CDF Adopts Screwdriver to Create Containerized Workflows

The Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF) has adopted Screwdriver, a collection of open source services packaged in Docker containers that make it easier to build a DevOps pipeline based on cloud-native workflows.

Originally developed by Yahoo! prior to its acquisition by Verizon Media, Screwdriver is the first new project from the CDF since it was formed last year by Alauda, Alibaba, Anchore, Armory, Autodesk, Capital One, CircleCI, CloudBees, DeployHub, GitLab, Google, Huawei, JFrog, Netflix, Puppet, Red Hat, SAP and Snyk.

Screwdriver will join existing CDF projects that include Jenkins, the open source continuous integration/continuous delivery CI/CD platform; Jenkins X, an open source CI/CD platform built on top of Kubernetes developed by CloudBees; and Spinnaker, an open source CD platform originally developed by Netflix and Google. Tekton, an open source project and specification for creating CI/CD components, was also contributed by Google.

Dan Lopez, program manager for the CDF, says the consortium, an arm of the Linux Foundation. is still working out the precise relationship between the various projects. It’s unclear, for example, where the capabilities of one of the Jenkins platforms begins and ends compared to Spinnaker.

Screwdriver, however, will provide a means of fostering higher levels of interoperability by leveraging containers to create portable workflows, said Lopez.

In the meantime, a best practices debate is emerging over whether it is more efficient to enable Kubernetes to pull code from a CI/CD platform rather than relying on a CI/CD platform to push code toward Kubernetes in the same manner it does for every other platform.

Regardless of how open source CI/CD platforms evolve in the months and years ahead, it’s clear some level of convergence is underway. Workflows built using containers should enable DevOps teams to build workflows that can be deployed on both existing and emerging DevOps platforms. That’s critical because, at a time when adoption of DevOps remains uneven, IT organizations don’t want to feel that going down one path versus another will lock them into a specific platform.

Of course, there are also many providers of CI/CD platforms that have yet to commit to joining the CDF, so each IT organization will need to evaluate CI/CD platforms based on both their current requirements and future potential needs. Over time, however, the sheer volume of engineering talent contributing code to CDF projects may make it difficult for any provider of a proprietary platform to out-innovate in a growing open source community that draws on talent from dozens of vendors.

In fact, now that governance rules for the CDF have been established, the rate at which new projects can be added to the CDF portfolio should increase steadily. It’s also highly probable that given the CDF’s mission to deliver open source projects that can be deployed at scale, many of those future cloud-native initiatives will depend on different classes of containers.

Meanwhile, it may be a while before Screwdriver becomes a top-level project within the CDF, given all the stages any such project needs to rise through. However, unlike many incubation projects, Screwdriver has already proven its value in production environments.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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