At the heart of many DevOps initiatives is an automation server based on open-source Jenkins software developed by CloudBees. At the recent Jenkins World 2017 conference, CloudBees showed that Jenkins is now becoming the foundational element through which DevOps teams can now manage a continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) process end to end.
New additions to the portfolio include CloudBees DevOptics, an analytics application to aggregate data from software development pipelines as it moves through a Jenkins server. CloudBees CTO Kohsuke Kawaguchi says once organizations are armed with those insights they will be able to, for example, identify potential bottlenecks in their software development processes. CloudBees DevOptics creates a single point of reference on the status of any application delivery project, all the way down to individual commits, says Kawaguchi.
CloudBees also launched CloudBees Jenkins Advisor, a free plug-in for a Jenkins environment that Kawaguchi says provides another watchful eye capable of continuously analyzing a Jenkins environment using algorithms the company developed. Cloudbess Jenkins Advisor comprises a knowledge base and diagnostic tools that can be employed to detect and resolve issues ranging from simple configuration issues to security and other forms of best practices.
Finally, the company revamped the user interface provided with CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise, an implementation of Jenkins that comes pre-configured with built-in security and integrations with more than 1,400 DevOps tools. It also announced that a few select managed services providers are now building a practice around Cloudbees Jenkins Enterprise.
CloudBees reports there are now more than 150,000 active installations of Jenkins worldwide that span a user community of more than a million. Those numbers represent a 50 percent growth rate from January of 2015.
Most organizations employ DevOps processes to accelerate development of software. But along the way it’s not uncommon for many organizations to lose control over those processes as the amount of software being developed begins to overwhelm their management teams. CloudBees clearly sees providing tools to optimize DevOps processes based on Jenkins as its next big opportunity.
In general, DevOps is much more of a journey than an event. But rather than being a simple article of faith, analytics can be used to show all the participants in a process that progress is in fact being made. Otherwise, resistance to increasing the number of application development projects being undertaken at the same time starts to mount. Whatever the reason for gathering those metrics, however, that old “Things Measured Are Things Done” maxim continues to apply. Those metrics also help IT organizations justify the return on investment in DevOps to senior managers.
Of course, managing DevOps processes at scale is as much a cultural challenge as it is a technical issue. When many organizations first embrace DevOps there’s a lot of initial enthusiasm. But the further down the DevOps maturity curve an organization gets, the more they encounter various hurdles. Metrics collected and analyzed by the tools provided by CloudBees help organizations determine to what degree those hurdles are related to simple technical glitches versus organizational issues that are almost always a lot harder to resolve.