The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has agreed to accept Argo, a content delivery (CD) platform for Kubernetes environments put forward by Intuit, as an incubation project.
Intuit became the steward for Argo when it acquired Applatix in 2018. Since then, Intuit has been the leader of the open source Argo Project made up of Argo CD for continuous delivery; Argo Rollouts for progressive delivery; and Argo Events, an event-based dependency manager originally developed by BlackRock.
Pratik Wadher, a vice president at Intuit and former CEO of Applatix, says Intuit continues to invest in Argo alongside other continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platforms because it needed a CD platform that is optimized for deploying microservices-based applications on Kubernetes clusters. Legacy CI/CD platforms are optimized around the notion of pushing application code out to a platform. Kubernetes affords the opportunity to automate that process by pulling code from repositories once it’s ready, Wadher says.
The CNCF, of course, is an arm of The Linux Foundation, which is also overseeing the efforts of the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF), which is overseeing the development of the Jenkins CI/CD platform, the Jenkins X CI/CD platform for Kubernetes, the Spinnaker CD Platform from Netflix and Tekton Pipelines advanced by Google.
Argo predates most of the cloud-native projects being advanced by the CD Foundation, Wadher says, adding the Argo community as a whole is watching those projects with interest. Argo is actively being used in production by more than 110 organizations including Adobe, Alibaba Cloud, Data Dog, Datastax, Google, GitHub, IBM, NVIDIA, SAP, Tesla, Ticketmaster and Volvo.
At this juncture, the future of CI/CD platforms in Kubernetes environments is up for grabs. While Jenkins is the dominant platform used to build monolithic applications within organizations that have adopted DevOps processes, some organizations have begun to separate CI and CD processes. Most organizations that have embraced DevOps typically have a good handle on CI processes. However, mastery of CD has proven more elusive. Each platform on which applications might be deployed tends to be fragile, so many IT organizations continue to rely on manual processes to deploy applications. A CD platform specifically optimized for Kubernetes, however, would allow organizations to automate application delivery on that platform regardless of the CI platform being employed.
Given the uncertainty over the future of CI/CD in Kubernetes environments, many organizations will be paying close attention to how Argo as an early stage incubation project within the CNCF advances compared to Jenkins X and Spinnaker platforms being advanced by the CDF. Founding members of the CDF include CloudBees, Google, Circle CI, JFrog, IBM, CapitalOne, Salesforce and Netflix.
Regardless of the outcome, the one thing that is clear is a significant amount of engineering resources are now being committed to building DevOps platforms that run natively on Kubernetes. It may be a while before organizations are willing to give up platforms such as Jenkins that can be used to build both monolithic and microservices-based applications, but organizations that do want to move on to a next-generation platform will clearly have no shortage of options.