Continuous Integration (CI)
Drone vs Jenkins X
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Harness DevOps Tools Vs. Jenkins X
*Last Updated: 4/7/2021
Detailed Feature Comparison
Drone Vs. Jenkins X
Jenkins X is an open-source solution, and as such, only offers an on-prem version. Drone is also open-source. There is, however, also 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.
Jenkins X was created as a cloud-native version of Jenkins, and with that comes Kubernetes , pipeline automation, GitOps, Terraform, secrets management, and more. Some may wonder what the benefits of Kubernetes are, and we’d point you to this: not only can Jenkins X run and scale on Kubernetes itself, it can help you deploy your applications to Kubernetes with a relatively simple setup. Each job is typically run in its own container, run ad-hoc, so it will get placed anywhere within the cluster as you’ve described in your node affinities. Underlying kubelets can scale horizontally if you have Cluster Autoscaler or something similar that’s augmenting your cluster’s elasticity. All this to say, compared to the OG Jenkins, this is a treasure trove of modern features. Less toil, fewer setup issues, no scripting. Fewer person hours on maintenance. Fewer plugins. Easy scaling. But – let’s switch the focus from Jenkins X vs. Jenkins, and look at what we’re all really after: Jenkins X vs. Drone. From a general standpoint, Jenkins X could use further improvement. The tool’s UI is complex, it doesn’t offer good error messaging (ie: why did my build fail?), and lacks integrations. Jenkins X has only a few plugins to its name as well, most of them in this GitHub repo, and while admin and maintenance time/effort is much smaller than on Jenkins (.25 FTEs vs. 2-5 FTEs), it’s still not a completely simple 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.
A great feature of Drone is that everything is run in a container. A massive plus of containerized plugins is that the plugins are maintained to their latest version and create no dependency chains. They require no updating. Drone offers 150 plugins, thereby dramatically increasing the extensibility of the tool. Jenkins X, however, still involves managing dependency versions manually. That is to say, it does not pull dependencies from immutable and versioned container images like Drone. This gives Drone an edge by reducing the maintenance overhead upon the DevOps engineers managing the system.
Jenkins X does not offer native secrets management capabilities, but it comes pretty close. It leverages Kubernetes External Secrets, an open-source tool created by GoDaddy engineers, which integrates with third-party secret management tools, such as HashiCorp Vault, AWS Secrets Manager, Azure Key Vault, and Google Secret Manager. Drone offers encryption in its open-source version. Meanwhile, the enterprise version offers these alternatives: encrypted, native, or externally, through third-party providers such as HashiCorp Vault, AWS Secret Manager, and Kubernetes Secrets. No matter how you want your secrets to be handled, Drone can rise to the occasion.
Jenkins X has no pricing associated with it as it is open-source. Drone is also 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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