Chef Delivery and AWS Code Pipeline

Updated at 4:00 PM PDT , April 09, 2015
No announcement at AWS Summit 2015 regarding AWS Code Pipeline release date yet.

Over the past few years, Devops has been a significant movement in the software industry. Many tools and techniques have emerged in the spaces of continuous integration and continuous delivery & deployment of software from developers’ workstation to production.

I won't go into details of whose offerings might be better than others in this post, but I would like to point out that the battle is heating up for services that automate software releases and change management from an end-to-end perspective.

Some existing products include CodeShip and CircleCI, which provide such a service for some of the application frameworks. Many Enterprises and "large" startups have built their own release management & workflow products based on open source & COTS products.

The big mantra in devops is that each application software release is unique. There is no standard toolchain to release every type of application out there. Rather, devops is a set of principles that one should follow, and deciding on the tool chain based on application, culture, any processes involved, and the goals of the organization.

Last week at Chef conference, Chef previewed a new product termed Chef Delivery which claims to continuously deliver applications and infrastructure safely at speed. The team previewed this product through a live demo of updating a production website, and it went through the defined devops workflow of Verify -> Review -> Build -> Acceptance -> Ship to Union -> Staging -> Production. The Chef team believes that this is the best workflow pattern based on their interactions with their customers over the past few years.

Currently, there is not much flexibility to change this workflow. However, the Chef team is very customer-focused and I am sure they will add the flexibility if the customers need it. Like I said before, each application is Unique, so this pattern might work for your organization. The service is in invitation-only stage and might take few months before it is released for everybody's usage. However, the CLI for Chef Delivery has been open sourced.

chef delivery


Another major software release automation and change management product that was previewed last year in November was AWS Code Pipeline. It is slated for an early 2015 release. Considering we are at the end of early 2015 and AWS Summit in San Francisco is scheduled for tomorrow, April 09, 2015, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is released during the Summit.

Another release candidate for tomorrow is AWS Code Commit which seems to be a github competitor. This blog from @jeffbarr back in November 2014 claims that the workflow process for code pipeline can be customized using their UI, and that it can integrate with many 3rd-party tools as well as function as a self-reliant, end-to-end solution. It would be nice to see if it is not AWS-specific and works with on-prem infrastructure and services as well. I am optimistic, since last year AWS Code Deploy released support for on-prem instances as well.

AWS code pipeline

Source: AWS Blog

With Microsoft Ignite, which is a big conference that seems to be putting a lot of focus on Azure, SharePoint, and Office 365, less than a month away, I would not be surprised if the Azure team releases a similar Azure software release and change management workflow product during the event.

All in all, it is good times for devops adoption and end customers, especially when the top 2 public cloud providers release their "battle tested" internal toolchain & workflow products to the public.

Watch out for upcoming blog posts with more details...

-- Parthu Kishen
VP, Engineering
Sysgain Inc.

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