Tag Archives: CD

The Short History of CI/CD Tools

Jenkins (forked from Hudson after a dispute with Oracle) has been around for a long time and established itself as the leading platform for the creation of continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery/deployment (CD) pipelines. The idea behind it is that we should create jobs that perform certain operations like building, testing, deploying, and so on. Those jobs should be chained together to create a CI/CD pipeline. The success was so big that other products followed its lead and we got Bamboo, Team City, and others. They all used a similar logic of having jobs and chaining them together. Operations, maintenance, monitoring, and the creation of jobs is mostly done through their UIs. However, none of the other products managed to suppress Jenkins due to its strong community support. There are over one thousand plugins and one would have a hard time imagining a task that is not supported by, at least, one of them. The support, flexibility, and extensibility featured by Jenkins allowed it to maintain its reign as the most popular and widely used CI/CD tool throughout all this time. The approach based on heavy usage of UIs can be considered the first generation of CI/CD tools (even though there were others before).
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The DevOps 2.0 Toolkit

Today is an exciting day for me. I just decided that the book I spent the last eight months writing is ready for general public.

What made me write the book? Certainly not the promise of wealth since, as any author of technical books will confirm, there is no money that can compensate the number of hours involved in writing a technical book. The reasons behind this endeavor are of a different nature. I realized that this blog is a great way for me to explore different subjects and share my experience with the community. However, due to the format, blog posts do not give enough space to explore, in more details, subjects I'm passionate about so, around eight months ago, I decided to start working on The DevOps 2.0 Toolkit: Automating the Continuous Deployment Pipeline with Containerized Microservices book. It treats similar subjects as those I write about in this blog, but with much more details. More importantly, the book allowed me to organize my experience into a much more coherent story.

The book is about different techniques that help us architect software in a better and more efficient way with microservices packed as immutable containers, tested and deployed continuously to servers that are automatically provisioned with configuration management tools. It's about fast, reliable and continuous deployments with zero-downtime and ability to roll-back. It's about scaling to any number of servers, designing self-healing systems capable of recuperation from both hardware and software failures and about centralized logging and monitoring of the cluster.

In other words, this book envelops the whole microservices development and deployment lifecycle using some of the latest and greatest practices and tools. We'll use Docker, Kubernetes, Ansible, Ubuntu, Docker Swarm and Docker Compose, Consul, etcd, Registrator, confd, Jenkins, and so on. We'll go through many practices and, even more, tools.

At this moment, around 70% is finished and you'll receive regular updates if you decide to purchase the book. The truth is that my motivation for writing the book is the same as with this blog. I like sharing my experience and this book is one more way to accomplish that. You can set your own price and if you feel that the minimum amount is still too high, please send me a private message and I'll get back to you with a free copy.

Please give The DevOps 2.0 Toolkit: Automating the Continuous Deployment Pipeline with Containerized Microservices a try and let me know what you think. Any feedback is welcome and appreciated.

Microservices: When the Stars Aligned

In The History of Failed Initiatives I mentioned that microservices as a concept existed for a long time. And yet, most of those who tried organizing their architecture around microservices failed or, to use different words, realized that benefits are shadowed by the increase in complexity (especially in operations). The spark that was born long ago became a star only recently. In order to understand why microservices became a hot topic not long ago, we need to understand better why they failed in the past. The explanation is simple. We neither had the tools nor understood the logic we had to apply. Do we have the tools today? Are we capable of putting in place the right procedures and have the mindset microservices require. I'd say yes, we have and we do. When I say we I mean people with the will and resources to make this happen. As in most other cases, once something new is proven and adopted by some, years need to pass until that something is applied by many. The good news is that I think that we are getting there and, slowly, the more conservative part of the industry (in other words, most of it) is starting to at least consider microservices as an option. Even Gartner had positive words for it. And when Gartner says jump, enterprise jumps.
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Continuous Integration, Delivery or Deployment with Jenkins, Docker and Ansible

This article tries to provide one possible way to set up the Continuous Integration, Delivery or Deployment pipeline. We'll use Jenkins, Docker, Ansible and Vagrant to set up two servers. One will be used as a Jenkins server and the other one as an imitation of production servers. First one will checkout, test and build applications while perform deployment and post-deployment tests.
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Continuous Deployment: Implementation

This article is part of the Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment series.

The previous article described several Continuous Deployment strategies. In this one we will attempt to provide one possible solution for reliable, fast and automatic continuous deployment with ability to test new releases before they become available to general users. If something goes wrong we should be able to rollback back easily. On top of that, we'll try to accomplish zero-downtime. No matter how many times we deploy our applications, there should never be a single moment when they are not operational.
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BDD Assistant: It’s alive and cries for help

tutorialStoryOperationsI've been working with BDD for years and felt that it needed an application that would facilitate the Behaviour-driven development work-flow. It would need to be made in a away that anyone can use it. By anyone I mean people with or without technical skills. Coders, testers, analysts, managers, business, etc. In that spirit, I started working on BDD Assistant. It is an open source application that can be used to create, manage and run BDD stories.

Now I feel that it is finally ready to go public. The application is far from being finished but there is enough done for the community to see what it's all about. More information can be found in the BDD Assistant site. Latest release can be downloaded from our GitHub repo. Live demo (with some features disabled due to hosting limitations) can be seen from the BDD Assistant demo.
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BDD (Behavior-Driven Development): Missing Piece in the Continuous Integration Puzzle

This article is part of the Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment series.

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) is a process or it can be a tool. In many cases, BDD is both. However, it should not be a goal in itself. The goal of software development is to deliver quality as fast and as cheap as possible. The only real measure of quality is whether it fulfills user needs in a reliable manner. The best way we can take to accomplish that goal is through continuous integration, deployment and delivery. For the sake of this article I will ignore the differences between those three and refer to all of them as continuous integration or CI.
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Continuous Delivery: Unit Tests

This article is part of the Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment series.

In the previous article we explored static analysis as one of the first steps in Continuous Delivery. Our journey will continue with unit tests.

Unit Tests

tddBestPracticesAllTestsPassUnit tests are probably the most important part of Continuous Delivery. While unit tests cannot substitute integration and functional tests, they are very easy to write and should be very fast to execute. As any other type of tests, each unit test should be independent of each other. What differentiates unit from other types of tests (integration, functional) is the scope. Each unit test should verify only a single unit of code (method, class, etc). Main benefit of unit tests are that they can find problems early due to their speed of execution. When ease of writing is combined with very short execution time it is no wonder that unit test often represent biggest part of automated tests.
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Continuous Delivery: Static Analysis

This article is part of the Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment series.

The previous article CI Tools Setup ended with Jenkins up and running waiting for us to use it. Travis, on the other hand, was left aside and soon we'll see why.

In this article we'll explore static analysis as the first type of tasks that we should do in our delivery pipeline. Since that is our starting point, let's go through the brief explanation.
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Continuous Delivery: CI Tools Setup

This article is part of the Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment series.

We'll continue where we left in Introduction to concepts and tools. The goal of this article is to set up a Jenkins server locally through automated and repeatable process with all the artifacts stored in the GIT repository. This will require tools like VirtualBox and Vagrant. It will also require registration to Docker. Unlike the previous article that provided only general information, in this one we'll have to get our hands dirty and follow the examples.

What do we need in order to have a Jenkins server up and running locally? We need a virtual machine or available server, operating system installed and configured, Jenkins installed and configured. Since everything we do needs to be reliable and repeatable, we'll also need a Version Control System. Examples in this article will use GitHub as VCS.
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