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InfoQ Homepage News Shippable Launches Version 2.0 Leveraging Docker-Based Applications

Shippable Launches Version 2.0 Leveraging Docker-Based Applications

Shippable recently announced its new platform in the virtualization space, which now supports containerized workflows. According to the press release, is the first platform to achieve it and is designed to leverage Docker containers to the fullest.

InfoQ spoke to Avi Cavale, co-founder and CEO at Shippable to get further detail on this.

InfoQ: Briefly, how would you describe Shippable?

Avi Cavale: Shippable is a continuous delivery platform that helps enterprises innovate faster by shipping software “early and often”. We help companies containerize their DevOps workflows and automate application lifecycle from “code to production”. This includes continuous integration and deployment, automated topology/functional testing, versioning and packaging of application containers with one click upgrade/rollback, dev/test lab management, etc. We can help DevOps teams shrink their dev/test lab footprint by over 50% with our instant, on demand, containerized labs. Our platform is natively built on Docker and runs over 12,000 containers, making it one of the largest deployments of Docker in production. Even if the company is not ready to move to Docker in production, leveraging containers in dev and test workflows brings a lot of value and Shippable is focused on helping DevOps teams achieve that. Containerization has gained a lot of momentum in the last year and we’re at the forefront of this disruption since we embraced Docker from the day it was open sourced.


InfoQ: There are several solutions for cloud hosting available. What is going to be your additional value?

AC: Shippable is actually complementary to hosting providers since it “fits” between source control providers at one end and hosting providers on the other, with the goal of automating everything in between. Our value props go way beyond hosting as explained above. There are a lot of steps involved between writing code and actually shipping a product, and we own that pipeline where the ‘decision to ship’ is taken. We can help businesses cut their dev/test lab footprint by over 50% since we can spin up (and down) containerized environments instantly and on demand. These environments perfectly replicate production so every code change is tested against a real topology. This helps automate functional/topology testing and find bugs that are traditionally found during manual test passes, reducing the need for static test labs. Developer testing suddenly becomes much more efficient than the traditional one box CI. I spoke about this at Gluecon, you can find the slide deck here:


InfoQ: Can you please explain, from a technical point of view, what containerize exactly means?

AC: DevOps in the traditional sense is about programmatically recreating what exists in one environment in another, from beta to production for example. This is very inefficient, error prone and most importantly non-repeatable. The main reason for non-repeatability is that the dependency packages of the applications are not immutable i.e. the scripts might install different versions depending on when installed. Containerization solves this by creating immutable application containers which are an amalgamation of base OS image along with a particular version of code that is fully tested. Once a container is committed it will forever remain immutable and be just shipped around to different host machines without having to redeploy. This helps both in speed of deployment as well as portability. Best yet, these containers can be layered over each other as opposed to building from ground up in case of VMs. We make all this super simple to implement and manage for enterprises who want to innovate faster. We believe the first wave of adoption is in development and test workflows, and Shippable is focused on helping enterprises make that transformation. We help teams be more efficient about their 'decision to ship' their application.


InfoQ: Which are the platforms supported by your solution?

AC: Shippable is fully integrated with GitHub and Bitbucket for source control, Docker Hub for container management, and Chef and Puppet for teams that want to deploy to hypervisors in production. We also support deployment to any PaaS and we're partnering with Google to deploy of docker-ized applications to any cloud supported by Google’s open source project Kubernetes.
We offer two different platforms for our customers: a multi-tenant service and dedicated hosts where the orchestration is through the hosted service and the containers run on the customers’ host machines. An on-premise platform is in private beta and can work with on-premise git like GitHub Enterprise.


InfoQ: Can you tell us a bit about expansion plans?

AC: My co-founder Manisha and I began Shippable in 2013 and we’ve grown to over 15 employees since then. We have over 20,000 customers and we’re adding thousands each week. Our mission is to deliver a complete Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) platform for containerized applications. We are super excited about our dedicated hosts offering. This model allows customers to set up dev/test labs with one or more dedicated hosts in a few minutes. These machines can be on-premise or in the cloud, and can be physical or virtual machines. We layer our Shippable fabric on each host and you have an end to end dedicated continuous delivery platform ready to go in a couple of minutes! We are soon introducing a third on-premise solution, or “Shippable in a box”, which customers can self-host. This version is currently in private beta, and we will share more details about timing for GA.


InfoQ: Are you using Shippable to support this new Release of the Product? Can you share any other case study please?

AC: Yes, we use Shippable to build Shippable. We’re very happy with our recent version 2.0 release and have more than doubled the number of users since we launched the new version on September 9. We’ll share customer stories and start showcasing them soon. We have a case study we did with StockTwits after they moved from Jenkins to Shippable.

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