We all know the potential of cloud and how it helps businesses improve scalability, keep data safe, and drive better engagement. In this blog I am going to talk about what exactly is cloud-based continuous integration and continuous delivery or deployment (CI/CD), reasons to host it in the cloud, tips to choose a cloud-based CI CD platform, benefits, and much more!
Let’s dive directly into knowing all about cloud-based CI/CD.
CI/CD can be defined as a method of delivering apps to customers by introducing automation into the various stages of app development. It facilitates ongoing automation and continuous monitoring throughout the app lifecycle. Simply put, CI/CD is a set of practices often used by DevOps teams to test and deploy code by using automation. This amalgamation of DevOps with cloud tech increases productivity and collaboration.
There are certain factors that you should consider while choosing CI/ CD platforms.
• Choose an open-source tool, proprietary, or your own custom solution – Decide whether you want an open-source tool or proprietary for your business. Open-source software is free to use, but there is a risk that the code may not be developed completely, or developers might change everything suddenly. Proprietary software offers support and includes hands-on support to deal with the issues. Some vendors might also offer the option to customize their software as per your requirements.
• Delineate on the hosting model – Decide if you want to use cloud, on-premises or SaaS model. There are solutions that can run on your own server, or you can have SaaS based solution which means that you are buying them as a service and the actual tool runs on a vendor’s infrastructure in the cloud. Choose the right model as adding a CI/CD tool to the development toolchain will have cost attached to it. Consider answering questions like: How many builds you will be doing, the number of users you need, etc. This will help you choose the most suitable model for your business.
• Choose the appropriate tools – Your business requires tools that have great UI, usability, learning curve, and community support. Make sure that your CI/CD tool is easily accessible to everyone in the team. See if the tool is intuitive, what training materials are available, whether there is active support from developers or vendors of tool.
• Consider the security of your data – Ensure the safety of your business information and data while opting for a tool that runs on virtual infrastructure or as a SaaS service. Also look for factors like data storage and retention as during the quality assurance and audit, you might need to go back to your test results.
Thus, there is a plethora of CI/CD tools to choose from but choosing the right one as per your project needs is essential. These are some of the points that can help you understand and analyse your business requirements while making any decision.
By now you must be clear with what CI/CD platforms are and how you can choose them.
Allow me to introduce you to the stages and working of the CI/CD pipeline.
The four stages involved in the CI/CD pipeline include-
• Source – It focuses on source control, covering version control, and tracking changes.
• Build – It involves creation and compiling of codes and is considered as continuous integration. In this stage, new code is integrated while quickly determining issues and conflicts, if any.
• Test – It involves automated testing of code to validate the behaviour of the software. In this stage, automated tests happen in both continuous delivery and deployment.
• Deploy – It is the final phase where the package is ready to be deployed for quality assurance and production environment. This stage is automated and occurs in continuous deployment.
Thus, CI/CD pipelines create more reliable, faster, and better-quality software and app releases.
Let us now learn why businesses choose cloud-based CI/CD hosting and its benefits.
• The cost of hosting on cloud is modest and it provides services including onboarding, infrastructure maintenance, support, security maintenance, and CI/CD software maintenance. These services neutralize the cost incurred on cloud.
• Hosting your CI/CD software on cloud allows you to interact with your source code repositories quickly and easily.
• One of the biggest reasons for you to practice CI/CD is faster product delivery which leads to more frequent updates to customers, subsequently ensuring enhanced customer satisfaction.
Now that you are aware of the why to opt for cloud-based CI/CD hosting, take a look at its benefits.
• Reduce time to deployment through automation
• Decrease costs associated with traditional software development
• Get continuous feedback for improvement
• Improve the ability to detect errors earlier in the development process
• Improve team collaboration and system integration
To understand more about CI/CD pipelines, let’s take a look at its most common use cases.
• Access performance and quality of deployments by using ready integrations and tools like Jira, GitHub, Jenkins etc.
• Track all your pull requests and commits by using a visual dashboard.
• Define your own alerts by customizing your dashboard to stay on top of your pipeline.
• Avoid delays and maintain quality by detecting performance issues in the early product cycle.
• View code coverage and PR history by providing your QA team a unified platform.
I hope with the help of my blog, you will be able to choose the most appropriate CI/CD platform for your business. If you are interested in learning about how you can implement CI/CD for Azure Data Factory, read our blog. Reach out to us at Nitor Infotech to know more about related topics.
Subscribe to Our Blog