Google this week named CloudBees its 2019 Cloud Technology Partner of the Year for Application Development at a time when the rate at which application workloads are heading into the cloud is expected to accelerate.
Beyond the Jenkins continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), CloudBees also makes available a software-as-a-service (SaaS) edition of Jenkins X, a CI/CD platform optimized for Kubernetes, along with a CloudBees Software Delivery Management (SDM) service for managing DevOps processes.
François Dechery, chief strategy officer for CloudBees, said CloudBees chose to partner with Google at that level versus other cloud service providers because Google made it clear it would partner at both the technology and business development level. In addition, given Google’s long history with Kubernetes, it also made sense to leverage existing Kubernetes expertise, he noted.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more application development work will be moving onto cloud platforms that can be remotely accessed more easily by development teams, he added.
In some cases, organizations will opt to self-manage those platforms or rely on a traditional managed service provided by a third-party IT services firm. However, Dechery said there also has been a significant increase in the number of organizations willing to consume a DevOps platform such as Jenkins X as a SaaS application, as long as the IT environment is proven secure. SaaS platforms are now a mainstream element of any enterprise IT environment, said Dechery.
Many of those decisions will be predicated on what degree of abstraction any organization is comfortable with as IT platforms become both more complicated and diverse, added Dechery, noting one thing that attracts organizations to Jenkins X is that it abstracts away the complexity associated with deploying Kubernetes. The Kubernetes deployment process is automated by Jenkins X, which essentially provides a level of abstraction on top of another abstraction.
Dechery conceded there is some level of inherent competition with cloud service providers that provide their own DevOps tools. However, most of those DevOps platforms are not up to the task of building and deploying applications at scale, he said. In addition, platforms such as Jenkins and Jenkins X make it feasible to manage application development projects at scale without having to worry about becoming locked into a single cloud service provider, he added.
Competition across the CI/CD platform space remains fierce. CloudBees has long benefited from a large open source Jenkins community that often leads to organizations implementing an enterprise edition of Jenkins supported by CloudBees. However, as organizations embrace microservices-based applications based on containers, many of them are revisiting their platform options. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will rip and replace existing investments in Jenkins platforms; however, given the rate and scale at which modern applications are being built and delivered today, many organizations may be moving toward more prescriptive approaches to bring some order to the chaos.