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Move to Jenkins X for Automated CI/CD of Cloud-Native Applications

Jenkins from CloudBees has been a stalwart of the open-source continuous integration (CI) / continuous delivery (CD) movement for well over a decade. The recent introduction of Jenkins X promises to make CI/CD pipelines with Kubernetes easier to set up and maintain.

CloudBees was among the first movers in the open source CI/CD space. Its Jenkins offering enjoys strong market share and is lauded for its extensive ability to integrate with other tools by way of plugins. However, it can be complex to configure and maintain pipelines with Jenkins, often resulting in what are known as “Jenkinstein” implementations.

Source: Jenkins, CC 3.0, (https://jenkins.io/)

With its first official release of Jenkins X (which is one of five “superpower” projects announced by Kohsuke Kawaguchi at DevOps World/Jenkins World), CloudBees hopes to significantly improve the process of creating and maintaining CI/CD platforms using Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) for cloud-native applications. Jenkins X not only simplifies the building and maintenance of pipelines through a UI or command line interface, but also:

  • Allows continued use of existing Jenkins pipeline files (although use of Jenkins X native (Tekton-style) pipelines is recommended for the long term)
  • Includes built-in GitOps
  • Creates preview environments for your pull requests (to help teams collaborate and speed delivery)
  • Provides automatic feedback on issues and pull requests

Our Take

In today’s increasingly digitally transformed world, DevOps is table stakes capability for any organization hoping to compete and survive. Automated CI/CD is an important cornerstone of effective DevOps, and solutions are evolving in this space. Development teams (especially those already using Jenkins and Kubernetes) looking for easier configuration and maintenance of their CI/CD pipelines should take a closer look at Jenkins X.


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