From CI/CD to Enterprise DevOps: Using GitOps to Scale Jenkins for Enterprise Software Delivery
GitOps provides enterprises with an effective way of scaling DevOps to work effectively for large enterpises.
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Jenkins continues to remain one of the most widely used continuous integration tools due to its capacity to manage a wide range of tasks related to project build and deploy. It is a critical component of DevOps implementations, especially in larger enterprise teams.
However, implementing CI/CD at enterprise scale with Jenkins still remains a major challenge. Large enterprises that are looking to embrace DevOps typically run into increased complexity as internal toolsets and deployment practices get more and more diverse and varied. Also, with the growth in application usage and subsequent demand for additional resources and larger environments, development teams have to deal with an increased risk of failure during rollout. This not only carries the business risk of production downtime and uncontrolled costs, but can also severely undercut the ability of businesses to attain the agility they need to embrace the latest technological innovation.
We need to allow individual teams the necessary autonomy to build, deploy, and maintain the code and applications they own, so they can work toward bringing greater reliability and speed to the software delivery lifecycle. At the same time, there must be systematic planning and prioritization of resources at the organization level in order to make way for the scaling of applications and clusters. So we have the seemingly incompatible goals of implementing a CI/CD system that allows for increased autonomy and scalability at the same time. How can we achieve this?
Fortunately Jenkins is well-documented and extremely extensible. Developers can use a rich ecosystem of plugins and integrations to define their own pipelines. Jenkins Job DSL is an efficient plugin that makes it possible to scale to thousands of jobs, while reducing the workload and overall complexitysignificantly. It allows pipelines to be created with the absolute minimum necessary in a programmatic form, using templates that are in sync with the created jobs.
When combined with the core tenets from GitOps, Jenkins Job DSL can be extended to support a complex, multi-tier, and multi-team workflow spanning dozens of Jenkins Masters — while limiting manual usage of Jenkins, in favour of automated processes to organize code and configurations for various applications, environments and infrastructure. This can be an efficient way to address various enterprise-level challenges around autonomy, visibility, control, and scalability, thereby helping to ensure a streamlined and easy-to-manage continuous delivery process.
In a GitOps model, version-controlled code repositories are used for everything from application to configuration to infrastructure management. GitOps requires us to describe the desired state of the entire system by using a declarative specification for each environment. This becomes the system of record. You can describe the desired state of your environments such as test, staging and production in a code repository, besides the application version that resides within that environment. It therefore becomes possible to apply your access controls, testing policies and authorization to your environment configuration — leading to improved governance and control over your entire CI/CD pipeline, while still ensuring the necessary flexibility that developers need to learn and improve their own pipeline.
To learn more about how you can use the power of GitOps with Jenkins Job DSL to to scale Jenkins for large and complex software delivery operations and manage process workflows of any complexity, join us live for our webinar "Managing a Complex, Multi-tier Jenkins Environment: GitOps and Jenkins Job DSL in Practice" on July 31. Register your spot here.
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