Deploying updates for RemoteX Applications using Hudson

We’ve been doing some work with Hudson over the past weeks. Mainly We’ve managed to create the last part of RemoteX delivery pipeline on a hudson build-server.

Since the first release of RemoteX Applications we’ve been releasing each release as a “package” containing everything needed to setup applications for a customer. I briefly mentioned this in my previous post.

In the beginning the final delivery was done by our operations dude. However as we’ve deployed more and more versions it quickly became apparent that he could not keep up without assistance. So we start to create more and more elaborate scripts to set up each customer. Today everything is done through the execution of a single script that sets everything up using other modular scripts.

What we’ve done over these last week is to set up a Hudson server to do the final delivery automatically. I calls this central script with its arguments and deploys our upgrades to all our customers.

We set up some builds that will connect to RemoteX Applications using PowerShell and create deployment jobs to upgrade different installations based on different criteria.

imageNext we started to categories the different installations for different targets. We have three different targets that does automatic deployment:

  • A testing target that sets up the release for manual testing
  • A “early adopters” target who get the version that passes the manual testing
  • The bulk, which consists of all customers who will be upgraded automatically

As we work through a release we will have many deploys to the testing installations, a few more to the early adopters, and once we have a final release it will be rolled out on the bulk of our customers. All this is done with the click of a button.

With a single Hudson service deploying a new version of RemoteX Applications to the bulk should take roughly 3 hours. Each customer should have only a few seconds of service interruption during the process, but might be required to upgrade their clients. This process can be parallelized by adding Hudson slaves to run several deployments at once. Effectively cutting the deployment time by O(1/N) where N is the number of build executors available.

We can make it faster but that requires some infrastructure work, and this will work sufficiently for the coming months.