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8 Best Continuous Deployment Tools (CI/CD) to Consider in 2021

October 25, 2021

6 Min Read
Continuous Deployment Tools

If you are here, I assume you are aware of Continuous Deployment and how it helps businesses deploy app-level changes, upgrades, and updates in the minimum effort while maximizing productivity and efficiency.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) have simplified software development and deployment cycles by automating processes from production to deployment.

Selecting the right Continuous Deployment tool depends on having an understanding of the diversity of tools and whether the features offered by a tool are the right fit for your dev and deployment processes.

In this article, I’ll walk you through eight powerful CI/CD tools. In particular, I will mention the features that will continue to add value to your processes in 2021 and onwards. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear idea of which tool to use, and why, plus how you can build a perfect DevOps pipeline.

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What (and Why) is Continuous Deployment?

Let’s have a quick recap of what you already know,

devops release pipeline

Image Ref: devops.com

CI and CD are often considered two terms for the same process. However, as you can see from the above image, there is a significant difference. Continuous Delivery refers to the delivery of code to the testing teams, while Continuous Deployment refers to the deployment of code to the production environment.

Continuous Deployment provides incredible efficiency advantages for businesses with software development processes. Businesses can quickly test new ideas and features and adapt to evolving consumer demands.

With a Continuous Deployment pipeline in place, teams can respond to customer feedback in near real-time. As customers send in bug reports or requests for new features, teams can quickly respond and deploy changes and updates. As a result, new features and updates reach customers as soon as the code is moved into production.

8 Best CI CD Tools

With the increasing demand for CI/CD pipeline implementations, a number of tools have become popular in the industry. The following list of the top eight best CI/CD tools pretty much covers all important options.

  1. DeployBot
  2. GitLab
  3. AWS CodeDeploy
  4. Octopus Deploy
  5. Bamboo
  6. CircleCI
  7. Jenkins
  8. TeamCity

1. DeployBot

DeployBot makes deployment simple, fast, and easy without the need for a full Continuous Integration system. It creates a dependable process for the teams to deploy code where there is an integration interface protocol.

Features:

  • Deployment Tracking and file upload automation
  • Release notes for easy collaboration
  • Simplified server configuration
  • Code deployment without having to access the servers
  • Powerful deployment rollback
  • Real-time deployment progress tracking
  • Permission management for teams and clients

Pricing:

It is free to use for up to 10 deployments. Pricing starts from $25/month with unlimited deployments.

2. GitLab

GitLab is one of the top CI/CD tools for web developers designed for Continuous Integration that manages projects and provides a friendly user interface.

Features

  • Performance tracking
  • Powerful planning tools for distributed teams
  • Branching tools for creating, viewing, managing code and project data
  • Integrated development environment
  • Testing and reporting automation
  • Easy release of code

Pricing:

It is free to use for small teams and has affordable packages starting from $4/user/month

3. AWS CodeDeploy

A fully managed software deployment service for computing services such as AWS Lambda, Amazon EC2, AWS Fargate, and servers available on-premise.

Features:

  • Automated deployments
  • Deployment QA tracking
  • Centralized monitoring and control
  • Architecture and language compatibility
  • Powerful notifications system

Pricing:

There is no deployment cost. You pay $0.02/on-premises update of instance.

4. Octopus Deploy

Octopus Deploy is a platform to manage and automate the releases and deployment of code.

Features:

  • Easily create a deployment process
  • Swift configuration environments and variables
  • Build and manage the CI/CD pipeline

Pricing:

Octopus Deploy is free to use for up to 10 deployment targets.

5. Bamboo

Bamboo is another one of the best CI/CD tools that help with the integration and set up of automated builds, tests, and releases in a single DevOps flow. Bamboo works best with BitBucket and Jira Software for complete traceability from original planning to the final delivery of the changes.

