Netflix Replacing Open Source Cloud Deployment Tool Built for AWS

Netflix Inc. announced its homegrown Continuous Delivery platform called Spinnaker is available on the open source code repository GitHub.

Spinnaker will replace the Asgard tool developed by Netflix to help with Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) deployments when the streaming media company moved to the Amazon cloud six years ago.

"Asgard created an intuitive model for cloud-based applications that has made deployment and ongoing management of AWS resources easy for hundreds of engineers at Netflix," the Delivery Engineering Team at Netflix said in a Sept. 30 blog post announcing the move from Asgard to Spinnaker.

Netflix tech exec Andy Glover yesterday announced Spinnaker, supplanting Asgard, now had its own place on GitHub.

"If you're familiar with Netflix's Asgard, you’ll be in good hands," Glover said. "Spinnaker is the replacement for Asgard and builds upon many of its concepts. There is no need for a migration from Asgard to Spinnaker as changes to AWS assets via Asgard are completely compatible with changes to those same assets via Spinnaker and vice versa."

Netflix said Asgard has revealed shortcomings as the company has evolved with a larger AWS footprint serving a global audience, more apps required to service customers and an increased rate of innovation to keep a competitive edge. "Consequently, our desire to move code rapidly, with a high degree of confidence and overall visibility, has also increased," Netflix said. "In this regard Asgard has fallen short."

Enter project Spinnaker, "an open source multi-cloud Continuous Delivery platform for releasing software changes with high velocity and confidence."

Netflix said it worked with Google, Microsoft and Pivotal to develop the cluster management and deployment tool. "As of today, Spinnaker can deploy to and manage clusters simultaneously across both AWS and Google Compute Platform with full feature compatibility across both cloud providers," Glover said. "Spinnaker also features deploys to Cloud Foundry; support for its newest addition, Microsoft Azure, is actively underway."

Designed with a focus on pluggability, Spinnaker consists of Java Virtual Machine-based services managed by a customizable AngularJS single-page application (SPA). The SPA's UI uses a RESTful API exposed through a gateway service. The tool uses "pipelines" representing a delivery process that begins with asset creation (for example, an Amazon Machine Image) and ends with deployment.

"Spinnaker also provides cluster management capabilities and provides deep visibility into an application's cloud footprint," Glover said. "Via Spinnaker's application view, you can resize, delete, disable and even manually deploy new server groups using strategies like Blue-Green (or Red-Black as we call it at Netflix). You can create, edit and destroy load balancers as well as security groups."

With the code available on GitHub, Netflix has set up a Slack channel for communication about the project and will field user question about the project on StackOverflow.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.