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Java PaaS CloudBees Adds High Availability Plugin to Jenkins

Java Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider CloudBees has added to its growing list of plugins for the Jenkins continuous integration (CI) server. The company announced five new plugins, including a High Availability (HA) plugin designed to provide error detection and automated recovery capabilities. If an instance of Jenkins crashes, this HA component makes it possible to recover and restart the build in minutes via a standby Jenkins master, the company said.

The list of new plugins also includes: a Custom Update Center plugin, which provides a central update center containing approved plugin versions; a Validated Merge plugin, which is designed to ensure that only code that won't break the build is checked in; a Secure Copy plugin, which quickly and securely transfers jobs between Jenkins masters; and a Fast Archiving plugin, which compresses build archives.

These plugins are available within the company's implementation of the CI server, Jenkins Enterprise for CloudBees, which combines the open-source, Java-based CI server with open and proprietary plugins and subscription technical support.

CloudBees is throwing the spotlight on the HA plugin in this announcement, emphasizing its ability to save hours of downtime from a crash when "large development projects push Jenkins resources to the max." The emphasis also seems to underscore an interest in promoting Jenkins as mission-critical technology.

"I'm glad that Jenkins Enterprise by CloudBees now addresses the availability and productivity concerns that arise when Jenkins becomes mission critical for companies," Kohsuke Kawaguchi, founder of the Jenkins project and an elite developer and architect at CloudBees, said in a statement. "This new set of plugins lets development teams rely more heavily on Jenkins automation and frees them up to focus on the things that can't be automated, like creating a design spec or writing code."

Disagreements last year about Oracle's decision to migrate the open source Hudson CI project to its java.net infrastructure, along with Oracle's decision to trademark the Hudson name, led members of that community to vote to rename the project "Jenkins" and move the code from java.net to GitHub. Shortly thereafter, Oracle surprised the community by contributing the Hudson code, domain name, and trademark to the Eclipse Foundation. It Kawaguchi who created Hudson and instigated the Jenkins fork.

"I look forward to using the Validated Merge plugin myself," Kawaguchi added, "so that other developers are not impacted by me accidentally breaking the build -- which was the reason I built Jenkins in the first place."

CloudBees contributed five other plugins to the Jenkins community in April, designed variously to allow Jenkins users to manage multiple projects, backup their Jenkins configurations to the cloud, spot time wasted by jobs waiting to be serviced, store credentials in Jenkins and discover file leaks. The company's growing list of free and open source Jenkins plugins is available here.

The Boston-based CloudBees is best known as one of the few providers of a Java-based PaaS. The company's flagship platform comprises two products: DEV@cloud, a service designed to allow developers to take their build and test environments to the cloud, and RUN@cloud, a traditional deployment PaaS designed to allow dev teams to deploy their applications to production on the cloud.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance author and journalist based in Silicon Valley. His latest book is The Everything Guide to Social Media. Follow John on Twitter, read his blog on ADTmag.com, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at john@watersworks.com.


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