CI/CD adoption is accelerating | ITworld

DevOps has been an aspirational goal for many organizations for years. Embroiled in the work-from-home reality of the current COVID-19 pandemic, “All the timelines” for embracing DevOps, generally, and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) “have shrunk,” says CircleCI CEO Jim Rose, fresh on the heels of a $100 million Series E raise. “The pandemic has compressed the time that companies are taking to get to CI/CD.”

With so much uncertainty as to when employees will be able to return to the office (or whether they’ll stay remote, as a recent Gartner survey suggests), organizations are quickly discovering that old-school, on-premises Jenkins running in a data center may need to change much sooner than originally planned, according to Rose.

A silver lining

When CircleCI recently released new insights endpoints for its APIv2, the idea was to provide users recovery and change failure rate data among other benchmark metrics. By making it easier to see “which jobs are failing, which workflows have flaky tests, and prioritize efforts for pipeline improvement,” as CircleCI senior product marketing manager Emily Powell wrote at the time, as well as “find out which workflows or jobs are taking the longest and identify opportunities where caching, parallelization, and our new convenience images can help speed things up,” the company was simply trying to further optimize its platform for DevOps-savvy development teams.

As it turns out, the stakes are much higher given the now pervasive work-from-home arrangements most organizations now embrace.

Talking with Rose in a phone interview, he stressed that even after years of DevOps discussion, “You still have a lot of companies that are doing most of their software testing on-prem and behind the firewall. The big installed base remains Jenkins in a proprietary data center.” This wasn’t ideal but it was workable when developers and operations professionals worked in an office environment, within the firewall. In a remote-only situation, getting access to the application development workflow is “tricky,” he stresses, because, in part, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to VPN in.

And so companies are moving much faster than planned from private data centers to public clouds, in an effort to move workloads to a place where modern CI/CD can happen. “All the timelines have shrunk,” Rose says. Over the last two years companies have realized they need to move faster, but perhaps still struggled to start moving. “Now every company is trying to get apps to be cloud-enabled or cloud-native,” he stresses. “These are best practices and companies are having to rush to get there. The pandemic has compressed the time that companies are taking to get to CI/CD.”

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