Jenkins becomes a Platform

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Also posted on: The Norfolk Punt

Continuous Integration and Delivery is the fundamental essence of DevOps (although I’d claim that it is necessary, not sufficient) you also need a user experience feedback loop to ensure that what you are delivering is what delights the business. Jenkins has been one of the leading Open Source Software (OSS) continuous integration and delivery tools and Cloudbees is one of the exemplars for the commercial packaging of open source software (OSS) for the enterprise. At the Jenkins User Conference this week, Cloudbees announced the Cloudbees Jenkins Platform, which integrates CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise and CloudBees Jenkins Operations Center in a single platform.

What this new platform seems to recognise is that management of a DevOps capability is important for everyone, not just large organisations. And, as an aside, Jenkins is another example of the increasingly widespread use of OSS development tools even in the largest enterprises.

Mario Cruz, Co-Founder and CTO of Choose Digital and a noted user of and evangelist for Jenkins, points out that there’s no real new functionality in the Platform, it is just a different (and more useful) packaging; while Kohsuke Kawaguchi, CTO of Cloudbees and leader of the Jenkins community (as well as the original programmer of Jenkins), seems to see it particularly as a way to make more interesting functionality more accessible to smaller players.

Nevertheless, it is a lot more important than this, in a strategic sense, as Cloudbees recognises. The Platform allows small companies to adopt DevOps continuous delivery “Good Practice” from the start and scale up to large enterprise capabilities seamlessly, as they grow. This avoids the period of disruption and risk (and cost) that organisations suffer as they outgrow the limited development toolsets they need, and can afford, when small and re-engineer their technology environment to cope with the needs of a large, successful, enterprise. It also probably encourages small organisations to make the jump to Cloudbees-supported Jenkins earlier than they might – and I see that as a positive, as a commercial enterprise using OSS really does need commercial support as part of its technology governance.  According to Harpreet Singh, vice president of products at CloudBees, “Customers have expressed a need for a solution that will help their organisation adopt continuous delivery and, ultimately, DevOps practices at their own pace – with the new CloudBees Jenkins Platform, we have packaged our offering to help customers improve the software delivery process by simplifying the adoption of new methodologies and technologies such as Docker and Pivotal Cloud Foundry.” Which is, I guess, another way of saying that it helps to make more interesting functionality available to smaller players.

The CloudBees Jenkins Platform will be sold in two editions, a Team Edition, which is designed to bring both continuous integration and deployment, with Jenkins, to the masses; and an Enterprise Edition, which supports running Jenkins efficiently for large distributed teams.