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Harness DevOps Tools Vs. Spinnaker
*Last Updated: 6/10/2021
Detailed Feature Comparison
Harness CD Vs. Spinnaker
Spinnaker is only offered on-prem – no SaaS option (though, Armory does have a beta in progress to offer a SaaS version of Spinnaker). Harness delivers both, so no matter your use case, we’re ready and able to help.
Spinnaker is a nightmare to set up and configure, even for organizations with relatively simple setups. The difficulty increases exponentially for organizations with complex CD processes. We’ll happily quote Armory admitting, “It often takes 2-4 full-time engineers to install, operate and configure Spinnaker on-prem.” There are also gaps in the documentation, so finding answers to questions can be a burden on engineers, who often are left to figure it out by themselves. Prior to July 2020, plugins didn’t exist for Spinnaker. Armory, the enterprise-grade version of Spinnaker, created a plugin framework for Spinnaker – which is good progress in terms of opportunities for extensibility. However, there is a very limited list of available plugins. Other than this repo of example plugins, creators are expected to host plugins in their own repos and choose to make them publicly available or not, so there is no main easy-to-find central plugin index. Alternatively, the Harness platform is designed with simplicity in mind. Engineers can get simple pipelines running in 5 minutes, encouraging adoption and ensuring an easy transition/migration.
Spinnaker provides no support for traditional apps in Java or .NET, among other technologies. It was designed to be cloud-native only. Harness supports many traditional apps, including custom creations.
For a very long time, Spinnaker didn’t offer a Terraform integration. They finally went GA with their Terraform integration last year. Their integration is roughly the same as how most users leverage the Terraform process: download the Terraform configs and run the commands. 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.
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. There are tools that can be added to Spinnaker to provide deployment verification. 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.
Spinnaker doesn’t offer built-in secrets management, but they do support HashiCorp Vault, Google Cloud Storage, AWS S3, and the AWS Secrets Manager. Harness, on the other hand, offers proprietary, integrated secrets management. No third parties are required, but all of the major secrets managers are supported.
Armory, the enterprise-grade version of Spinnaker, does offer audit trails, but the open-source Spinnaker itself does not. Harness provides audit trails on every pipeline, workflow, step, execution, and change. It’s all audited by Harness so you have a complete trail of all user activity.
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. Spinnaker does not offer any Accelerate metrics tracking or reporting. 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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