CI/CD / DevOps / Open Source

Harness Acquires Drone.io for Open Source Containerized Continuous Integration

5 Aug 2020 6:00am, by

Rounding out its portfolio to offer a full software delivery platform, continuous delivery (CD) software provider Harness has acquired open source continuous integration (CI) software company Drone.io, the two companies announced Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed.

From Drone.io’s perspective, the acquisition “just means Drone is going to get better, faster. Harness has a tremendous vision, a great company culture,” said Brad Rydzewski, CEO and founder of Drone.io. “We’re not going to change everything. We’ll still be developer-focused. But now we can take advantage of more resources and we can bring more ambition to the project.”

In addition to expanding Harness’ presence in the ever-evolving CI/CD space, this purchase will be Harness’ first foray into open source software. Much like New Relic announced a shift to open source last week, Harness is moving towards incorporating open source into its business strategy, said Jyoti Bansal, CEO and co-founder of Harness, in an interview with The New Stack.

Harness itself started as a company that was strictly focused on providing continuous delivery services. Many organizations tried to extend their CI tools into also managing the deployment of the finished software artifact built and tested on the CI chain, but this was an ill-fit, Bansal noted.  In June, the company extended its platform to provide financial information of infrastructure usage.

Nonetheless, Bansal sees the integrated CI/CD space evolving into a larger concern, that of software delivery, and having a CI component would be necessary to support the entire lifecycle, he said. IDC is projecting that the DevOps software market will reach $15 billion by 2023.

Drone.io appealed to Harness for a number of reasons, Bansal noted. A thriving open source community has grown up around the software — over 50,000 active users at last count.  CapitalOne, Cisco, eBay, and VMware have all used Drone.io. The software is easy to deploy and manage, in Bansal’s estimation. It also fits in with cutting-edge cloud native GitOps-driven architectures. In the press announcement, Harness noted that:

 Instead of requiring scripts, continuous integration pipelines can be declared and managed as code in Git, which means they have standard syntax, require less work and are easy for engineers to create, use, maintain and troubleshoot. Drone.io plugins are all containerized—and therefore standardized—making them easy to download, use, upgrade and create.

Harness estimates that Drone.io could save engineers time and cost of continuous integration tasks by 5-10X, giving them more time to focus on writing code.

Harness pledges to support Drone.io’s open source community, and currently is reviewing its own software to look for potential release as open source. The open source Drone will be rebranded as Harness CI Community Edition. The current Drone Enterprise release will be sold as Harness CI Essentials Edition, and later this year, Harness will introduce Harness CI Enterprise Edition.

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