Continuous Delivery (CD)
Azure DevOps vs Harness
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Harness DevOps Tools Vs. Azure DevOps
*Last Updated: 3/31/2021
Detailed Feature Comparison
Harness CD Vs. Azure DevOps
Azure DevOps offers both SaaS and on-prem options. However, the on-prem version does come with some drawbacks. Namely, features are available immediately in the SaaS version, while on-prem users must wait longer for them to be implemented. There are also differences in scaling capabilities, user management, security, and authentication. Depending on your organization’s needs, these differences/feature delays could cause issues. Harness offers SaaS and on-prem versions – and they both offer the same features.
Azure DevOps provides flexibility and quite customizable pipelines, though the initial setup could be more streamlined. Migrating from another platform can be very complicated if trying to replicate your old setup exactly. Azure DevOps refers to their plugins as extensions, and the size of their marketplace rivals Jenkins’ – in other words, their extension store does provide a ton of extensibility to the platform. Where Azure could improve is in its performance: certain queries/requests are slow, and CPU/memory get eaten up quickly.
To utilize Canary deployments with Azure DevOps, there’s a process to follow, which Azure helpfully details end-to-end. It’s a cumbersome process when you can have a platform like Harness that provides Canary deployments out of the box – no coding required, only some minor config.
Azure DevOps doesn’t offer a “built-in” option. Infrastructure provisioners are provided via extensions on the Azure Marketplace, which include both Terraform and CloudFormation. However, since they come as extensions, there are multiple options to review for Terraform, so some research is needed to pick the right version for your needs. For instance, the Microsoft DevLabs extension has 24k downloads but 2.5 stars – and awful reviews. While some extensions are decent, none seem to provide the same set of features as our integration. Indeed, Harness’ Terraform integration is more robust and gives users advanced templating, which makes it easier to manage and scale. Additionally, Harness easily pairs the execution of Terraform to the delivery pipeline, especially for ephemeral environments. Lastly, we also offer a CloudFormation integration, if that’s your provider of choice. All other infrastructure provisioners are supported via shell script.
When it comes to GitOps, Azure DevOps provides full GitOps for pipelines, but not for releases. Harness provides full GitOps capabilities – anytime, anywhere.
Continuous Verification is the process of monitoring your app for abnormalities after a deployment. For example, Continuous Verification could catch a latency issue or 5xx errors and automatically roll back your app to the previous version. The idea is to catch errors as quickly as possible – ideally, before customers notice – and make a seamless transition back to the prior version. Azure DevOps does not offer any CV features – not even manual verification. We do want to clarify that there is a way to achieve ‘smart rollbacks’ (quick rollbacks to the previous stable version), but it involves a powershell script via an extension – not at all intuitive. Harness, however, provides Continuous Verification out of the box, effectively reducing risk and reputational damage from downtime. As for vendor integrations, Harness supports Prometheus, Datadog, AppDynamics, New Relic, StackDriver, CloudWatch, and custom monitoring and observability tools.
There are four key metrics when it comes to software development: Lead Time (the average amount of time it takes from the time code is checked in to the version control system to the point in time where it is deployed to production), Deployment Frequency (the number of times deploys to production occur in a time period), Mean Time to Restore (MTTR: how long it takes to resolve or rollback an error in production), and Change Failure Rate (what percentage of changes to production fail). These metrics are paramount in truly understanding performance. Azure DevOps provides similar but incomplete metrics that require some extrapolation. These metrics include a chart for your build history, deployment status, release pipeline overview, and requirements quality. As such, Azure DevOps still requires manual work. Harness offers a beautiful dashboard specifically for these metrics and allows you to set alerts as needed – for example, you could set an alert to notify you if the Change Failure Rate goes above 1%.
*Please note: Our competitors, just like us, release updates to their products on a regular cadence. We keep these pages updated to the best of our ability, but there are bound to be discrepancies. For the most up-to-date information on competitor features, browsing the competitor’s new release pages and communities are your best bet.
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