10 Aug

The De Facto Standard for CI/CD Is Moving to Microsoft Azure

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) service Jenkins has enjoyed significant adoption in the past few years and garnered enough critical praise that publications like Info World now
call it a “juggernaut” and the “open source standard” for managing the development side of DevOps. This comes as no surprise since Jenkins’ ability to quickly test and deploy new code is necessary for any company hoping to make their IT more efficient and grab a competitive edge.

The problem? Since Jenkins is an open-source, crowd-built platform, it’s struggling to scale up, handle traffic volumes and remain secure. The solution? Jenkins has formed a partnership with Microsoft and the Azure cloud platform. Here’s what to expect as the de facto standard shifts back-end systems.


Scaling Services

With Jenkins now serving hundreds of thousands of CI/CD requests, its “organically grown, unnecessarily complex, project infrastructure” can no longer match its growth, explains Jenkins project board member R. Tyler Croy in a recent Tech Week Europe article. Croy continues to say that “Azure simplifies and improves our infrastructure in a dramatic way,” in effect providing the foundation for continuous services deployed at scale. 


Taming Traffic

The recent release of Jenkins 2 poses a problem for the CI/CD service: traffic. While some aspects of the community grow predictably over time, the release of new versions, particularity those that focus on ease of use and security, bring huge and unpredictable traffic volumes. Thanks to the elastic nature of Azure compute services, the Jenkins team can better handle both compute and network surges and then scale back down when the pressure is off.


Simplifying Security

In April 2016, the Jenkins project experienced a potential security breach and infrastructure compromise, prompting the project to reset all of its account passwords. It turned out that the attack vector was too many services running on a single asset under Jenkins’ original infrastructure framework. By leveraging Azure to provide instance-per-service ratios and layered virtual networks, the CI/CD service enhances its security posture.

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