Sunday, January 30, 2011

CloudBees in the sky

I was recently asked to be part of a technical advisory board for CloudBees. The group included some great folks Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart, JJ Allaire, and James Gosling. Thank you Sacha and Bob for allowing me to participate with such a group. Besides meeting with the team and getting an overview of the plans I also had some time to play with both Dev@ and Run@.

Dev@ = Jenkins/Hudson/Nectar
Jenkins, recently renamed from Hudson, is the de facto CI system in the market. CloudBees provides a supported version called Nectar offered for on premise or as a service. I have been using it for years to help implement development process. Currently we use it on a daily basis to build for more platforms than I can mention - java being only a very small part of it. Today I wanted to start a build of one of my open source projects, one I have not touched in a 'VERY' long time. This project is currently hosted on sourceforge -
After setting up my CloudBees account I added a Job and figured I would use it to generate my docs. Well it took me three times to get it right. The first time I did not set my ANT version properly, the second time I named my target wrong but then wala a working Jenkins Job in the cloud generating my documentation for Blue. I just wish I had this running when I was building Blue a few years back instead of constantly developing on my box and having to build ant tasks to push files to different places. Using Jenkins in the cloud (Nectar) could not be any easier and it would be great to see lots of open source projects participate. (CloudBees Todo: Allow making docs and distribution files publicly available).

While Run@ will be usable from dev through production I can quickly see how it simplifies life by reducing management of the development and testing environments. One of the challenges in building out a development process is physically connecting the systems together to create the outputs you are looking for.

A development organization can have 10's or 100's of developers implementing an equal amount of services with concurrent projects all needing to get out the door. This can be overwhelming to think about. I see Run@ and the concept of PAAS (platform as a service) as a building block for managing large development organizations and process.

Thanks again to the team.
Ryan - Great seeing you again, it has been a long time.
KK, Vivek, Harpeet - Amazing what you guys are doing both technically and fighting the fight to keep the community moving forward.
Spike - Glad to see you as part of the team bringing together the vision for PAAS.