Harness

Continuous Integration

VS

Buildkite

Continuous Integration

Harness CI is an enterprise–grade, cloud native CI product. It’s designed for developer self-service while enabling DevOps and Platform engineers to extend granular and customized governance at scale.
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Buildkite

Buildkite is a platform for running fast, secure, and scalable continuous integration pipelines on your own infrastructure.

Company size
Company size

11-50

Founded
Founded

2013

Funding
Funding

28.2m

BuildKite is categorized as:
Continuous Integration

Harness DevOps Tools Vs. BuildKite

BuildKite vs Drone: DevOps Tools Comparison | Harness

Updated

January 30, 2022

  • Open Source Version
  • GitHub Stars
  • Self-Service (Simple)
  • No Scripting Required
  • Container & Cloud-Native
  • Traditional App Support
  • GitOps (Pipelines as Code)
  • Any Source Code Manager
  • Containerized Pipelines
  • Containerized Plugins
  • Secrets Management
  • Command Line Interface
  • Scalability (Required Infra)
  • Admin & Maintenance
  • Total Cost of Ownership
  • Pricing

Free & Paid

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Paid

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Detailed Feature Comparison Harness DevOps Tools Vs. Buildkite

DevOps tools Vs. Buildkite

Open source vs. Open core:

Buildkite is not an open-source product. Their agent is, but it stops there. Buildkite offers a free plan specifically for open-source projects, students, and teachers/schools. It also provides deep discounts for charities and non-profits. Regular businesses, however, will pay full price for the product. On the other hand, when Harness acquired Drone, it committed to keeping it open-source forever. Harness recently reaffirmed its investment in the open-source solution with a massive release where a sleeker interface, new visual pipeline builder, governance and security features, and real-time debugging tools were added. While this feature-rich version is free, there is also a paid version of Drone that provides access to enterprise support and more integrations and features yet. Additional features include secrets management options, autoscaling, custom plugins, and more.

Self-Service (Simple):

Buildkite is flexible and customizable, and boasts an easy setup and configuration process. With their agent hooks, it’s possible to create custom logic that overrides the tool’s innate logic. There are even sample scripts that can be used – but anything else will result in some amount of manual scripting, which isn’t ideal. The tool is extensible, with 113 containerized plugins available at the time of this writing. These plugins cover a wide variety of integrations and extensions, and the tool itself covers most popular languages. Additionally, in our CI/CD Buyer’s Guide (another great resource for engineers shopping for a new platform), we stated that Buildkite is a CI/CD tool – not just CI – since it can handle deployments as well. Drone offers an easy “get started” experience where you can be up and running in 5 minutes. Drone also benefits from roughly 150 containerized plugins, profoundly extending the functionality of the tool. Drone scales on demand. All of this means less person hours spent by engineers maintaining the tool or waiting for slowness/downtime to resolve, and more time on what matters: getting that code to artifact.

No Scripting Required:

If you have an extremely simple setup, you can possibly avoid scripting in Buildkite thanks to their agent hooks as described above – but realistically, there will be scripts. While scripting isn’t the bane of our existence, it is time that could be spent shipping code. It is toil. Drone is much more intuitive and is mostly configuration as code. Gone are the days of scripting.

Secrets Management:

Buildkite does not offer native secrets management capabilities. They recommend using a third party provider and leveraging plugins to read and expose secrets. It appears that, so far, AWS Secrets Manager, HashiCorp Vault, and GCP Secret Manager are supported through plugins (search ‘secrets’ to reveal plugin availability). Drone offers encryption on its open-source version. Meanwhile, the enterprise version offers these alternatives: encrypted, native, or external, 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.

Pricing:

Buildkite enjoys giving back to the community by providing a free plan for open-source projects, students, and teaching organizations. This plan is obviously lacking in features, but provides the basics on an unlimited basis. As far as paid plans go, Buildkite offers a standard plan at $15 per user per month that includes support and SSO. Lastly, the enterprise plan will run companies $2999 per month (annual payment only, which means you’ll need to fork over ~$36,000 in one payment), for up to 100 users. Additional users cost $29 per month. Drone offers an open-source version that is free, and while the enterprise (paid) version does provide an arguably more robust product, the free version is already quite feature-rich and will suffice for many use cases. Download Drone now. 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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