Continuous Delivery with a Real Deployment Platform

By Rahul Singh
Aug 25, 2015

In recent years, continuous delivery of software has become an integral part of almost every software team. Developers have become accustomed to simply committing code to their git or mercurial repositories and watching an automated system kick off a build and run tests. If the build fails, offenders (and often the entire team) receive emails letting everyone know who is on the hook to fix the build. This ensures accountability while helping everyone ship better software faster.

Most commercial and open source continuous integration systems use the moniker CI/CD - Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment - to describe what they do. While continuous integration (CI) is now a well solved problem, the Continuous Deployment (CD) bit, still leaves a lot to be desired.

The Unsolved Problem

The holy grail of software delivery is to commit to your source repository and watch the new version of your code automatically deployed and running to your beta or QA stack. If you’re deploying to a PaaS, such as Heroku, you can already do this today. However, for the rest of us that deploy to a private data center, a private cloud, or a public cloud with servers in a VPC we’re left out in the cold.

The only option left is for us to write our own deployment scripts that push code to our servers over SSH, and then do the necessary dance to get our app deployed and the new version of the code started.

The fact that our CI system allows us to plug in our hand-rolled script to do deployments on successful builds is little consolation. I believe developers have a higher bar for automation and the general consensus is that we can do better. I was at Amazon for almost 9 years and I confirm that this is indeed the case.

The holy grail of software delivery is to commit to your source repository and watch the new version of your code automatically deployed and running to your beta or QA stack.

Announcing CI with a Real CD Platform

Distelli is a new Deployment Platform that solves the “CD” problem and solves it well. I’m pleased to announce that developers can now connect their Git or Mercurial repositories to Distelli and build & deploy code, in any language, to any server. Furthermore, all successful builds can be automatically deployed to any server anywhere - private clouds, private servers, servers in an AWS VPC and even the server under your desk.

Distelli keeps track of all your builds, releases, deployments, and the environments (QA, Dev, Test or Prod) that those releases were deployed to, as well as the developers who built and deployed them. We’ll automatically notify you and your team of all successful or failed builds and deployments via email, HipChat or Slack, so you can ship code even faster.

You can even deploy to the server under your desk.

You’ll be notified via Email, HipChat or Slack of all new deployments and be able to go through a history of all past deployments for every application and see who did what and when. And the best part is that we can do all of this without requiring SSH access to your servers.

How Distelli Works

Distelli is a flexible yet powerful deployment platform you can use in production today. Here is a list of features we hope you’ll find useful:

  • Travis compatible Continuous Integration
  • Build and deploy directly from Git or Mercurial repositories
  • Build Notifications via Email, HipChat or Slack channels
  • Builds powered by Docker
  • Provision On-Premise build servers with one-click
  • Deploy to any server without SSH access
  • Deployment notifications via Email, HipChat or Slack Channels
  • Real-Time deployment logs streamed directly to your browser
  • Environments for easy deployments to QA, Dev, Test or Prod
  • Audit trails that keep a history of all Releases & Deployments
  • Integrated Process Management so you don’t have to write nanny scripts
  • Real-Time Process stdout logs streamed to your browser
You can check out our documentation and sign-up for an account. Distelli can deploy your code to your servers without requiring SSH.

While we have been in production and powering deployments across thousands of servers for paying customers for almost 3 years, today is the first major announcement since we raised our Series A from Andreessen Horowitz. I’m also excited about the fact that our roadmap for the rest of this year is deep and wide and I’m looking forward to being able to tell you more about some of the other new features we will be announcing in the upcoming weeks.