Release Update: XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 8.6.1 and Integrations

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XebiaLabs Support -

Dear XebiaLabs community,

We are pleased to announce the release of the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 8.6.1, which offers unique Risk Prediction capabilities for DevOps teams, new user-friendly graphical interfaces for infrastructure and environments, and major enhancements for cloud provisioning, DevOps as Code, blueprints, and the XebiaLabs command-line interface. In addition, we have released new versions of our integrations with Terraform, AWS, Kubernetes, and more.

Machine learning-based predictive risk analytics

XebiaLabs' new Risk Prediction module combines machine learning with a proprietary risk prediction algorithm to bring an unprecedented level of predictability and reliability to your release pipelines. Risk Prediction warns teams of predicted delays and failures before a release starts, so Release Managers, Developers, and DevOps Engineers can take preventative action, adjust timelines, and keep stakeholders throughout the business in the loop.

The Risk Prediction module provides a comprehensive Risk Forecast for every release, giving teams an overview of predicted delays and failures for each task in the release process and making it easy to identify problematic tasks and take action to address them before the release starts running.

The Risk Prediction module also helps teams learn from past experience. Teams can drill down into in-depth forensics for similar past releases to uncover flaky automated tests, problematic build setups, long-running deployments, and time-consuming manual tasks—so they can identify their biggest pain points and make changes that will have the most impact on their ability to deliver software quickly and reliably.

Note: Risk Prediction is a separate module. Please contact your XebiaLabs account manager to learn more.

New user interfaces for infrastructure and environments

New XL Deploy graphical user interface screens provide a rich overview of your environments and infrastructure items, making it easier than ever to see information about deployed applications, resolved placeholders, and more at a glance. You can visualize the relationships between environments and infrastructure, and navigate between them with a single click for easier editing. Get a unified view of which application versions are deployed to each environment, and review important information about the most recent deployment events. In addition, troubleshooting deployment issues is faster and easier, thanks to an easy-to-read overview of the dictionaries and resolved placeholder values used during deployment.

Smarter, more powerful cloud infrastructure provisioning

XebiaLabs' support for provisioning cloud environments is smarter than ever before, with automatic output handling for Terraform and AWS CloudFormation. After you provision cloud-based infrastructure, XL Deploy automatically captures the output in dictionaries and creates the configuration items you need to immediately deploy applications to your new cloud environment. Bring public, private, and hybrid cloud deployments together in one place, with streamlined configuration management, user-friendly troubleshooting features, and support for partial or full rollback when things go wrong.

Support for defining access control and risk profiles in code

XebiaLabs' DevOps as Code approach allows teams to define infrastructure, environments, release templates, dashboards, and more in YAML files. Now, DevOps as Code has been expanded to support users, roles, permissions, and risk profiles. Technical users can define, maintain, and version-control this information in source control management, while business users can work with the same information in the graphical user interface.

Enhanced release and deployment execution in the XL CLI

The XebiaLabs command-line interface (CLI) now allows you to preview and start application deployments, to follow the progress of deployments and releases as they run, and to archive deployments and releases after they finish. The CLI also includes advanced options for running in detached mode, so deployments and releases can execute in the background without blocking use of the CLI.

Easier YAML file editing in Microsoft Visual Studio Code

Use the new DevOps as Code extension for Microsoft Visual Studio Code to quickly create and edit YAML files that define your infrastructure, environments, release templates, dashboards, and more. The extension provides syntax highlighting, contextual documentation, and support for code completion, validation, formatting, and snippets.

New blueprints for Google Kubernetes Engine, Amazon ECS, and DevSecOps

XebiaLabs' blueprints guide you through a process that automatically generates YAML files for your applications and infrastructure, so you can easily get started with new technologies and platforms.

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) allows you to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications in the cloud using Kubernetes. XebiaLabs now offers a blueprint that guides you through the process of deploying a sample microservice-based application using Terraform to define the infrastructure that will run on GKE.

XebiaLabs also offers a new blueprint for deploying to Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), a container orchestration service for Docker-enabled applications. The new blueprint guides you through the process of deploying a sample monolithic application using Terraform to define the infrastructure that will run on ECS.

