CloudBees: Democratizing DevOps

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Sacha Labourey, Co-Founder & CEO and François Déchery, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer The skies have cleared! The sun is shining on cloud computing and most enterprises today are fuelling this transition by implementing a cloud-first strategy that unlocks innovation and creates limitless possibilities. While cloud computing is making applications easier and faster to deliver and consume, DevOps, on the other hand, is changing the way software is developed and deployed. It’s no surprise that the benefits of adopting both have been thoroughly analyzed. Multiple studies, including the State of DevOps Report, from DORA, and Cisco’s Global Cloud Index underpin the business benefits of these movements. “There has been so much noise about cloud and DevOps over the last ten to fifteen years that sometimes people living inside these bubbles, including Google and CloudBees, seem to think and behave as if cloud and DevOps are already mainstream. I think that DevOps, in particular, is not mainstream and we are only at the beginning of the journey. That’s what makes it so exciting,” says François Déchery, co-founder and chief strategy officer at CloudBees.

Even today, many enterprises are hesitant to make the cultural and organizational changes that DevOps requires, and they deliver software with legacy, non-DevOps approaches. The good news is that the DevOps market is at a turning point. Apart from long-term trends like cloud native infrastructure and SaaS applications impacting the DevOps space, there has been growing usage of ephemeral as opposed to static servers, to run an organization’s continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI and CD) processes. With its ability to support diverse software portfolios and the unified governance required by organizations, CloudBees is at the forefront of powering this transition and democratizing DevOps— making it accessible to all.

"Being the leading sponsor and contributor to the Jenkins project, CloudBees uses Jenkins as the engine of CloudBees Core"

CloudBees’ software solutions have been operating on a native Docker and Kubernetes architecture for almost three years. In addition, with CloudBees CodeShip, they provide a CI/CD solution to design new offerings with a SaaS-first approach. “The CI and CD processes can be resource intensive, so running them only as needed can generate significant savings while increasing resiliency. With Jenkins X, the next generation engine of our CI/CD solution, we offer this type of operating model out of the box,” says Déchery. The CloudBees solution allows customers to distribute CI/CD workloads between cloud native architectures and more traditional VM-based environments. With a strong belief in Software Delivery Management (SDM), the company has built its system on top of a data foundation which opens up promising opportunities to tap even more impactful technologies and processes, such as machine learning.

DevOps and Cloud: A Synergistic Match

While both DevOps practices and cloud services help organizations deliver software faster and with better quality, the benefits are compounded when the two are used together.

The CI and CD processes can be resource intensive, so being able to run them only when you need them can generate significant savings, while increasing resiliency

However, while cloud is easier to leverage, DevOps has been the crux of discussion for CIOs. At the infrastructure level, CIOs and their teams must build and deploy applications for very diverse environments—from mainframes and VM-based to cloud native architectures—to bridge the remaining gap between “development” and “operations.” Running in both traditional and cloud native environments, CloudBees’ solutions enable customers to choose whatever version works best for each team. The company’s unique solutions enable customers to operate and manage end-to-end processes, encompassing both Dev and Ops teams, and bring them together. CloudBees’ recent acquisition of Electric Cloud, a leader in automated release orchestration, reinforces this proposition in a significant way.

Back Left to Right: Anthony Palladino, François Déchery, Sacha Labourey, Matt Parson, Moritz Plassnig. Front: André Pino

Open source and cloud native technologies are becoming key attractions for developers. As they strive to innovate, they try to avoid any corporate constraints coming from regulations, compliance policies, or security policies. To this end, the CloudBees Core solution was designed to enable software delivery teams to anticipate and manage risks while serving the dual objectives of protecting developers’ freedom in their day-to-day work and providing peace of mind to management.

Being the leading sponsor and contributor to the Jenkins project—the dominant open source continuous delivery server used around the world—CloudBees uses Jenkins as the engine of CloudBees Core. What this means for developers is that they don’t have to change any of their habits or learn new skills when moving from Jenkins to CloudBees Core. Additionally, CloudBees Core introduces the notion of teams. This functionality enables collaboration inside or between teams. With the teams functionality, CloudBees Core abstracts away the technical architecture of Jenkins and lets customers focus on teams and projects, both of which are more important to them.

