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Global Continuous Delivery with Spinnaker

Contributed by Netflix Technology Blog

After over a year of development and production use at Netflix, we’re excited to announce that our Continuous Delivery platform, Spinnaker, is available on GitHub. Spinnaker is an open source multi-cloud Continuous Delivery platform for releasing software changes with high velocity and confidence. Spinnaker is designed with pluggability in mind; the platform aims to make it easy to extend and enhance cloud deployment models. To create a truly extensible multi-cloud platform, the Spinnaker team partnered with Google, Microsoft and Pivotal to deliver out-of-the-box cluster management and deployment. As of today, Spinnaker can deploy to and manage clusters simultaneously across both AWS and Google Cloud Platform with full feature compatibility across both cloud providers. Spinnaker also features deploys to Cloud Foundry; support for its newest addition, Microsoft Azure, is actively underway.

If you’re familiar with Netflix’s Asgard, you’ll be in good hands. Spinnaker is the replacement for Asgard and builds upon many of its concepts. There is no need for a migration from Asgard to Spinnaker as changes to AWS assets via Asgard are completely compatible with changes to those same assets via Spinnaker and vice versa.

Continuous Delivery with Spinnaker

Spinnaker facilitates the creation of pipelines that represent a delivery process that can begin with the creation of some deployable asset (such as an machine image, Jar file, or Docker image) and end with a deployment. We looked at the ways various Netflix teams implemented continuous delivery to the cloud and generalized the building blocks of their delivery pipelines into configurable Stages that are composable into Pipelines. Pipelines can be triggered by the completion of a Jenkins Job, manually, via a cron expression, or even via other pipelines. Spinnaker comes with a number of stages, such as baking a machine image, deploying to a cloud provider, running a Jenkins Job, or manual judgement to name a few. Pipeline stages can be run in parallel or serially.

Spinnaker Pipelines

Spinnaker also provides cluster management capabilities and provides deep visibility into an application’s cloud footprint. Via Spinnaker’s application view, you can resize, delete, disable, and even manually deploy new server groups using strategies like Blue-Green (or Red-Black as we call it at Netflix). You can create, edit, and destroy load balancers as well as security groups.

Cluster Management in Spinnaker Spinnaker is a collection of JVM-based services, fronted by a customizable AngularJS single-page application. The UI leverages a rich RESTful API exposed via a gateway service.

You can find all the code for Spinnaker on GitHub. There are also installation instructions on how to setup and deploy Spinnaker from source as well as instructions for deploying Spinnaker from pre-existing images that Kenzan and Google have created. We’ve set up a Slack channel and we are committed to leveraging StackOverflow as a means for answering community questions. Issues, questions, and pull requests are welcome.