The last couple of quarters saw some serious renovations to the CloudBees hive, with a pivot from PaaS provision to Jenkins powered Continuous Integration (CI), as well as a move to California. But it’s all been for the best – and this week’s news that previous investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Verizon Ventures, and Blue Cloud Ventures have clubbed together to offer the company $23m in funding underscores the wisdom in these decisions.
According to founder and CEO Sacha Labourey, the bulk of this will be put towards new Jenkins products this year. The company has built up a customer base with deep investments in both public and private cloud infrastructure – and both, it turns out, are well suited to CI and CD (Continuous Delivery). Consequently, Labourey explains, CloudBees naturally wants to take full advantage of this.
He told Voxxed that CloudBees, “Will do work to make sure the getting started experience for simpler scenarios is the best you can get. In summary, wherever your workloads are, whoever you are and whatever you want to achieve, we want to be the leading CI/CD solution on the market.”
The ongoing rise of CD and CI in the enterprise has translated into an accompanying boost in popularity for integration tool Jenkins – developed by CloudBees CTO Kohsuke Kawaguchi. In the background to this, it was becoming increasingly clear to the company that PaaS was becoming an increasingly difficult proposition.
Over the years, mega-infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft, have muddied the waters for PaaS by throwing out their own PaaS-esque offering and blurring the lines as to what a PaaS vendor would be expected to bring to the table. Add the advent of seemingly-infallible Linux “movement” Docker, which ticks a lot of the old PaaS selling points, but with less focus on infrastructure, at a lower price point, and the writing was on the wall for CloudBees.
Fortunately, thanks to Jenkins, there was a ready-made niche to hone their focus. Labourey tells Voxxed that, “very much doped by the adoption of Continuous Integration and Continuous Deliver in organizations,” you can find Jenkins used on “close to 300,000 servers, close to 100,000 active deployments, and has more than 1,000 plugins. It is a massive market and ecosystem and its growth is continuing at a rapid pace.”
Of course, in other recent notable cloudy shifts, Pivotal meted out a blow to the Groovy community last week with the news that it would be cutting sponsorship of the open-source JVM language to focus its efforts on the PaaS-sphere. Labourey is diplomatic on this front, and, whilst sad for the Groovy team at Pivotal, says he thinks “it makes sense for any company to focus on what their core strategy is.”
Looking ahead, Labourey predicts that CD will “very much pick up in 2015,” though, as he explains, “the mass of enterprises still haven’t fully realized how much IT and business have to merge in order for them to remain at the forefront of the competition. This education is taking place now”
By 2020, Labourey reckons that at least 80% of new projects in the enterprise will be structured following Continuous Delivery principles, comprising not just a massive change not just for IT organisations, “but for companies altogether.”