This post is from the XebiaLabs blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.
Take Control of Release and Audit Complexity with the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 9.5
We’re excited to announce the latest release of the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform! Version 9.5 is available now and offers some amazing new features:
- Delivery patterns, the world's first mechanism for synchronizing the delivery of business applications across different technical release pipelines
- Bigger and better audit and compliance reporting capabilities
- Improved resiliency for high availability deployment setups
- More robust handling of logs for deployment plan steps
- Support for more source control management tools in the XL CLI
- New blueprints for Azure Resource Manager, HashiCorp Vault, and CyberArk Conjur
- Lots of new features to make life easier for platform administrators
Keep reading to learn more!
Delivery patterns help teams manage release complexity
Managing complex application release processes across the enterprise is hard. Teams move at different speeds through iterative build-test-deploy cycles; dependencies between applications slow down pipelines and introduce risk; planned features are delayed or descoped without business stakeholders knowing about it; and the information required to track it all is spread across a hundred different tools and systems.
To help organizations achieve effective enterprise-scale software delivery, XL Release 9.5 introduces delivery patterns that let you to synchronize the delivery of business applications as a whole across different technical release pipelines. Delivery patterns give all stakeholders a 50,000-foot view of their software releases from a business perspective. They allow DevOps teams, release managers, product owners, and others to:
- Track the components that make up a complete business application as they progress through technical release pipelines
- Synchronize those components so they can be released together
- Visualize the real-time status of components across release pipelines
- Control the release of components so dependencies are preserved
You create a pattern to represent a complete business application, or to represent multiple applications that are based on multiple components across different release pipelines. The pattern documents the flow of activities that the application(s) or component(s) must move through as they go from planning to production. Patterns are reusable, which means they help teams make their business software deliveries repeatable and consistent. XL Release supports patterns such as Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) release trains, multi-pipeline releases, "big bang" milestone releases, master/subreleases, and interdependent microservice releases.
With delivery patterns, you can:
- Model software deliveries in reusable, repeatable patterns for development, testing, and deployment to production or any other environment
- Achieve stable, consistent business application deliveries while giving development teams the freedom to design and run their own technical release processes
- Use patterns to establish and enforce a schedule for the overall business delivery while allowing individual teams to work at their own pace
- Group and track feature requests, bug fixes, and more through the delivery process, regardless of how many release pipelines support those items and regardless of dependencies between pipelines
- Create delivery stages that track the status of work that is being done across multiple release pipelines and provide at-a-glance overviews for business stakeholders
- Synchronize the components that make up a complete business application, so you have full control over the timing of release activities across teams, projects, and pipelines
- Descope features, bug fixes, and other items from a delivery with full visibility and transparency for everyone who is involved
Audit and compliance reporting that’s better than ever
Our one-of-a-kind release audit report provides comprehensive auditability for every single release you run, on-demand, with a push of a button. It gives you detailed information about the tasks a release contained, who executed those tasks, when and where they were executed, and which tools the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform worked with to run automated tasks.
Now, when you’re generating audit reports for multiple releases at once, you can select releases based on the applications, environments, or ServiceNow change numbers that are related to them. And you can easily monitor the progress of audit reports as they are generated and delete old audit reports that are no longer needed.
In addition, detailed information about Checkmarx tests that ran during the release is now available in the audit report’s Security and Compliance activity category, and detailed information about Ansible deployments is available in the report’s Deployment activity category.
Plus, we’ve introduced a new reportAPI that lets you make release audit reports your own by including the custom data your auditors need—even if your CI/CD toolchain includes tools that we don’t support out-of-the-box.
Improved resiliency for high availability setups
XL Deploy’s master-worker setup provides high availability and horizontal scalability by distributing deployment loads across worker nodes that are managed by a master node. Now, you can create or schedule a deployment, even when there is not a worker available to run it. XL Deploy will queue the deployment task and automatically execute it when a worker is available.
In addition, XL Deploy saves information about your session while you’re logged in to the GUI, so if the master node fails, you won’t lose your work when XL Deploy recovers and your session is transferred to the new master node.
More robust handling of historical logs for deployment plan steps
Now, when a step in a deployment plan fails and you retry it, XL Deploy saves all log data from the failed execution of the step. These complete step logs allow you to review everything that happened during step execution, even if a step failed and was retried many times. This improvement also applies to deployment plan steps that are executed on satellites.In addition, you can now store step logs for deployments that are executed on worker nodes in Elastic Stack, so log data is not lost if a worker fails.
New blueprints for Microsoft Azure and Secrets Management tools
Blueprints let DevOps experts define infrastructure, release pipelines, dashboards, and more in code. Teams across the enterprise can use blueprints to on-board applications to the CI/CD toolchain, to implement best practices such as automated testing, and to migrate applications to new platforms.
Our collection of out-of-the-box blueprints includes a new blueprint that makes it easy for teams to start managing sensitive data required for environment provisioning and application deployment (such as passwords and API keys) in HashiCorp Vault or CyberArk Conjur. In addition, we’ve released a new blueprint that helps teams get started with Azure Resource Manager (ARM), the infrastructure-as-code tool for provisioning Microsoft Azure instances.
Expanded source control management support in the XL CLI
Storing blueprints in a source control management system makes it easy to version-control them and to share them across teams and projects. The XL CLI can now retrieve blueprints that are stored in BitBucket.org, BitBucket Server, or GitLab source control management.
New features to make administrators’ lives easier
In addition to exciting new product functionality, we’ve made improvements for the teams who install and maintain the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform:
- The process of upgrading XL Deploy and XL Release has been streamlined, with options for automatically copying plugins and configuration files from your old installation to the new one.
- In XL Release, the Edit Task permission has been broken down into 13 separate permissions that give you fine-grained control over the actions that users can take on release tasks.
- The XL Deploy GUI includes an overview of users who are logged in and active, as well as the number of running deployment tasks and control tasks that each user owns.
- A new XL Deploy API allows you to access users’ last log-in date and time, so you can verify whether there are inactive user accounts that should be removed from the system.
- Get into the Same Rhythm: Software Delivery Synchronization
- Software Chain of Custody: Collect. Visualize. Report. Prove.
- Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant: Application Release Orchestration
- Gartner: Critical Capabilities for Application Release Orchestration
- From Chaos to Compliance: The New Digital Governance for DevOps