Hippity hop

Exciting new tool to heal DevOps redundancy pain goes live

Lucy Carey

JFrog spawns “world’s first” high-availability binary repository manager in flagship product update, Artifactory 3.1.

A developer survey carried out by JFrog, the creators of open source repository manager Artifactory and software distribution platform Bintray, revealed that 65% of developers are concerned that their software (OSS) is unreliable. This was backed up by feedback from their existing customer base, who complained that the bulk of their releases were delayed by code and tooling issues and endless integration tests.

Out of these prevalent ‘pain points’ came the inspiration for JFrog’s latest release – Artifactory 3.1, which comes complete with what the comapany are billing as the world’s first  high-availability binary repository manager. This zippy new solution went live today – and you can click here to download – but first, we highly recommend reading our interview with JFrog CTO Yoav Landman for the full story behind this release:

JAX: Can you walk us through the thought process behind the development of Artifactory 3.1?

Yoav: Part of what we saw in our survey last year is that there is a huge pain in managing open source components and open source software. And another thing that we got is that, part of managing open source software, and part of managing binaries and artifacts in general, the management tools – the repositories that people are using to manage artifacts – are becoming something that is of production quality.

So, when your artifact manager is down, basically the whole development production floor is paralysed. No new builds can go in. Everything today is fully automated, from development to QA, to production, so if a tool like Artifactory, which is where the build artifacts end their life in the production system – if it’s down, the whole production is down – and it’s unacceptable.

That’s why we developed this solution. We’ve been getting this feedback not only from the survey, but from customers, that we know go all the way to production with artifactory.

Everytime developers need to update the tool, they can’t afford the downtime of upgrading. Also, in terms of load on the tool, there are many, many more consumers. The repository manager became such a central point of development, where developers deposit binaries, and then QA takes them for testing, and finally they put them in production, or they throw them away – so the loads on the repository manager became so huge that we required multiple instances a lot of the time to manage the flow.

So this solution solves two problems: The first is to distribute the load, and the second, which is we actually got more demand for, is to make sure that there is no down time for your artifactory server.

Artifactory 3.1 

What were the biggest challenges that you faced in making this project come together?

The first one was coming up with a good and simple architecture. One of the main goals that we set for the theme and the architecture group that we set up was that configuring and  installing the software should be very simple.

The second challenge was [making sure] that adding new servers was also going to be super easy. We wanted it to be that, once the original server was in place, it would be very simple to add new servers on to your cluster. Finally, the other challenge was just making sure that you have good visibility as a manager, as an administrator, to understand the components, so that it’s very easy to see the state of the full cluster, if a server is down…and so on.

Do you think that this release will change how people view Artifactory?

Basically, since the need came from our current market – it was a demand for a much more robust artifact management solution – so the target audience is mainly enterprises – and it’s mainly enterprises that are already using Artifactory, or are considering adopting Artifactory, and are holding back because they think that the homegrown solution may be more resilient. That’s no longer true.

How has your client base grown in the last year – have you seen a lot more people coming on board in general?

Yes, actually. JFrog basically paved the way for a whole new domain – which is the whole artifact management business.

We started to see the adoption curve getting much more velocity over the past year. We are seeing not only early adopters and startups. We’ve seen large enterprise adoption before – but we’re starting to see legacy enterprises adopting Artifactory and using it as a tool for managing legacy builds. Like C and C++ builds.

Basically, what’s happening in the domain today is that those builds which were once monolithic builds that used to take days or even weeks until we could get a version are going through the phase of adopting continuous integration, building up those systems into much more modular, smaller builds that allow them to be more agile and to release more often.

Artifactory is no exception to that. It’s becoming part of the chain. We see a lot of legacy systems moving to manage their build artifacts on Artifactory. That’s one big change we saw in the past year.

What’s in store for JFrog this year?

The next news will be related to Bintray. Right now, the whole module system is just exploding. Because of the cloud, and because of the fact that it doesn’t make sense for anyone to develop a usable system, or any kind of software system, without making it modular, without supporting tagging, without supporting extensibility to modules that can be downloaded – those  modules can be technical packages that give your system more functionality, they can be small applications like mobile devices – so anything that’s consuming binaries from the cloud today.

And this is part of the reason why we developed Bintray. We are seeing a huge growth – even every new programming language has modules that can be consumed from the cloud – so we see a huge adoption and a huge growth in downloadable, pluggable software from the cloud.

Basically, the aim of JFrog is to give you one solution to go from development, which we have done very well up until now – all the way through the cloud, and to distribution – using fully integrated tools, of course.

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