Features:

  • Suitable for integration with a variety of tech stacks
  • Dedicated agents for running hotfixes and critical builds
  • Powerful visibility of history of code changes and submitted issues

Pricing:

Bamboo offers two packages for small and growing teams, starting at $10.

6. CircleCI

CircleCI’s Cloud Infrastructure is a great platform for integrating Continuous Integration and Delivery. The tools can be used on third-party private platforms with equally good results.

Features:

  • Docker supported
  • Choose your server configuration
  • Support all popular programming languages
  • Dashboard to track all steps of the process and get powerful insights
  • Powerful caching

Pricing:

It is free to use (offering 2,500 credits per month)0 and can do 1 job at a time. Further, the pricing starts at $30/month

7. Jenkins

Jenkins is an open-source automation server that allows developers to build, test, and deploy software with reliability.

Features:

  • Easy installation and configuration
  • Wide range of plugins
  • Extensible via plugins infrastructure
  • Easily distribute workload across multiple machines

Pricing:

Jenkins is open-source and free to use.

8. TeamCity

TeamCity is a CI/CD Server (developed by JetBrains) that works with all known testing frameworks and code QA tools, supports VE (Virtual Environments), and runs on all Operating Systems.

Features:

  • Provides integrations with popular version control tools
  • Offers Cloud integrations with Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, or with Kubernetes clusters
  • Tracks code quality
  • Maintains build history for rollbacks
  • System maintenance and user management

Pricing:

The professional server license is Free which offers 3 build agents. Further, the Build Agency License costs $299.

The One Right Tool for Continuous Deployment

There is no universal ‘right tool’ for continuous deployment processes. The selection of the right CI and CD tool depends entirely on your requirements and use cases.

The tools I mentioned earlier have limitations and advantages. The selection process should involve stakeholders from the core development team, QA and QC, and the deployment team. Project managers should take the lead as they are in touch with all stakeholders involved in the CI/CD workflow.

Where do Continuous Deployment Tools fit?

Let’s have a quick look at where CI and CD tools fit in the DevOps pipeline.

conitnuous deployment process

Ref: scoutapm.com

Deployment is the last stage of the DevOps pipeline and ensuring CD means that the whole process (build – testing, and staging) is properly automated.

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The Perfect DevOps Pipeline for Continuous Deployment

A DevOps pipeline is a set of practices developers and operations teams follow to ensure managed and focused development, testing, and deployment.

The Components of DevOps Pipeline includes;

devops pipleline

Continuous Integration

CI covers the processes for integrating code snippets/versions by the dev team to the shared working repository.

Continuous Delivery

This covers all practices and processes of speeding up the release process by pushing code to production.

Continuous Deployment

At this stage, code updates are deployed to the production environment without any manual interventions.

Continuous Testing

At this stage, code QA and overall software tests are continuously running to ensure a bug-free application.

Continuous Operations

Continuous operations aim to release code updates, patches, and bug fixes.

Conclusion

Automation in various processes is the key to faster team collaboration and efficient delivery and deployment of code/features with minimum human intervention. As such CI/CD have rapidly become an essential practice for high-performing software development teams

This list includes the best CI/CD tools currently the most popular in the market. Do let me know If I have missed your favorite CI and CD tools in the comments section below. That’s the whole idea of Continuous Improvement. 🙂

Q. What is continuous delivery in DevOps?

Continuous Delivery is the automated (or manual) process of building, testing, and delivering improvements to the codebase and user-focused environment

Q. Which is an example of continuous delivery?

A good example of Continuous Delivery is the delivery of bug fixes at the back end of SaaS products such as Google Docs.

Q. What is the difference between CI and CD?

Continuous Integration is the process of maintaining the codebase through the continuous integration of modules. Continuous Delivery is the process of testing and delivering these changes to the product frontend and backend.

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Salman Siddique

Salman is a content marketer with a CS background, so he is (very) good at creating and marketing technical content. When not working as a Digital Content Producer at Cloudways, he enjoys reading interesting stuff and learning new skills.

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