CI CD Pipeline Monitoring: An Introduction

When someone says CI/CD, the “CD” they’re referring to is usually continuous delivery, not continuous deployment. In a CI/CD pipeline that uses continuous delivery, automation pauses when developers push to production. A human—your operations, security, or compliance team—still needs to manually sign off before final release, adding more delays. On the other hand, continuous deployment automates the entire release process. Code changes are deployed to customers as soon as they pass all the required tests.

  • The ungoverned usage of third-party services within the CI/CD pipeline introduces security risks.
  • Much of this relies on automation but may involve human testing to shake down nuances of the build.
  • It builds on the benefits of continuous delivery by automating the next stage in the pipeline.
  • Orbs is CircleCI’s new package manager and is “designed specifically for configuration of software delivery automation” [CircleCI source].

He also discusses the state of various CI/CD tools, continuous delivery vs. continuous deployment, and the need to listen to users and customers about the cadence of continuous deployment efforts. Continuous integration (CI) focuses on the early stages of a software development pipeline where the code is built and undergoes initial testing. Multiple developers work on the same codebase simultaneously and make frequent commits to the code repository.

CI/CD tools and configuration

Since continuous deployment relies on rigorous testing tools and a mature testing culture, most software teams start with continuous delivery and integrate more automated testing over time. By standardizing builds, developing tests, and automating deployments, application performance monitoring ci cd teams can devote more time to improving applications, and less time on the technical processes of delivering code to different environments. In this stage, code is deployed to production environments, including public clouds and hybrid clouds.

What is CI CD monitoring

Secure coding practices — input validation, output encoding, proper error handling, and secure authentication and authorization mechanisms — are invaluable to development teams. Keeping software dependencies up to date and avoiding the use of deprecated or insecure functions also goes a long way toward preventing SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and buffer overflows. Security-focused code reviews and secure coding training can reinforce these practices.

What is continuous delivery?

To that end, the purpose of continuous delivery is to ensure that it takes minimal effort to deploy new code. One of the largest challenges faced by development teams using a CI/CD pipeline is adequately addressing security. It is critical that teams build in security without slowing down their integration and delivery cycles. Moving security testing to earlier in the life cycle is one of the most important steps to achieving this goal. This is especially true for DevSecOps organizations that rely on automated security testing to keep up with the speed of delivery.

One is to ensure that your synthetic monitoring tests cover a wide variety of transaction types and variables. Before any software is implemented, it’s key to determine what the business drivers are and the same goes for adopting CI/CD. All development stakeholders should be involved early on in the implementation process. Developers should provide input since they will be the main users of a product. Tracking them is very important because not only can error rates indicate quality problems, but also ongoing performance and uptime related issues. If uptime and error rates seem high, it can illustrate a common CI/CD challenge between dev and ops teams.

Measuring & Monitoring CI/CD Performance

These changes are validated, and new builds are created from the new code that will undergo automated testing. Modern software development is a team effort with multiple developers working on different areas, features, or bug fixes of a product. However, manually integrating all these changes can be a near-impossible task, and there will inevitably be conflicting code changes with developers working on multiple changes. CI/CD operations issues may also make it difficult to test each release against a wide variety of configuration variables.

The limited nature of each iteration means that bugs are identified, located, reported and corrected with relative ease. Simply writing the first types of synthetic monitoring tests that come to mind and running them pre-deployment won’t guarantee meaningful visibility into your application release before your end-users encounter it. Instead, it’s important to keep several factors in mind as you plan a synthetic monitoring strategy. You’re delivering changes of all types into a live environment all the time; you can ship configuration changes, infrastructure changes—everything! Usually, CI is known to be a developer’s practice and CD an operator’s practice. CI’s mission is to provide an artifact at some point in time of the application that satisfies customer expectations—in other words, that has good quality built in.

Continuous Integration

Continuous delivery is actually an extension of CI, in which the software delivery process is automated further to enable easy and confident deployments into production at any time. Before DevOps, most companies would deploy/ship software in monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, or even annual releases (also know as the Agile days). In the DevOps era, weekly, daily, and even multiple daily deployments are the norm. With SaaS taking over the development world, you can easily update applications on the fly without forcing customers to download new components. If your CI/CD pipeline is working right, they shouldn’t even realize an update has happened.

What is CI CD monitoring

These tools integrate seamlessly with version control systems, enabling developers to collaborate effectively. Software quality and rapid delivery are crucial goals for most software projects. Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) is a series of processes that help achieve these goals by automating many stages of development, from merging code changes to deploying production releases. Compared to manual approaches, CI/CD provides developers and managers with shorter release cycles, higher quality, lower risk, and better feedback. Of importance to developers and enterprises alike, CI/CD security refers to the set of practices, processes, and technologies implemented to ensure the security and integrity of the CI/CD pipeline.

Deployment time

Continuous integration automates the process of building, packaging and testing code whenever a team member executes version control changes. This makes it easier for teams to commit code changes more frequently, resulting in improved collaboration and app quality. CI/CD tools streamline the development workflow by automating code compilation, unit testing, and deployment tasks.

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See how world-class CI/CD, automation, and security can support your workflow. You’ll find different tools and integrations everywhere you look, but effective CI/CD workflows all share the same markers of success. This constant monitoring for improvement helps drive adoption even as the user base and usage patterns change. There is no single methodology that teams should choose for CI/CD; no option is one-size-fits-all. Ask internal clients which work styles makes sense for joint teams and that best suit the portfolio and assets. All the above stages are continuously monitored for any errors and quickly notified to the relevant parties.

What are the benefits of following CI/CD best practices?

By continuously monitoring the application’s behavior and enforcing security controls at runtime, organizations can detect and respond to potential attacks promptly. Securing the CI/CD pipeline involves implementing a range of security practices and technologies to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the software development and deployment process. As a centralized and automated process that handles code changes and deployments, any security flaws in the pipeline could lead to unauthorized access of the system. CI/CD security prevents attackers from injecting malicious code or creating backdoors and causing data loss and systems compromise.

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