications running in a Kubernetes environment. While it borrows many ideas and concepts pioneered by the teams who created the Jenkins CI/CD platform, Jenkins X goes a step further by addressing the unique attributes and requirements associated with building and deploying microservices-based applications on Kubernetes.
For example, Jenkins X makes it possible to build and manage open source Tekton pipelines that run natively on Kubernetes pipeline to create advanced deployment patterns such as rolling, blue/green, canary deployment or GitOps workflow. DevOps teams also can create and deploy immutable images, manage version control of infrastructure or perform easier rollbacks.
Beyond providing a CI/CD optimized for Kubernetes, Jones notes Jenkins X simplifies the provisioning of Kubernetes clusters. Instead of having to master all the knobs and levers required to configure and deploy a Kubernetes cluster, Jenkins X automates the entire Kubernetes configuration process as part of provisioning the CI/CD platform. Jenkins X also includes a jx command-line tool that allows Jenkins X to be installed inside an existing or new Kubernetes cluster to make it easier to import existing artifacts and projects to bootstrap new applications.
As far as adoption of cloud-native CI/CD platforms is concerned, it’s still very early days. However, CloudBees has already contributed Jenkins X along with Jenkins to the Cloud Delivery Foundation (CDF), an arm of the Linux Foundation committed to developing best practices of building cloud-native applications. Other CDF projects include Tektron pipelines and Spinnaker, an open source continuous deployment project launched by Netflix. Beyond CloudBees, other charter members of the CDF include Google, IBM, CapitalOne, CircleCI, Huawei, JFrog and Salesforce. In all, there are 26 vendors and end user organizations committed to participating in various CDF projects.
Naturally, there’s a race on to establish CI/CD dominance in Kubernetes environments. CloudBees has the inside track given its historic stewardship of Jenkins. Other CI/CD platforms optimized for building microservices based on Kubernetes are in various stages of development. It remains to be seen how or even whether enterprise IT organizations will embrace any one CI/CD platform for Kubernetes. But, given the complexity of building microservices, CI/CD platforms for Kubernetes are not optional.