The Shippable Blog

Manisha Sahasrabudhe

Manisha Sahasrabudhe

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The Future Of DevOps Is Assembly Lines

Last week, we announced the General Availability of Shippable Server, the behind-the-firewall version of our hosted platform. We also articulated our vision around where DevOps is today and why Assembly Lines is the future of DevOps.  

As I think about our journey from CI to Assembly Lines, it mirrors the journey of most organizations as they mature their DevOps efforts. In a nutshell, DevOps has created an awareness of the need to automate and be more efficient in terms of software delivery. However, most of the focus around the how has been around cultural changes and tools that help automate bits and pieces of the end-to-end software delivery workflow. This has led to the formation of "islands of automation" that are optimized for specific tasks but do not enable the holy grail of Continuous Delivery or Continuous Deployment. To achieve those goals, you need an Assembly Line platform that takes all these tools and connects them into end-to-end workflows with complete visibility, traceability, and auditability.

So let's take a look at this journey, and dig in a bit deeper into why Assembly Lines are the essential factor to DevOps success. 

Demystifying DevOps terminology

Last week, we announced the General Availability for Shippable Server. With the announcement, we also articulated how we see DevOps: both as it is today and where the next wave is headed. For more context on our vision for the next wave, aka DevOps Assembly Lines, you can read our whitepaper.

However, before discussing evolution of DevOps, we found that most folks we spoke to were confused about the plethora of terms that are thrown around. A few are Continuous integration, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Deployment, CI/CD, Application Release Automation (ARA), and Pipelines. Tool vendors seem to use these terms interchangeably, but they each have distinct meanings that you should understand so you can also figure out which part of the DevOps puzzle is addressed by the vendor. 

This blog provides definitions for each term along with some examples. We are working on a detailed whitepaper that will also include an opinionated list of tools available for each term below. 

How to be a great DevOps Engineer

Companies today have realized the immense value of adopting DevOps principles in accelerating software releases. After all, whoever innovates fastest wins, and frequent software updates are key to faster innovation.

What is DevOps?

The term Devops was coined as a combination of DEVelopers and OPerationS. According to Wikipedia:

DevOps is a term used to refer to a set of practices that emphasize the collaboration and communication of both software developers and information technology (IT) professionals while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes. It aims at establishing a culture and environment where building, testing, and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably.

Every company today, regardless of industry, is under pressure to be great at developing and delivering software. This is because software is disrupting every type of business, from taxi services to food delivery to retail. Unless you transform your business and go through a digital transformation, your business is likely to die in the next few years.

Once you start this digital transformation, the next challenge is to innovate fast enough to survive and maybe win.  This is where DevOps comes in. Most companies have figured out how to accelerate software development through agile principles. However, the bottleneck is now software delivery. What is the point of producing code at a faster rate if you can't ship it out as quickly?

DevOps sets out to solve this problem by combining cultural change with end to end software delivery automation. The goal of DevOps is to ensure frequent, predictable, error-free software releases that helps you innovate faster.

Snap CI is shutting down its CI/CD DevOps platform

A few days ago, we woke up to the sad news that the Thoughtworks team had decided to shut down Snap CI in August. We have the greatest respect for Thoughtworks and their mission and want to convey our best wishes to the team for their next adventure. 

If you're a current Snap CI customer, Shippable is a great fit as a replacement CI/CD platform. It is completely free to try us out and we are happy to offer help with migrating your CI configuration to Shippable. Please contact support@shippable.com for more information.

How Shippable compares to other CI/CD providers

Please read CI/CD and DevOps expert Yegor Bugayengo's blog ranking of CI providers where he ranks Shippable as the top platform. Shippable is also ranked first among all hosted CI providers on Slant.co.

While these rankings focus on CI, Shippable also provides value beyond CI by offering a complete platform for DevOps workflows, including deploying a versioned package into a series of environments, release management, approval workflows, etc.

Announcing support for deployments to Kubernetes

Ever since we added Continuous Delivery pipelines to Shippable, one of the most common feature requests has been around support for deployment to the open source container orchestration platform from Google: Kubernetes. And we're excited to announce that we've added this last week! We already support Amazon ECS, Google Container Engine (GKE), Joyent Triton, and Docker Cloud/Datacenter and with Kubernetes added to this list, you can now automate deployments to any major Container Service using Shippable.