Continuous Integration/Continuous Development with FOSS Tools

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Up your DevOps game! Get the fundamentals of CI/CD with FOSS tools now!

One of the hottest topics within the DevOps space is Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD). This attention has drawn lots of investment dollars, and a vast array of proprietary Software As A Service (SaaS) tools have been created in the CI/CD space, which traditionally has been dominated by free open-source software (FOSS) tools. Is FOSS still the right choice with the low cost of many of these SaaS options?

It depends. In many cases, the cost of self-hosting these FOSS tools will be greater than the cost to use a non-FOSS SaaS option. However, even in today's cloud-centric and SaaS-saturated world, you may have good reasons to self-host FOSS. Whatever those reasons may be, just don't forget that "Free" isn't free when it comes to keeping a service running reliably 24/7/365. If you're looking at FOSS as a means to save money, make sure you account for those costs.

Even with those costs accounted for, FOSS still delivers a lot of value, especially to small and medium-sized organizations that are taking their first steps into DevOps and CI/CD. Starting with a commercialized FOSS product is a great middle ground. It gives a smooth growth path into the more advanced proprietary features, allowing you to pay for those only once you need them. Often called Open Core, this approach isn't universally loved, but when applied well, it has allowed for a lot of value to be created for everyone involved.

An Embarrassment of Riches

The DevOps concept exploded in the past several years. The term quickly saturated the mainstream technology industry. With this increased mindshare comes a corresponding increase in the number of tools available to accomplish DevOps-related tasks. That's a blessing and a curse as a DevOps practitioner. Thanks to the endless buffet of options, you're sure to find something that meets your needs, but to a newcomer, the multitude of choices is overwhelming. Combine that with the vast scope of tasks that fall under the DevOps umbrella and the competing claims of "best" from all sides, and you have a recipe for paralysis. A good place for finding tools and filtering by a variety of criteria is DevOpsBookmarks.com. The content is all open source, and the maintainers are diligent about merging contributions, but it hasn't seen a lot of updates lately. Despite that, it makes a great jumping off point. If you find something noteworthy that should be included, a pull request would be appreciated!