January 2, 2023
2024 may be off to an exciting start in the world of continuous delivery! On December 21, 2023 Business Insider reported that Armory, a Spinnaker-based continuous delivery company, is being acquired by their competitor Harness for $7M. While there has been no confirmation from either Armory or Harness, this news is consistent with messages posted on LinkedIn by newly out of work Armory employees as well as recent inquiries from Armory customers. You can read the article here.
What Does This Mean For Armory Customers?
Given the low purchase price and major staff reductions, Harness does not appear to intend to keep a Spinnaker business going. While I don’t know Harness or Armory’s plans, based on similar past acquisitions here’s what I anticipate will happen:
- Harness Will Immediately Start Promoting Their Own Platform. This will probably start in the press release with a statement like “This offers Armory customers a path to the industry-leading Harness platform.” As if anyone ever wanted to add an unplanned CD migration project to their plans for the year.
- Harness Will Stop Spinnaker Development. With the significant reduction in Spinnaker engineering resources I expect there will be no further development of Spinnaker features. Anything that was on the roadmap is not there anymore.
- Armory Customers Will See a Rapid Decline in Support Quality. Harness has historically viewed Spinnaker as a competitor and has effectively no Spinnaker expertise. With so many Armory support people laid off, customers are likely to see a rapid decline in the speed of response and depth of expertise for their most complex support issues.
- Harness Will End Support for Spinnaker. I anticipate that within a few weeks Armory customers will be given a deadline for when they need to migrate off of Spinnaker to Harness, likely six months and certainly no more than twelve.
- Customers Will Be Pushed to Migrate to Harness. Expect every call with the Harness team to push to give up the flexibility of open source for the vendor lock-in of Harness’ proprietary platform.
Better Alternatives for Armory Customers
The good news is there are many better alternatives for Armory customers. Customers can keep running their current Spinnaker implementation with help from OpsMx or the open source community. Customers who are ready to move to a new CD platform can take advantage of Argo CD, one the fastest growing open source projects, or other open source solutions. Customers can evolve to a hybrid “open CD” strategy and run Spinnaker and Argo CD side by side as they evolve their CD environment over time. There is no need to be forced to meet someone else’s deadline, and no need to be forced into a single vendor’s proprietary solution. You can read more about these options here.
OpsMx’s Commitment to Spinnaker and Open CD
Regardless of what Armory and Harness may choose to do, OpsMx remains committed to the future of Spinnaker. Spinnaker is the proven solution for large-scale, multi-cloud software deployments. The Spinnaker open source project continues to be sponsored by the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF) and guided by technical leaders from companies such as Apple, Salesforce, and JPMorgan Chase. OpsMx has long been and will continue to be a top contributor to the Spinnaker open source project.
OpsMx also believes in the importance of an Open CD strategy. OpsMx offers support for Argo as the preferred solution for Kubernetes native deployments. OpsMx extends the capabilities of Spinnaker, Argo, Jenkins and other CD platforms with add-on modules such as OpsMx Deploy Shield that automates application security and compliance across the SDLC.
Stay tuned for more updates as we see news from Armory and Harness!