[This article was written by Josh Pederson.]
As the world of application release automation (ARA) continues to evolve and grow, so has the explosion of cloud usage by DevOps teams. SiliconAngle estimates that by the end of 2015, customer spending on cloud services could be more than $180 billion. Concerns of scalability and handling fail-over as well as the flexibility and cost-saving advantages provided by the cloud is driving more companies to invest in cloud services.
With ElectricFlow 5.4 release, we’ve made a huge step forward in the evolution of ‘ARA in the cloud’ as well as brought more flexibility to deployment processes and consistent user experience of our underlying automation platform. We’re thrilled to share this milestone with you and the entire DevOps world!
Seamless integration with the cloud of YOUR choice
Traditionally requiring a combination of scripts, 3rd party tools, and direct use of cloud platform consoles, DevOps teams have had to hand-roll their own solutions around use of cloud resources. With the ElectricFlow 5.4 release we’ve brought the configuration, provisioning, and management of cloud resources into a singular intuitive interface, drastically reducing the complexity and effort required by DevOps teams to integrate their application deploys with the cloud.
With out-of-the-box support for AWS EC2 and OpenStack, customers can now define their commonly used cloud resources in our re-usable Resource Template format, capturing AMI / VM details, instance type, and optional Chef configuration. These templates are then aggregated into cloud environment definitions and called for provisioning automatically as part of the application deployment process. Support for additional cloud platforms, such as Windows Azure and VMware vSphere, can be integrated as well through our flexible plug-in architecture.
Collection of Resource Templates ready to be modeled into environments or provisioned as resource pools.
This first-class cloud integration feature also satisfies continuous integration (CI) use cases where Resource Templates can be called manually or programmatically to provision a specified quantity of cloud resources for new resource pools. This significantly simplifies on-the-fly provisioning of build servers or deployment targets on public or private cloud infrastructure. Deactivation of both individual cloud resources and entire environments is available within our enhanced management UI.
List of active environments with easy access to Resource Template and Environment Template definitions.
Increased deployment flexibility with process parameters
With ElectricFlow 5.4, authors of deployment processes can increase their level of flexibility by placing run-time parameters on application deployments. Authors can configure a wide range of parameter types (including text, radio button, checkbox, select list), set the order in which parameters are collected at run-time, and customize the user-facing labels. Once configured, users are automatically presented with a parameter input form when initiating a deployment, allowing for different deployment paths to be taken based on user input.
Enhanced UI flows for faster model creation and easier debugging
ElectricFlow users can now more easily access procedure and workflow platform capabilities needed to enhance deploy automation. In 5.4, debugging has been vastly improved by providing detailed execution information including log files from within the process run screen. This drastically reduces the learning curve for new users and improves upon the usability around deployment troubleshooting within ElectricFlow.
Access to procedure creation is now available in ElectricFlow 5.4, enabling customers more direct access to this very powerful feature.
More consistent UI across ElectricFlow
The flexibility of ElectricFlow as an automation platform is a major differentiator within the ARA market. Not only does ElectricFlow assist with ARA, but it also it offers automation across all of DevOps. Because of this, our UI was occasionally inconsistent between different aspects of the product. With the release of 5.4, we have a more consistent UI across all features of ElectricFlow. Users can now navigate and complete tasks in what feels like one cohesive end-to-end experience without noticing any obvious differences.
Get the latest 5.4 release
Existing customers can download the packages from the Electric Cloud Sharefile site (check your email for upgrade instructions!).
See the product documentation for the Release Notes and Installation Guide for the supported platforms and system requirements.
Contact Customer Support with questions or feedback about this release.
If you are not currently an ElectricFlow customer, request a free evaluation.