End-to-End Coverage of Software Delivery Pipelines

CloudBees Core supports a self-service model that allows developers to just sign in, create a new team, and add users. It automatically deploys—behind the scenes—all the required Jenkins-based resources, without the need for any manual installation or configuration. Built on native integration with Kubernetes, CloudBees Core also includes specific support for Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). In fact, at Google Cloud Next last April, during the Google Cloud CEO’s keynote, CloudBees Core was the only solution used to demonstrate the ability to automatically deploy a solution, within minutes, from the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace to an on-premise, Anthos vSphere-based environment.
This would not have been possible without CloudBees support for native GKE architecture. CloudBees Core also allows organizations to manage multiple instances of Jenkins as one logical system, which is impossible to do with the open source version of Jenkins. It enables customers to apply security rules and configurations from a single point of control across multiple Jenkins instances used by different teams, thus simplifying and accelerating security management, while providing consistency and visibility from a compliance standpoint with powerful role-based access control functionality.

Today, CloudBees Core is used by startups of less than 10, to Fortune 100 organizations that manage up to 20,000 developers or more. Companies that use technologies like Google Anthos on public clouds or on-premise will be able to leverage the full power of CloudBees Core. “That being said, while CloudBees Core uses Docker and Kubernetes to operate the CI/CD process, it lets you build, test, and deploy any application, cloud native or not. Therefore, you don’t have to wait until all of your applications are containerized to implement CloudBees Core across all of your development teams,” adds Déchery.

Driving Innovations in Software Delivery Management

The combination of the company’s support for CI/CD and SDM is what differentiates CloudBees. At the operational level, the company has doubled-down on Jenkins, by far the most widely adopted CI/CD engine, and Jenkins X, natively designed for Kubernetes. At the management level, CloudBees offers the first end-to-end system that supports the concept of SDM, creating a new software category in the process.

Over the last few months, CloudBees has briefed many organizations about the SDM vision. CloudBees will implement the principles of SDM in CloudBees v3, due later in the year. The initial response to SDM has been very enthusiastic, and according to Déchery, every company that learns about SDM is keen to know how quickly they can adopt it. “In fact, once people understand SDM and how it will practically take them to a completely new level, it makes you wonder why it didn’t exist before?” adds Déchery.

Operating as a software company selling into the SDM category, CloudBees has been through its own DevOps transformation, operating and managing its software delivery process. To this end, one key investment the company has made is in recruiting great professional designers. “We are now a design-first product organization, and it’s a game changer for our customers and us. Last year, we also introduced a Walk the Talk initiative in engineering, which focuses on making sure that we apply DevOps best practices to ourselves and that we are transparent about our successes—and our failures,” says Déchery.

For a visionary who has been leading CloudBees successfully for years now, we asked Déchery about his plans for the company in the next 12-18 months. He answers, “We expect Google Anthos to be a game changer for hybrid cloud and we are leveraging it in a big way. That’s an infrastructure trend, so one could ask “Why is it important for DevOps?” It matters because CI/CD processes can be very compute and data intensive. Therefore, our solutions must ensure they are designed in a way that fully leverages the power of the hybrid cloud and cloud native architectures.” At the engine level of CloudBees solutions, Jenkins X is, by itself, a game-changer when it comes to leveraging Anthos as well as other cloud native projects, such as Tekton. Two other closely-coupled trends that are top of mind for CIOs are machine learning and AI. To this end, CloudBees plan to bring machine learning to software delivery in a big way. “This seems to be a natural next step for SDM, too,” concludes Déchery.


San Jose, CA

Sacha Labourey, Co-Founder & CEO and François Déchery, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer

CloudBees is building the world’s first end-to-end automated software delivery system, enabling companies to balance governance and developer freedom. As a provider of software, the company’s solutions have been operating on a native Docker and Kubernetes architecture for almost two years. In addition, with CloudBees CodeShip, the company provides a SaaS-based continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) solution and we are designing our new major offering with a SaaS-first approach