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Catching Up With CloudBees Before Winter Hibernation

CloudBees is rounding out the year on a busy December. Far from entering a winter hibernation period, the Java Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) company has this month announced the availability of "Jenkins Enterprise" as an enterprise-level extension to the Jenkins Continuous Integration (CI) platform. The new software includes value-add plug-ins and extended technical support, which enhances (not replaces) the support offered by the Jenkins open source community itself.

Whether CloudBees is simply using "value-add" as a marketing term to gloss up the new plug-ins or not, in practical terms the new extensions are designed to address security, productivity, and manageability functions as Jenkins is deployed at an increasingly widespread enterprise level.

Jenkins Enterprise by CloudBees is based on the same open source Jenkins code available from the Jenkins community; specifically, the Jenkins Long Term Support (LTS) release line — and each LTS version is supported by the Jenkins community for three months. CloudBees is then offering support for an additional nine months. The USP or developer proposition is that users benefit by having access to enterprise-class technical support and a non-proprietary code base.

Additionally, issues discovered within the LTS code and resolved by CloudBees are provided back to the community for inclusion in a future LTS version. This approach is said to improve the community-driven LTS code line over time, while helping users who prefer to remain on a stable release for an extended period of time.

"Continuous integration is fundamental to developing and deploying high quality applications. Enterprises increasingly depend on Jenkins to help them deliver better applications more quickly. In fact, our most recent survey of Jenkins users found that more than 80% of them consider Jenkins to be mission-critical to their business," said Steven G. Harris, senior vice president of products, CloudBees. "This new subscription offering brings additional enterprise capabilities to Jenkins, while adding the comfort of knowing you have world-class support for a given release across an extended window of time."

The categories of plugins available are:

  • Large Install Plugins: This group of plugins is intended for administrators to manage "Jenkins sprawl" — the complexities that arise when multiple jobs, projects, and teams are all using Jenkins.
  • Security Plugins: These plugins help administrators restrict project and installation access only to authorized users, mitigating security risks in large organizations.
  • Optimized Utilization Plugins

    Highlights from a recent Jenkins developer survey by CloudBees also released this December include:

    • 82% of respondents said Jenkins is mission-critical to their development process
    • 71% use Jenkins as their only CI tool
    • Jenkins is useful for companies of any size, but 76% work for organizations with > 10 developers
    • 80% of respondents have 3 or fewer masters and 10 or fewer build agents
    • 65%76% have between 2 and 50 projects
    • Additional reporting capabilities and high availability were the highest-prioritized features

    For the record, popular opinion suggests that bumblebees hibernate, but honeybees do not.

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