Sep 20, 2019 - Chrissie Buchanan    

Jenkins: One year later

With new acquisitions and the launch of CloudBees SDM, is Jenkins trying to become another all-in-one?

See a demo of GitLab CI/CD September 26

It’s been a little over a year since we wrote about how GitLab CI compares with the three variants of Jenkins. How have things changed – and how much has stayed the same?

Acquisitions

In April 2019, CloudBees acquired Electric Cloud, a market leader in continuous delivery. This acquisition brought application release automation, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment under the Cloudbees umbrella through two of Electric Cloud’s premier products: ElectricFlow and ElectricAccelarator.

This acquisition came a little more than a year after CloudBees acquired Codeship, another startup focused on continuous integration and delivery. These investments in continuous delivery tools are all about creating value. Because Jenkins doesn’t have continuous delivery built-in, it has to offer integrations with other tools (or acquire them) in order to offer that functionality. Acquisitions go a little deeper than just setting up an API, and are a lot more expensive. Could the acquisition of these two CD platforms give Jenkins the ability to offer CI/CD in their core product in the future?

Jenkins X

There has been a strong push by certain vendors to create a solution for combined CI/CD to match the capabilities of GitLab. GitHub developed GitHub Actions while CloudBees supported the development of Jenkins X, for example. Jenkins X was developed to automate continuous delivery pipelines to Kubernetes and cloud-native environments. According to the Jenkins X website, “Rather than having to have deep knowledge of the internals of Jenkins X Pipeline, Jenkins X will default awesome pipelines for your projects that implement fully CI and CD.”

JenkinsWorld

In his opening Keynote at JenkinsWorld 2018, CloudBees CTO Kohsuke Kawaguchi discussed some of the known unreliability of Jenkins and discussed how Cloud Native Jenkins could address some of these problems by removing the single point of failure and creating a more distributed system.

At JenkinsWorld 2019, CloudBees offered an early preview of its CloudBees SDM Platform.

Source code management brings visibility and cross-functional collaboration into the SDLC, something that (until now) CloudBees could only offer through a plug-in. This new platform is a part of the CloudBees objective to be an end-to-end platform.

What was most interesting was this quote from Sacha Labourey, CEO and co-founder of CloudBees:

“Organizations need a way to eliminate silos – to truly realize their vision of becoming software-first companies. This vision is Software Delivery Management and we are building the cohesive system our customers want. It will connect product stakeholders and development teams with the rest of the business, provide the intelligence and insights they all need to build software faster and provide increased value to their customers.”

We couldn’t agree more. ;)

A push for consolidation

With the acquisitions of Codeship and Electric Cloud, as well as the announcement of CloudBees SDM, it’s clear that CloudBees/Jenkins is pushing to be an end-to-end SDLC solution for its users. We’re seeing this throughout the industry: Idera purchasing Travis CI, Oracle acquiring Werker, JFrog’s acquisition of Shippable, and the launch of GitHub Actions just last month. Either through acquisitions or adding new features, the app development industry is in a push for consolidation.

Toolchains get in the way of organizations enabling faster software delivery and realizing their maximum business impact. Where CloudBees/Jenkins has faltered is in its instability, mainly due to the thousands of third-party plugins it supports and the maintenance headaches they cause. At GitLab, we enable SDM, packaging, delivery, monitoring, and security in the product itself without the plugins.

Because transparency is one of our values, we proudly display other DevOps tools directly on our website with head-to-head comparisons so that organizations can know which platform works best for their needs.

Competition makes everyone else better, and with CloudBees/Jenkins amping up their consolidation efforts, how does that compare to us as an already all-in-one platform? We invite you to join us for a demo so you see how GitLab CI/CD compares to Jenkins firsthand.

See demo of GitLab CI/CD vs. Jenkins

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