Tag Archives: jenkins

Automating Jenkins Docker Setup

Jenkins is, by far, the most used CI/CD tool in the market. That comes as no surprise since it’s been around for a while, it has one of the biggest open source communities, it has enterprise version for those who need it, and it is straightforward to extend it to suit (almost) anyone’s needs.

Products that dominate the market for years tend to be stable and very feature rich. Jenkins is no exception. However, with age come some downsides as well. In the case of Jenkins, automation setup is one of the things that has a lot to be desired. If you need Jenkins to serve as an orchestrator of your automation and tasks, you’ll find it to be effortless to use. But, if you need to automate Jenkins itself, you’ll realize that it is not as smooth as you’d expect from modern tools. Never the less, Jenkins setup can be automated, and we’ll go through one possible solution.
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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.

Blue-Green Deployment To Docker Swarm with Jenkins Workflow Plugin

docker-jenkinsThe idea behind this article is to explore ways to deploy releases with Jenkins to Docker Swarm without downtime. We’ll use blue-green procedure. More info about the process and one possible implementation can be found in the Blue-Green Deployment, Automation and Self-Healing Procedure article. One of the downsides of the process we used in that article is Ansible itself. While it is probably the best tool for provisioning and orchestration, it had some downsides when we tried to use it as the tool to deploy containers. This is especially evident when the process is complex. Ansible lacks some constructs common in most programming languages. This time we’ll try to implement the same process but using the Jenkins Workflow Plugin that was developed and contributed to Jenkins open source project by CloudBees.
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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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Scaling To Infinity with Docker Swarm, Docker Compose and Consul (Part 4/4) – Scaling Individual Services

This article should be considered deprecated since it speaks about the old (standalone) Swarm. To get more up-to-date information about the new Swarm mode, please read the Docker Swarm Introduction (Tour Around Docker 1.12 Series) article or consider getting the The DevOps 2.1 Toolkit: Docker Swarm book.

This series is split into following articles.

In the previous article we switched from manual to automatic deployment with Jenkins and Ansible. In the quest for zero-downtime we employed Consul to check health of our services and, if one of them fails, initiate deployment through Jenkins.

In this article we’ll explore how to scale individual services.

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