Microsoft announced it is partnering with the open-source Jenkins project to advance the Jenkins software automation platform on the Microsoft Azure cloud.
Microsoft will be working with the Jenkins community to move the Jenkins project infrastructure to Azure to improve security and capacity and to offer more services to the project. The technology giant announced the partnership at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) 2016 in Austin, Texas.
Jenkins is a popular Java-based, open-source automation server with a plug-in ecosystem that supports a wide variety of tools for continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) services for software development.
Jenkins is a growing technology that’s been funded by donations from community members and various other organizations.
“But for it to grow and be scalable around the world to where it has the opportunity to go, it really needs a lot more power behind it,” Mark Hill, vice president for open source sales and marketing strategy at Microsoft, told eWEEK. “So we are providing extensive Azure support, along with facilities and infrastructure for the Website. We’re doing an engineering engagement to build the next version of the Jenkins product. And we’ve provided infrastructure to host the build process.”
The Jenkins project continues to grow as more organizations adopt Jenkins to meet their software development, delivery automation and DevOps needs. To support this rapid growth, Microsoft is providing its Azure cloud infrastructure and capabilities spanning Linux Virtual Machines, storage, scaling and load balancing and software delivery, the company said. With Azure, Jenkins contributors will have greater capacity to build, test and deploy the hundreds of plug-ins that integrate Jenkins into nearly any CD process.
The Linux-based infrastructure the Jenkins Project uses has been running on a variety of platforms and servers, some provided by community members, others donated via the generosity of foundations and educational institutions, said Corey Sanders, Microsoft’s director of program management for Azure, in a blog post. However, to continue to grow, the project needs a more reliable Linux platform, he noted.
Thus, “Microsoft is partnering with the Jenkins community to offer both compute resources and technical expertise to build a modern, robust development and delivery infrastructure on Linux and Java in the Azure cloud,” Sanders said. “Azure will also host the Jenkins Website and the Jenkins build that manages the Website. Jenkins will offer Jenkins 2 and legacy Jenkins builds to teams around the world using Azure’s secure and scalable infrastructure.”
Jenkins is already at the core of the vast majority of enterprise Java CI and DevOps automation efforts, so it’s good to see Microsoft embrace it, said Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop Technologies, which provides software lifecycle integration tools for developers.
Microsoft Partners With Open-Source Jenkins Project
“Providing a credible solution to running Java workloads would broaden Azure’s foothold in the enterprise, since the CI system can function as a gateway drug to the deployment destination,” Kersten told eWEEK. “However, this announcement looks to be limited to hosting the open-source project’s infrastructure, so we’re not quite there yet. It will be interesting to watch whether this partnership evolves and signals change to come in the slow moving landscape of Java workload hosting.”
The Microsoft/Jenkins collaboration comes at a crucial time with the recent launch of Jenkins 2.0, which enables Jenkins users to more readily adopt CD practices and speed software delivery. The new release and future development activities will place more demands on the project infrastructure.
Jenkins 2.0, launched in late April, is the first major release of Jenkins after 10 years and more than 700 weekly releases. Jenkins 2.0 addresses the demands of teams challenged with matching the pace of continuous software delivery while ensuring quality and providing visibility across the full delivery process. Updates to core Jenkins capabilities include first-class support for CD pipelines, clear visibility of delivery stages and enhancements to help users get started more quickly, according to the company.
“As Jenkins user adoption continues to grow into millions of users, the community has responded with core updates to assure continued, long-term success,” said Kohsuke Kawaguchi, creator of Jenkins and CTO at CloudBees, in a statement. “The Jenkins 2.0 release helps new and existing users implement continuous delivery with the most flexible way to model, orchestrate and visualize the entire delivery pipeline.”
With 147,000 installations and more than 1.2 million users, Jenkins is the most widely adopted automation engine with the most extensive plug-in ecosystem for orchestrating continuous delivery pipelines, said Sacha Labourey, CEO of CloudBees.
“As Jenkins continues to be widely recognized as the preferred open-source choice for many organizations to succeed and utilize continuous software delivery, this relationship comes at the perfect time for both the Jenkins community and Microsoft,” said R. Tyler Croy, Jenkins project board member and community evangelist at CloudBees, in a statement. “Microsoft’s continued embrace of open-source technologies is exciting and make it easier for their users to adopt tools like Jenkins. With Microsoft’s support, it further validates how advanced the Jenkins organization has become. This new infrastructure enables the community to plan for the future of Jenkins and support it well.”