Dispatch, DKP

Announcing Dispatch: A GitNative CI/CD Platform

Mar 09, 2020

Rahul Dabke


Let’s say you are an enterprise running legacy build tools on virtual machines or on bare metal. What is your cloud native CI/CD strategy? How do you introduce the rigor and discipline required for CI/CD needed for your DevOps strategy?


While running build farms on virtual machines might be a legacy working solution today, the journey to cloud native requires that enterprises deploy microservices and containerize your application development. This means that you start evaluating a Kubernetes distribution and also spend time evaluating a myriad of solutions. This can be a significant investment of time with equally significant impact down the line. Various vendors offer a canned and kludgy managed Kubernetes solution, but few an opinionated one where they have thoughtfully assembled a solution that includes components for cloud native CI/CD, logging/monitoring and caters to the needs of an organization in its cloud native excellence journey. 


Additional pain points for CI/CD platforms:


  • As the need for developer velocity grows, there is a need for scaling CI/CD platforms to support multiple projects without centralized teams causing bottlenecks. There is also a need for observability and auditability in the complete end to end operation of the CI/CD pipeline, enabling versioning, traceability and compliance. This also adds the operational need to troubleshoot and revert to a previous version if so needed.
  • Snowflakes are routinely caused by a significant configuration of the build system being stored in the legacy build system itself, instead of a centralized location dedicated for storing code/configuration, like a Git repository. This creates challenges in portability and migration for deploying to new targets, thereby increasing wastage of resources and increased dedicated maintenance personnel required for cleaning up the plug-in configuration mess. This additional infrastructure dedicated to legacy CI/CD increases the cost and decreases an enterprises’ competitiveness.
  • The CI/CD ecosystem is replete with centrally configured build farms that are either SaaS based or on-prem build environments. Many of these tools have been developed in the pre-cloud era for a push and forget model built for the virtual machine targets. While some may claim push and forget models are good for speed, they are truly not optimized for tracing, deployment or security.


But wait! Doesn’t the journey to cloud native imply that enterprises separate and containerize the solutions, so that a failure or upgrade to a section here, doesn’t affect the performance or security there? That means, a truly cloud native CI/CD solution also requires that you securely separate the CI portion of your development from the CD portion of your deployment. Rather than just relying on a SaaS based solution there, how about taking the opportunity to implement a quality DevOps tool chain? D2iQ’s Dispatch - a cloud native CI/CD platform - is the solution to these pain points and comes to the rescue here.


Introducing D2iQ Dispatch

D2iQ is proud to announce Dispatch, a new solution that delivers cloud-native CI/CD for enterprises on their GitOps journey using any on-premise or cloud Kubernetes distribution. GitOps is the modern method of software development and operations, including Continuous Deployment for cloud native applications. Dispatch solves the problem of deploying CI/CD across an organization by embracing true cloud native GitOps processes to build, test, and deploy at scale. 


Dispatch enables GitNative - a design principle method for developers to leverage application workflow- to program a git repository that simplifies working with tools like Prow, tags etc. With Dispatch, developers can leverage CI with GitNative tools so that an operator's CD workflow is enabled for a GitOps derived architecture. Dispatch enables the deployment and separation of your CI from your CD, so that the solution is architected from the ground up with CI/CD components that are truly cloud native and secure for progressive deployments. By enabling a clear separation of responsibilities between application developers and operators, Dispatch provides enterprises with the flexibility, speed and consistency required to enhance DevOps processes for successful Day 2 operations. 


Dispatch provides the following core capabilities to ensure secure separation and governance as well as ease of portability and migration in a true GitOps manner:


  • Multiple Choices for Pipeline Configuration: Choose from Dispatch’s 4 domain specific languages (DSL): CUE (json-like), Starlark (python-like), JSON, or YAML to configure build pipelines. The ability to leverage a high level language developers are most comfortable with, makes Dispatch much easier to use than other Tekton based CI/CD platforms using procedural YAML. Developers can create pipelines using powerful programming constructs that one could never do with just YAML or Jenkins. Dispatch simplifies building complex pipelines that are much more cumbersome with other competitive solutions. Developers can build containers, then use them in later tasks to provide custom execution content, making CI very flexible and extensible - all using tools they are familiar with like Docker (file), pods and containers.
  • Multi-Tenancy for Build Pipelines: Enable different developer teams to run their pipelines in different Kubernetes namespaces for secure separation and governance, establishing clear guard rails for developers and operators by providing flexibility and without slowing them down.
  • GitOps Based Operational Freedom: Store both pipeline configuration and application deployment configuration in a Git repository. Cloud native CI/CD requires tooling that provides flexibility, efficiency, and governance that helps collaborate and provides a real-time source of truth so that developers and operators can operate with confidence.
  • Cloud Native Components: Leverage CNCF projects, such as Tekton and Argo, that natively take advantage of Kubernetes' built in facilities, such as compute, network, storage, and security. Instead of depending on tools that worked for your monolith, Dispatch renders them obsolete and transforms your CI/CD replacing it with cloud native tools that are built from the ground up for a modern GitOps environment.

Dispatch is available now and is bundled with D2iQ's Kubernetes distribution Konvoy to include everything you need to be ready for production, from cloud native GitOps components for CI/CD plus networking, monitoring and logging needs. D2iQ offers enterprise-grade support for Konvoy’s complete Kubernetes stack from CI/CD tools, like Tekton and Argo to bundled tools for logging and monitoring. 


To test drive Dispatch and Konvoy together, download the free trial.

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