Stage 4

CI/CD pipelines

"Delivering fast and often is CI/CD. Supporting what you deliver is DevOps."1

– Burr Sutter

3-minute read

Now you’re ready to establish a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline. This enables you to make changes to software rapidly and iteratively, with processes and technology in place that reduce the risk of poor quality (or broken) code from making it to deployment.

And just like automation and a self-service infrastructure, a strong CI/CD pipeline is built on a foundation of DevOps.

22% less time on rework with DevOps and a CI/CD pipeline2

Containers and continuity

One reason that containers (like Docker or Red Hat OpenShift) have been so associated with CI/CD is because they provide rigid and repeatable system environments, which means that there are fewer issues moving between entirely different organizational environments. (That’s the dreaded “it worked on my laptop” defense when a code change moves from development to production.)

With continuous integration, development changes are constantly compiled and built with every check-in, so problems are apparent quicker. This is usually combined with an automated test suite to verify stability or functionality. This continual process of check-in, build, and test maintains a higher quality of code, even at peak demand times.

Walmart deployed code on Black Friday while 200 million people were online3

So what does “continuous” mean to you?

Continuous can mean slightly different things, depending on your development pace and business needs. With a majestic monolith (strong processes and technology with a more traditional application architecture), a release can happen every week with a single, monolithic update, with the only constraint being the requirements for agile sprint processes. With microservices, any service may be updated, with overlapping sprint cycles, so updates to the overall architecture can happen daily.

You can learn more about building a CI/CD pipeline by downloading the “Teaching an elephant to dance” e-book.

Aside from catching and fixing problems quicker, another purpose of CI/CD is to create a safe environment for testing ideas and learning from successes (and failures). Once you have a CI/CD pipeline established, you’re ready to move on to stage 5: Advanced deployment.

E-book author

Burr Sutter

Product Management Director, Developer Products, Red Hat

Sutter creates middleware developer solutions for Red Hat clients. He's currently an Oracle Java Champion, and he's a founder of the Atlanta chapter of the IASA. A tech educator with 20+ years of experience, Sutter has spoken at numerous industry events around the globe.

For the full story, download the free e-book

"Teaching an elephant to dance"

  • 1 DevNation Federal, June 8, 2017, Washington, DC,
  • 2 Kim, Gene, et al. “State of DevOps Report.” Puppet, 2016,
  • 3 O’Maidin, Cian. “Why Node.js Is Becoming The Go-To Technology In The Enterprise.” NearForm, 10 Mar. 2014, Accessed 1 Sept. 2017.