DevOps CI CD Pipeline Deployment

What is CI / CD?

CI/CD is a method which frequently delivers applications to customers. The concept is a combined practice of continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery/deployment (CD). CI/CD bridges the gaps between development and operation activities and teams by enforcing automation in building, testing and deployment of applications. Integrating a new code causes problems for DevOps teams, and continuous automation and monitoring of application delivery and deployment of applications life cycles is the CI/CD solution.

What is Jenkins CI / CD Pipeline?

A CI/CD pipeline aims to automate the process of software delivery. It is used to build code, run tests, and for the safe deployment of new software versions. CI/CD pipelines reduce manual errors while providing feedback to developers, and allowing for fast product iterations.

A CI/CD pipeline refers to connected processes introducing automation and continuous monitoring throughout the product life cycle. This approach is used from the integration and testing phase, through to delivery and deployment.

Jenkins is an open source automation server written in Java. It is used to continuously build and test software projects, enabling developers to set up a CI/CD environment. It also supports version control tools like Subversion, Git, Mercurial, and Maven.

Is Jenkins a CI CD tool?

Jenkins is an open source continuous integration (CI) server, written entirely in Java. Jenkins is used to build and test software projects, and is capable of commanding a chain of actions which help to achieve, amongst other things, automated continuous integration. Jenkins can be used by developers as a tool to set up a CI/CD environment. Version control tools such as Git, Maven, and Subversion are also supported.

How Do You Integrate CI CD Pipeline In Jenkins

The practices involving the integration and testing phase to delivery and deployment are referred to as CI/CD pipeline. CI/CD pipelines are used to automate software delivery, allowing you to cautiously deploy new software. To integrate CI/CD pipeline in Jenkins, you need to:

  1. Enable Jenkins in your CLI and implement Jenkins as a Java binary.
  2. Make a ‘Jenkins Job’ by clicking on New Item.
  3. Make a Pipeline.
  4. Select SCM to configure and execute a Pipeline.  Here you will add the git repo link and save it.

Is Kubernetes a CI CD Tool?

Kubernetes exists to help with the orchestration aspects of a deployment. The technology behind it has been widely adopted as a production-class orchestration system. It has seen a steady increase in usage in the relatively short amount of time it has been available.

There are many reasons why so many teams have integrated k8s into their environment:

  • Automation of Deployments:  Kubernetes allows for repeatable and consistent deployments. Kubernetes takes the application and deploys it in a way that handles all the aspects of bringing the service online. Using a number of configurations, the containerized applications are deployed with a predefined number of replicas. These replicas utilize many functions of the Kubernetes Control Plane to instruct the nodes how to come online. The advantage of this over other methods becomes clear when the level of orchestration available is truly realized.
  • Scalability: For cost control, running an application in Kubernetes can lead to much better usage of cloud and hybrid cloud resources. In the same regard, the ability for an application to grow based on its own internal feedback is a huge advantage of Kubernetes. This scalability aspect allows for the increase of available replicas with appropriate access to shared volumes, configuration, and security intact.
  • Management: DevOps of this type of environment extends beyond just deploying an application. The management layer of Kubernetes allows for very complex deployments that are backed by additional aspects of monitoring and self-healing capabilities. For example, using a series of probes, can give instructions to: Determine Readiness, Verify State, and Pause for Startup.

While many developers work tirelessly on the initial setup, many are recognizing the benefits of using a better-managed approach to Kubernetes orchestration. Cloudify helps orchestrate all aspects of your container solution.

Read more on Kubernetes Lifecycle Management here.

Is Docker a CI CD Tool?

Docker sits tall as the original containerization technology that has helped stability and ease of deployment for many applications. Running on multiple operating systems has allowed Docker to gain a solid foothold for development projects.

The Docker tool was designed for developers and system administrators, an essential part of DevOps. With Docker, developers can focus on application development rather than being worried about the platform where it will run.

