CloudBees, at its DevOps World | Jenkins World conference this week, unfurled a free preview of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) instance of Jenkins X, an open source continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform designed to run on instances of Kubernetes running on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Company CEO Sacha Labourey says CloudBees CI/CD powered by Jenkins X makes it possible to set up a CI/CD platform in a multi-tenant cloud computing environment hosted by Google as well as those running on instances of Kubernetes in other public clouds or on-premises IT environments.
Jenkins X is a much more opinionated instance of a CI/CD platform than Jenkins, an open source CI/CD platform that is widely used to build and deploy monolithic applications. Many organizations that have adopted Jenkins are also using it to build and deploy microservices-based applications. However, Jenkins X not only guides DevOps teams on how to optimally build and deploy microservices-based applications, but it also abstracts away the complexity of provisioning a Kubernetes cluster.
As more organizations move to embrace Kubernetes, Labourey says CloudBees expects to see greater demand for an opinionated instance of a CI/CD platform in what amounts to a new greenfield IT environment. As the number of Kubernetes clusters being employed to build and deployed applications increases, it’s only a matter of time before IT organizations start to reevaluate their CI/CD options.
Jenkins X is now being developed under the auspices of the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF), an arm of the Linux Foundation, which is working to spur adoption of Jenkins X alongside the Spinnaker CD platform developed by Netflix and Tekton pipelines developed by Google. Together, they create a next-generation software delivery system for Kubernetes environments. Jenkins X already supports Tekton pipelines.
Kubernetes is being developed under the auspices of Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), another arm of the Linux Foundation.
Of course, CloudBees is not the only provider of a CI/CD platform being made available via a SaaS application. Much of the initial interest in CloudBees CI/CD powered by Jenkins X will be driven by individual teams looking for a faster means of setting up a development team around a CI/CD platform rather than by top-down mandates from senior IT leaders. In fact, Labourey says CloudBees is not expecting a mass migration to the cloud by DevOps teams. Rather, he expects that transition will occur slowly over the next three to five years.
However, longer-term it should become more practical to apply machine learning algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to CI/CD platforms once organizations reach a critical mass of data.
In the meantime, the rise of microservices and Kubernetes will spur the adoption of best DevOps practices. In fact, it’s going to be all but impossible to build microservices-based applications based on containers and Kubernetes without embracing DevOps.