CircleCI has added an Insights dashboard to its namesake CI/CD platform that makes it easier to surface metrics such as duration, mean time to recovery and throughput change over time as part of an effort to optimize DevOps workflows.
The Insights dashboard makes it easier to discover, for example, which jobs are failing, which workflows are failing tests and which workflows are taking the longest to process. DevOps teams can also gain visibility into credit spent, throughput, success rate and mean time to recovery.
CircleCI CTO Rob Zuber said that while it’s relatively easy for a single developer to ascertain issues with a build, the Insights dashboard shines a light on how an issue is creating a cascade of issues throughout a development project. The Insights dashboard also makes it easier for managers to track the interdependencies that exist between software projects, notes Zuber.
After nine years CircleCI now has more than 1 million users employing its CI/CD platform. A recent report published by the company shows 80% of workflows running on its platform finish in less than 10 minutes. The company also reports that the adoption of its integration modules, dubbed orbs, has increased 200% since becoming available in 2018. There are now more than 1,900 orbs listed in the registry, with more than 58,000 organizations using orbs within their CI/CD pipelines. Strategic partners include Hashicorp, Plandek, Salesforce and others.
Competition among CI/CD platform vendors is intensifying. It’s unclear, however, if CI/CD platforms will continue to expand in ways that subsume additional functions or if much of the focus is going to be on further integrating CI/CD platforms with other platforms and tools as part of a software development strategy that revolves around best-of-breed tools and platforms. Regardless of approach, more organizations will be embracing best DevOps practices to cope with software development projects that require more discipline to successfully build, deploy and maintain. The issue now will be determining which CI/CD option to standardize on.
Overall, Zuber noted software development in the last few years has become more complex with the rise of microservices and containers. Complexity is increasing because the way one problem is solved tends to create others, he said. The challenge now is to find ways to provide more visibility into complex software development environments, as over time more artifacts and platforms span both monolithic and microservices-based application development projects, noted Zuber. In fact, that challenge is driving many organizations that have already embraced one CI/CD platform to reconsider their options as software development becomes more challenging.
It may be a while before most organizations are able to exercise as much control over software development as they might like. However, the one thing that is certain is no one can manage what they can’t see.