In addition, the new DevSecOps security scanning blueprint shows how you can integrate code analysis tools such as SonarQube, Black Duck, Checkmarx, and Fortify into your release pipelines. The blueprint also includes an out-of-the-box dashboard that provides enhanced visibility into your security testing activities.

Note: The 8.6.1 version of the XL CLI is required to use the new blueprints.

Streamlined handling of credentials for artifact repository proxies

When retrieving application artifacts from an external repository such as Artifactory or Nexus that is located behind a proxy, XL Deploy now handles the proxy server credentials in a streamlined way. Administrators can define and manage proxy server credentials in a central location, and developers and application deployers can use those credentials to automatically retrieve artifacts for deployment.

Support for variables in folders

XL Release allows you to manage dynamic data with variables that can be used globally in all templates and releases, as well as variables that can be used in a specific template or release. Now, XL Release provides more granular control over variable scope by allowing you to define variables in folders. Templates and releases in the folder can use all variables defined for that folder. This feature also adds a folder-level permission for editing variables (the Folder Owner is assigned this permission by default).

More robust handling of unknown custom task types

You can extend XL Release's powerful release orchestration capabilities by defining your own custom task types. In the past, removing a custom task type definition from the system caused issues. Now, if a custom task type definition is removed, XL Release replaces it with a special Unknown Task type. This replacement ensures that users can continue to open and work with templates and releases containing tasks of the missing custom type.

Increased availability for enterprise-scale deployments

A new XL Deploy master-worker setup, which is available as beta functionality, allows you to reload plugins, update synthetic data types, and change the server configuration without downtime, ensuring that XL Deploy is more highly available to users than ever before. Administrators can reduce or eliminate the need for maintenance windows by updating their XL Deploy installation on the fly, without interrupting running deployments or waiting for them to finish. The master-worker setup also provides robust horizontal scalability by distributing deployment load across workers that carry out tasks independently of the XL Deploy master node.

Note: The master-worker setup is a beta feature.

Updated integrations now available

We are pleased to announce the following new versions of integrations:

  • The AWS integration for XL Deploy offers enhanced support for AWS CloudFormation with controlled rollback and automatic creation of Amazon EKS and S3 infrastructure
  • The Terraform integration for XL Deploy has been expanded with full Terraform feature support, including modules, backends, and token authentication
  • The Kubernetes and OpenShift integrations for XL Deploy include improvements for proxies, manifests, persistent volumes, and retries
  • The WebSphere integration for XL Deploy can deploy many new types of WebSphere objects, such as managed servers, clusters, dynamic clusters, and proxy server clusters
  • The XL Deploy integration for Atlassian Bamboo now supports Bamboo version 6.7
  • The Microsoft IIS integration for XL Deploy introduces enhanced support for application pools
  • The Cloud Foundry integration for XL Deploy now supports discovery and enhanced logging
  • The Ansible integration for XL Release has been improved to make the Ansible command property available to users
  • The following integrations include bug fixes:
    • The XL Deploy integration for XL Release
    • The OpenShift integration for XL Release
    • The Octopus Deploy integration for XL Release
    • The XL Deploy and XL Release integrations for Jenkins
    • The XL Release integration for Atlassian Jira

Other improvements

This release introduces several improvements to XL Release:

  • Gate tasks now show the real-time status of releases that are listed as dependencies
  • Administrators can share information with users by adding a banner to the top of all screens in the graphical user interface
  • Administrators can add their organization's logo next to the XL Release logo in the graphical user interface
  • The audit log has been improved to include more information, and the Logback HTTP access log functionality has been restored
  • Various graphical user interface improvements, such as grouped permissions and new icons

This release also introduces several improvements to DevOps as Code, blueprints, and the XL CLI:

  • You can now access blueprints that are stored in a public or private GitHub repository directly from the XL CLI
  • Blueprints now support complex logical expressions that allow you to create dynamic questions and options for blueprint users

For complete details about this release, please refer to the release notes:

Download

You can download the newly available software at the XebiaLabs Software Distribution site and at Docker Hub.

Support

The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 8.6.1 is a short-term support (STS) version that will be supported until it is superseded by the next STS or long-term support (LTS) version. For more information, refer to Supported XebiaLabs product versions.

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