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Learn how VEXXHOST made use of Third-party CI to enhance Managed Zuul Offering

Mohammed NaserMohammed Naser

With third-party CI, you can add an extra layer to your testing environment and keep broken code from merging. We improved our Managed Zuul offering with the same!

Managed Zuul is an open source CI/CD solution that has been offered by VEXXHOST since September 2019. Even before the service was made available to all our clients, Zuul had been tested against the VEXXHOST cloud. This ensured its smooth functioning and efficiency. More importantly, we at VEXXHOST also use Zuul as a CI tool for all our backend operations. Right from the beginning, our team has been striving to make the best version of the service available to all users.

How We Improved Our Solution

With our mission to continually enhance our services, we went a step further! Given that Zuul itself is an open source tool, there are changes being made to its original code regularly by upstream contributors. These changes then impact the functioning of our Managed Zuul offering. This, in turn, has the potential to disrupt our service. In order to trace these disruptions and keep them at bay, we used another CI tool to test for any changes to the original Zuul code. This method is called third-party CI testing.

VEXXHOST's third-party CI tool is just an instance of Zuul itself. We use this instance to run tests on the upstream Zuul code. These tests are done in such a manner that no inconvenience is caused to our Managed Zuul users.

The VEXXHOST instance of Zuul runs tests for all new codes and changes being merged into upstream Zuul. It keeps broken code from merging into Zuul jobs and prevents breaking the code in the main branch of Zuul. As the tool is an instance of Zuul itself, it alerts not only VEXXHOST developers of any issues but also developers on the Zuul team.

Through this method, our tests and user scenarios can be verified by upstream developers against our Managed Zuul deployment and hardware. Therefore, third-party CI testing is ensuring that the Managed Zuul CI/CD service offered by us is error-proof.

The benefits of a Fully Tested Managed Zuul

Because of the new improvement brought about by us, our customers will be able to utilize a more accurate CI/CD tool.

Firstly, no new code or changes added to Zuul jobs will impact the usage for our clients. So any change in upstream would not break our deployment and our customers CI.

Secondly, user scenarios of our customers will be supported as they are tested upstream.

Thus, it is safe to say that our customers will continue to get uninterrupted services even when live updates are being made to Zuul.

How You Can Use A Third-Party CI/CD Tool Too

By now you are already familiar with how the tool can assist you in your DevOps cycle. Even more so, now you know how this solution has been further enhanced by our team. And not only us, but even you can make use of a third-party CI tool. If you are in need of extending your testing environment to ensure another layer of security that keeps broken code from merging into the main branch, Zuul might be the answer.

So, if you have a project that is dependent on an open source tool, but not limited to, third-party CI can offer you that extra layer upon coming to an agreement with the owner of the said project.

VEXXHOST is also an active contributor to both the upstream Zuul code and Zuul testing jobs. Therefore, we are aware of a multitude of testing scenarios that our customers make use of and benefit from. Our avid participation ensures that we are with you every step of the way, making features available to you on-demand as well.

If you are looking to not only improve your DevOps game but also supplement it with an extended testing environment, get in touch with our experts to explore our Managed Zuul solution.

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