What can you do to make continuous delivery work better? Consider moving to open source software solutions. Here’s why.
Many DevOps teams already may be using open-source platforms for reasons not related to continuous delivery. They might like the cost-efficiency or interoperability that usually come with open source. Or maybe they just like the open-source philosophy.
Typically, however, open source is not viewed as a requirement for doing DevOps or achieving continuous delivery.
How Open Source Speeds Continuous Delivery
But maybe it should be. Consider the following ways in which open-source code can better facilitate a continuous delivery pipeline:
- It’s easy to tweak. Because anyone can view and modify the source code of an open-source program, you can change it to work as efficiently as possible. Custom enhancements could make the open-source tools you use work more efficiently within your delivery chain.
- No vendor lock-in. Most open-source tools and platforms are designed based on open standards. The threat of vendor lock-in is minimal. For that reason, adopting open source helps prevent surprises that could otherwise hold up your continuous delivery pipeline in the event that a vendor decided to stop supporting the tools you are using.
- It’s well-known. Mainstream open-source tools are widely used. Chances are good that the people who are currently on your team, or will join it in the future, already know open-source tools. That’s an advantage for continuous delivery because it means you won’t have to spend time training staff—and risk introducing delays to your continuous delivery chain while the staff are being brought up to speed.
- It gives you options. With open source, you usually have lots of implementation options. Want to deploy on Linux? There are about a dozen mainstream distributions you can choose. Want to run your cloud with OpenStack? There are lots of distributions of that, too. Having choice is a good thing for continuous delivery because it allows you to switch easily between different frameworks or tool implementations as your needs change. That agility prevents you from being locked into a specific solution.
This is not to say that open source is a silver bullet. Achieving continuous delivery requires attention a lot of other factors; it’s not as simple as using a certain type of technology (if it were, everyone would be delivering continuously). But adopting open-source solutions when possible certainly can’t hurt—and it just might help as you seek to deliver software continuously.