Drone.io, a provider of an open source continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) platform optimized for containers, announced this week it has extended the reach of that platform to include Windows.
Company founder Brad Rydzewski says adoption of containers in Windows environments has accelerated considerably over the last year. In general, IT organizations that are deploying containers on Windows are just now coming up to speed on container orchestration platforms such as Kubernetes, he says, and that spike in adoption is creating demand for DevOps tooling such as a CI/CD pipeline designed from the ground up for containers.
Drone.io is betting that, unlike application development environments based on Linux platforms that have already standardized on a CI/CD platform, Windows environments represent an area where there are no established de facto standards. Of course, Microsoft has signaled its intention to deliver a full range of DevOps tools, including a CI/CD pipeline anchored around its Azure cloud platform. Drone.io, however, contends that a CI/CD platform designed to remove friction from DevOps processes that many developers find too constraining will ultimately gain adherents, especially when that CI/CD platform can run on both Windows and Linux platforms spanning a highly distributed hybrid cloud computing environment. In some instances, Rydzewski says developers will deploy their own CI/CD system to manage their own projects alongside the official CI/CD platform operated by a centralized IT operations team.
Drone.io today also offers support for an enterprise on-premises edition of Drone.io and is in private beta for a managed hosted offering based on its CI/CD platform.
Organizations that have standardized on Windows are expected to close the container gap with their Linux brethren in the months ahead. It may still take a while for the number of containerized applications deployed on Windows platforms in production environments to catch up, but the rate at which containerized applications are being built and deployed on Windows may even one day exceed what’s occurring on Linux platforms.
Of course, the ephemeral nature of containers is a challenge—the average lifespan of a containers is a few minutes. More challenging still, the microservices based on those containers can have hundreds of dependencies. Plus, most Windows environments are also managed by IT administrators who prefer to rely on graphical tools rather than DevOps platforms that typically favor individuals with engineering and programming skills. Just about every DevOps vendor, including Microsoft, is now racing to make DevOps tools more accessible to IT generalists. But those efforts may require a large infusion of artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of machine learning algorithms to automate those processes.
Many IT organizations running containers on Windows have a long DevOps journey ahead. But at this point it’s not so much whether those organizations will be undertaking that journey, but rather how quickly they will be moving down that road.