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About Integrating with CI/CD

This topic provides an introduction to integrating replicated CLI commands in your continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, including Replicated's best practices and recommendations.


Using CI/CD workflows to automatically compile code and run tests improves the speed at which teams can test, iterate on, and deliver releases to customers. When you integrate replicated CLI commands into your CI/CD workflows, you can automate the process of deploying your application to clusters for testing, rather than needing to manually create and then archive channels, customers, and environments for testing.

You can also include continuous delivery workflows to automatically promote a release to a shared channel in your Replicated team. This allows you to more easily share releases with team members for internal testing and iteration, and then to promote releases when they are ready to be shared with customers.

Best Practices and Recommendations

The following are Replicated's best practices and recommendations for CI/CD:

  • Include unique workflows for development and for releasing your application. This allows you to run tests on every commit, and then to promote releases to internal and customer-facing channels only when ready. For more information about the workflows that Replicated recommends, see Recommended CI/CD Workflows.

  • Integrate the Replicated compatibility matrix into your CI/CD workflows to quickly create multiple different types of clusters where you can deploy and test your application. Supported distributions include OpenShift, GKE, EKS, and more. For more information, see About the Compatibility Matrix.

  • To help show you are conforming to a secure supply chain, sign all commits and container images. Additionally, provide a verification mechanism for container images.

  • Incorporating code tests into your CI/CD workflows is important for ensuring that developers receive quick feedback and can make updates in small iterations. Replicated recommends that you create and run all of the following test types as part of your CI/CD workflows:

    • Application Testing: Traditional application testing includes unit, integration, and end-to-end tests. These tests are critical for application reliability, and the compatibility matrix is designed to to incorporate and use your application testing.

    • Performance Testing: Performance testing is used to benchmark your application to ensure it can handle the expected load and scale gracefully. Test your application under a range of workloads and scenarios to identify any bottlenecks or performance issues. Make sure to optimize your application for different Kubernetes distributions and configurations by creating all of the environments you need to test in.

    • Smoke Testing: Using a single, conformant Kubernetes distribution to test basic functionality of your application with default (or standard) configuration values is a quick way to get feedback if something is likely to be broken for all or most customers. Replicated also recommends that you include each Kubernetes version that you intend to support in your smoke tests.

    • Compatibility Testing: Because applications run on various Kubernetes distributions and configurations, it is important to test compatibility across different environments. The compatibility matrix provides this infrastructure.

    • Canary Testing: Before releasing to all customers, consider deploying your application to a small subset of your customer base as a canary release. This lets you monitor the application's performance and stability in real-world environments, while minimizing the impact of potential issues. The compatibility matrix enables canary testing by simulating exact (or near) customer environments and configurations to test your application with.

GitHub Actions

Replicated maintains custom actions and example workflows that that are compatible with the GitHub Action CI/CD platform. Users of GitHub Actions can use these actions and example workflows to help create their own CI/CD workflows.

Replicated Custom Actions

Replicated maintains a set of custom actions that are designed to replace repetitive tasks such as creating and removing customers, channels, clusters, and more. If you use GitHub Actions as your CI/CD platform, you can include these custom actions in your workflows rather than using replicated CLI commands.

For more information, see the replicated-actions repository in GitHub.

Example GitHub Action Workflows

The replicatedhq/replicated-actions repository in GitHub contains example GitHub Actions workflows that you can use as a template for your own CI/CD pipelines:

  • For a simplified development workflow that uses the cluster prepare command to avoid the need to create a release, channel, or customer for testing, see development-helm-prepare-cluster.yaml.
  • For a customizable development workflow for applications installed with the Helm CLI, see development-helm.yaml.
  • For a customizable development workflow for applications installed with KOTS installations, see development-kots.yaml.
  • For a release workflow, see release.yaml.