CloudBees has launched the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF), which will operate under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation.
Just like what the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) does for containers, microservices and orchestration, CDF is all about continuous delivery in the open-source world.
The group will house a number of open-source projects related to continuous delivery, with founding member CloudBees lobbing in the venerable Jenkins and cloudier Jenkins X CI/CD platforms. Spinnaker, the deployment platform kicked off by Netflix, is also present, as well as the Tekton Kubernetes pipelines project.
Sacha Labourey, CEO of CloudBees, was quick to assure customers that the move would in no way detract from the company's ongoing support for the Jenkins platform, but instead was vital to spreading the CI/CD word. "It benefits us all to do this," he said. Well, he would – CloudBees has driven the initiative, although the CDF itself will be staffed and operated by the Linux Foundation.
Discerning readers might look at the four founding projects in the CDF and see a bit of overlap in what the tools do. Jenkins X and Spinnaker, for example, both play in the deployment space.
In a conversation with The Register, CloudBees distinguished engineer James Strachan agreed, saying: "You could look at Jenkins X and Spinnaker and say they're kind of overlapping a bit," before insisting that there is "more synergy than overlap".
The goal behind the foundation, much like its sibling the CNCF, is to keep things aligned and ensure the projects play well together in the CI/CD world.
That integration is already happening. Two of the projects in the foundation are cosying up, as the Tekton pipeline technology finds its way into the serverless world of Jenkins X. Strachan observed: "Increasingly, Tekton is becoming the universal, if you like, pipeline glue which Jenkins, Jenkins X, and possibly, hopefully one day, Spinnaker, can all use."
Andrew Glover, director of delivery engineering at Netflix, who holds Spinnaker's reins, agreed, telling El Reg the project's community had "been asking for a better chance to collaborate with a larger, even more robust, community so we have been looking at the idea of possibly either creating a foundation or joining one, so when the good folks from the CDF approached us it was a no-brainer."
The gang insists that there will be no forking of code, with commercial interests building on top of the projects. Strachan said: "We don't want forks, we want the upstream projects to be the release that everyone consumes." Glover added: "Netflix has no commercial interest, per se, in the Spinnaker project".
In terms of release cadence, the group expects better communication to avoid breakages. Strachan said: "We're hoping to get better feedback between the projects so that if ever, say, Spinnaker broke Jenkins X, we could let the Spinnaker folks know immediately," and vice versa. After all, Jenkins X is flinging out 10 releases a day.
They don't call it "continuous" for nothing.
And as for as that other bogeyman of CI/CD platforms – long-term support – the CDF is pondering it. "It's a good question; we haven't thought of a good answer yet," Strachan conceded.
The foundation hopes to welcome more members as well as getting input from others in the Linux Foundation. But for now, Strachan stated the obvious problem that the group intends to tackle first.
"There's a gazillion really awesome open-source tools out there but the challenge is using them and setting them up and configuring them and gluing them together."
And he's not wrong there. ®