Docker containers were created to help enable the fast, and reliable deployment of application components or tiers, by creating a container that holds a self-contained ready to deploy parts of applications, with the middleware and the app business logic needed to run them successfully.  For example, a Spring application within a Tomcat container.  By design, Docker is purposely an isolated self-contained part of the application, typically one tier or even one node in a tier.

However, an application is typically multi-tier in its architecture and that means you have tiers with dependencies between them, where the nature of the dependencies can be anything from network connections and remote API invocations, to exchange of messages between application tiers.  And hence an app is a set of different containers with specific configurations.  This is why you need a way to glue the pieces of your app together. This is where Cloudify comes in. 

Examples of CI CD Tools

With many CI/CD tools available, teams may struggle to find the right tool for their work. 

  1. Jenkins is one of the most popular free open-source automation servers. It helps automate the parts of software development related to building, testing, and deploying, facilitating continuous integration and continuous delivery. It is a server-based system that runs in servlet containers such as Apache Tomcat.

Key features:

  • Easy installation and upgrade on various OSs
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Local application
  • Completely free
  • Deep workflow customization
  • Rich in features and plugins
  • Made by developers for developers
  • A well-established product with an excellent reputation
  1. TeamCity (from JetBrains) is a build management and continuous integration tool that helps build and deploy different types of projects

Key features:

  • Can run parallel builds at the same time, mark your builds and identify the hung ones
  • First 100 configurations free
  • Easy to install 
  • User-friendly interface
  • Excellent community and professional support
  1. Bamboo is a CI server (from Atlassian) that automates the management of software application releases. Bamboo covers building and functional testing, assigning versions, tagging releases, deploying and activating new versions on production. This tool is a popular choice among developers who already use other Atlassian services. 

Key features:

  • Supports up to 100 remote build agents 
  • User-friendly UI with drag-and-drop functionality
  • Easy administration for enterprise CI scaling
  • Manages build artifacts automatically through every pipeline run
  1. Buddy is a CI/CD software  that builds, tests, deploys websites and applications with code from GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab. It employs Docker containers with pre-installed languages and frameworks to build on, along with DevOps, monitoring and notifying actions.

Key features:

  • Create, customize, and reuse builds and test environments
  • Monitor with real-time progress and logs, unlimited history
  • First-class Git support and integrations
  • Docker support
  • Offers advanced automation while requiring basic knowledge
  • Ability to make corrections to the developed code
  1. GitLab CI is the open-core company that provides GitLab, the DevOps software that combines the ability to develop, secure, and operate software in a single application. GitLab is a suite of tools for managing different aspects of the software development lifecycle. 

Key features:

  • Docker support
  • Runs parallel builds across multiple machines
  • Provides a single source of truth and scalability for collaborating on projects and code
  • Easy configuration of the build server
  • Available APIs for numerous features allow deep product integration
  • Helps automate and shorten releases and delivery of applications
  1. CircleCI is a continuous integration and continuous delivery platform that can be used to implement DevOps practices. It supports multiple coding languages, can be installed locally or used in the cloud. CircleCI allows automation across the user’s pipeline, from code building, testing to deployment. CircleCI also hosts continuous integration under the cloud-managed option or runs behind a firewall on private infrastructure.

Key features:

  • Straightforward user interface 
  • Numerous customization features
  • Integrates with Bitbucket, GitHub, and GitHub Enterprise
  • Fast setup and unlimited builds
  • Easy debugging
  • Parallel testing
  1. TravisCI is a hosted continuous integration service used to build and test software projects. This tool offers a wide range of options for CI automation and since it is a cloud-hosted service, there is no need for a server. 

Key features:

  • Offers an enterprise-oriented on-premises version of TravisCI
  • Backs up the latest build each time you run a new one
  • Deployment to multiple cloud services
  • Parallel testing
  • Multiple languages and platforms support
  • Quick setup
  • Pre-installed database services

You may be interested in reading:

Scaling up CI/CD Pipeline

Docker vs. Kubernetes

Hybrid Cloud Management Solutions

Docker Orchestration

How does network automation work
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