Jump to section

What is a CI/CD pipeline?

Copy URL

Red Hat named a Leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™

Red Hat was positioned highest for ability to execute and furthest for completeness of vision in the Gartner 2023 Magic Quadrant for Container Management.

A continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline is a series of steps that must be performed in order to deliver a new version of software. CI/CD pipelines are a practice focused on improving software delivery throughout the software development life cycle via automation. 

By automating CI/CD throughout development, testing, production, and monitoring phases of the software development lifecycle, organizations are able to develop higher quality code, faster and more securely. Although it’s possible to manually execute each of the steps of a CI/CD pipeline, the true value of CI/CD pipelines is realized through automation.


3 Containers in the clouds illustration

A pipeline is a process that drives software development through a path of building, testing, and deploying code, also known as CI/CD. By automating the process, the objective is to minimize human error and maintain a consistent process for how software is released. Tools that are included in the pipeline could include compiling code, unit tests, code analysis, security, and binaries creation. For containerized environments, this pipeline would also include packaging the code into a container image to be deployed across a hybrid cloud.

CI/CD is the backbone of a DevOps methodology, bringing developers and IT operations teams together to deploy software. As custom applications become key to how companies differentiate, the rate at which code can be released has become a competitive differentiator.



CI/CD Flow

Traditional CI/CD systems are designed for pipelines that use virtual machines, but cloud-native application development brings advantages to CI/CD pipelines.

What does a CI/CD pipeline with containers look like?

Using the Tekton project, you can build Kubernetes-style delivery pipelines that can control the complete life cycle of microservices without having to rely on central teams to maintain and manage a continuous integration server, plugins, and configuration.

Red Hat® OpenShift® Pipelines is a Kubernetes-native CI/CD solution which builds on Tekton to provide a CI/CD experience through tight integration with OpenShift and Red Hat developer tools. OpenShift Pipelines is designed to run each step of the CI/CD pipeline in its own container, allowing each step to scale independently to meet the demands of the pipeline.

Red Hat OpenShift Pipelines features

Kubernetes-native pipelines

Use standard Tekton CRDs to define pipelines that run as containers and scale on demand.

Runs serverless

Get full control over your team’s delivery pipelines, plugins and access control with no central CI/CD server to manage.

Integrated CI/CD experience

Get a streamlined user experience through the Red Hat OpenShift console developer perspective, command-line interfaces, and integrated development environments.

Learn how to use Red Hat OpenShift Pipelines to automate application deployment.

Tekton provides an open source framework to create cloud-native CI/CD pipelines quickly. As a Kubernetes-native framework, Tekton makes it easier to deploy across multiple cloud providers or hybrid environments. By leveraging the custom resource definitions (CRDs) in Kubernetes, Tekton uses the Kubernetes control plane to run pipeline tasks. By using standard industry specifications, Tekton will work well with existing CI/CD tools such as Jenkins, Jenkins X, Skaffold, Knative, and OpenShift.

Learn how to plug ArgoCD and the GitOps paradigm into a CI workflow using Tekton

Keep reading


Who is a DevOps engineer?

A DevOps engineer has a unique combination of skills and expertise that enables collaboration, innovation, and cultural shifts within an organization.


What is GitOps?

GitOps makes the dream of a DevOps culture a reality by enabling customers to build and integrate declarative CD pipelines directly into their application development platform.


A guide to OpenShift Pipelines

OpenShift Pipelines is a CI/CD solution based on the open source Tekton project.

More about DevOps


An intensive, highly focused residency with Red Hat experts where you learn to use an agile methodology and open source tools to work on your enterprise’s business problems.

Engagements with our strategic advisers who take a big-picture view of your organization, analyze your challenges, and help you overcome them with comprehensive, cost-effective solutions.



Command Line Heroes Season 1, Episode 4:

"DevOps: Tear down that wall"


Enterprise automation with a DevOps methodology


Streamline CI/CD pipelines with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform


Manage infrastructure and application configurations with Red Hat® OpenShift® GitOps