Continuous Integration (CI)
Drone vs CodeFresh
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Harness DevOps Tools Vs. CodeFresh
*Last updated: 3/31/2021
Detailed Feature Comparison
Drone Vs. CodeFresh
Codefresh was founded in 2014. It only offers a paid version – no open-source version is available. Drone is open-source. There is, however, a paid version of Drone that provides access to enterprise support and more integrations and features. Additional features include secrets management options, autoscaling, custom plugins, and more. We’d also like to mention that Codefresh only provides an on-prem version of their software when you’re on the enterprise plan. Drone is, of course, on-prem on its free version as well as enterprise.
For the most part, Codefresh is self-service. There are gaps, of course, as it is a newer tool. For example, there isn’t much community support available and the documentation is spotty. It can therefore take some time to get properly acquainted with the product. However, once you familiarize yourself and get past the learning curve, it’s a good platform. Drone is built upon three pillars that enable engineers to build and test code quickly and accurately: simple, scalable, self-service. Drone installs in under 5 minutes, scales on demand, and all plugins run in containers on their latest version. This means less person hours spent by engineers maintaining the tool, and more time on what matters: getting that code to artifact. It is worth noting that Codefresh has fewer plugin selections than Drone, so some time may be spent creating your own solutions, should you choose Codefresh.
Codefresh recently added a new feature called Secret Storage, which allows you to keep sensitive data on your cluster and for Codefresh to request it during pipeline execution on user’s demand. This feature is only available on their enterprise plan. Drone offers encryption on its open-source version. Meanwhile, the enterprise version offers these alternatives: encrypted, native, or externally, through third-party providers such as AWS Secret Manager, Kubernetes Secrets, and HashiCorp Vault. No matter how you want your secrets to be handled, Drone can rise to the occasion.
When it comes to maintenance, Codefresh isn’t nearly as bulky as a Jenkins, for instance. Plugins are run in containers, so there’s no need for maintenance there. Overall, Codefresh typically requires 2 FTEs to set up and maintain. However, it’s still a far cry from Drone’s .25 FTEs. Drone is an extremely portable solution without scripting, plugin maintenance, or dependency hell – or much else in terms of maintenance, for that matter. The plug-and-play nature of Drone ensures the only work you have to perform, other than the initial setup and configuration of course, is administration – such as adding and removing users, permissions, etc.
One of the downfalls of Codefresh is the amount of resources it consumes. Users have stated in the past that it’s easy to lose track of resources and end up with a heftier-than-expected cloud bill. Keeping a watchful eye on resource consumption will be necessary. Add on top the 2 FTEs required to keep Codefresh running, and it makes for a pricey solution. Drone, however, only “costs” .25 FTEs – and is completely free. Even the feature-rich enterprise version of Drone is more fiscally prudent.
Codefresh offers 3 different pricing plans. Their basic plan, which is a very pared-down barebones plan, allows up to 3 users and supports one concurrent build. Prices are based on instance size. For example, if you chose 1 small instance, 3 medium, and 1 large, you’ll be paying $444 per month. Their pro plan starts at $34 per month for up to 10 users with 1 concurrent build on 1 small instance. The same example as the basic plan would cost you $570 per month on the pro plan. Codefresh also has an enterprise plan, but pricing is unavailable publicly as it will depend on your individual circumstances and needs. This plan is the most feature-rich, of course, offering secrets management, RBAC, SAML, SSO, and can accommodate unlimited users. To add another layer of complexity, these prices are all if you sign up on an annual basis – monthly pricing is more expensive. To compare, our $570 per month example from above would cost $825 on a monthly basis. Lastly, there is a free tier in the basic plan that supports 1 concurrent build on 1 small instance and up to 3 users. This could potentially be enough for personal projects. Drone is free and available for download. It also has an enterprise version that is extremely feature-rich, but does have pricing attached to it. To familiarize yourself with enterprise pricing, please contact sales.
*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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