Spinnaker vs Harness

This blog is our response to the Harness vs. Spinnaker blog, where Harness gave their opinion on open source Spinnaker capabilities. In this blog, we would like to set the record straight about open-source Spinnaker’s capabilities and introduce new but essential criteria that one must contemplate before considering a tool for their CD project.


Ease of Use:

Gone are those days when Spinnaker was considered difficult to install and configure. In our webinar- Simplifying continuous delivery with Spinnaker– we have demonstrated how to install open source Spinnaker using HELM charts and implement it for your DevOps team in less than 15mins. In addition, OpsMx provides 25+ sample pipelines for free so that any organization can start deploying into their target environment on Day-1 operation. 

Traditional App Support:

Harness is wrong when they say Spinnaker does not support Java or .Net applications. 

Spinnaker can deploy any application- legacy or modern apps into target multi-cloud.

As far as supporting Java and .NET apps, Spinnaker believes in deploying software using the principles of immutable infrastructure. So all you need is to use open-source package managers like Aptly or RPM ( for Java application) and NuGet ( for .NET app) to create (Java or . NET) packages and publish them in a repo. Then anyone can use the bake stage in the Spinnaker pipeline to fetch the package from the repo, create a base image (or immutable application) for your cloud, and then deploy the image in an environment of your choice. 

If you want to know how to use open-source Spinnaker to deploy Java apps into GCP, read here. 

Continuous Verification:

It is blasphemous to say Spinnaker doesn’t do continuous verification. Spinnaker uses Kayenta to perform metric analysis. It fetches metrics from monitoring tools such as Prometheus, Datadog, NewRelic, etc., and provides canary judgment if a release is fit for production or needs to be rolled back. 

OpsMx Enterprise for Spinnaker(OES) offers intelligent verification to analyze the performance and quality of a release in build, test, deployment, and production stages. OES takes logs and metrics to gauge the performance and quality of release from the beginning of a CI/CD pipeline. Detecting issues in the early stage of software delivery certainly saves a lot of time. On-demand video – What is Continuous Verification? 

Refer to our case study on how an American networking leader reduces 75% of triage time using OES.

Change Management (JIRA/Servicenow):

Similarly, unlike what Harness has mentioned on their site, Spinnaker not only integrated with JIRA but also seamlessly integrates with ServiceNow. OpsMx Enterprise for Spinnaker(OES) has far more integrations with various ITSM and notification tools such as JIRA, ServiceNow, Slack, Twilio, Pagerduty.

Compliance and Audit:

Compliance and Audit are one of the critical features of securing Continuous Delivery.

When it comes to instilling policy & compliance and ensuring governance, Harness lacks the capability.  OpsMx Enterprise for Spinnaker (OES) provides a policy-definition feature that provides automated enforcement to ensure 100% adherence to industry standards. In addition, OES provides detailed information of deployments over time which helps auditors investigate and trace all activities regarding deployments easily. 

You can watch this video on how OES can make CD pipeline compliant and auditable. 

Accelerate Metrics & Reporting:

Harness has limited the definition to just four metrics to understand the performance of software development. However, organizations need more metrics (e.g., slow and fast deployment pipelines per month, releases failed in production, etc.) that help them to keep track of the returns of their CD initiatives.

OES can integrate with most CI/CD toolchains and provide 360-degree visibility about deployments. This is particularly helpful for managers to make informed decisions. 

Furthermore, to monitor and measure continuous delivery initiatives, OES also provides a CD dashboard with information such as frequently used pipelines, frequently failed pipelines, the pace of pipelines, time is taken for manual judgment in various pipelines, etc. 

Evaluating Spinnaker vs Harness using Critical Parameters

We encourage the organization to consider three more critical aspects before evaluating Harness or Spinnaker for continuous delivery, and those are:


As a part of the CD initiative, every organization would like to achieve continuous delivery. Thus the question- “ Can the CD tool handle scale?”- is very eminent during CD tool evaluation. Spinnaker is widely known for handling scale in application deployment and delivery. Many Fortune companies trust OpsMx Enterprise for Spinnaker for the same reason. 

You can read how OES transformed Cisco’s software delivery by handling 1000+ applications.


For any new requirements like integration or feature enhancement, Harness may not provide the flexibility to approve and develop it for an organization quickly. However, with Spinnaker, which is open source and backed by thousands of independent contributors, developing new features or integration is very straightforward and easy. Moreover, Spinnaker is API-based, which provides a lot of flexibility to integrate Spinnaker services with any in-house custom application or service suitable for your organization.

Total Cost of Ownership

Please keep in mind that Harness is a closed source solution and comes at a price, whereas Spinnaker is open-source and FREE. Yes FREE. If you want to implement and use production-grade Spinnaker from Day-1 operation, you should consider OpsMx Enterprise for Spinnaker (OES). And yes, you can try OpsMx SaaS Spinnaker as well. If you do an independent cost-benefit analysis of all the CD tools, you would conclude the Total Cost of Ownership for OES is the lowest among all. 

If you want to know more about Spinnaker or request a demonstration, please book a meeting with us.

OpsMx is a leading provider of Continuous Delivery solutions that help enterprises safely deliver software at scale and without any human intervention. We help engineering teams take the risk and manual effort out of releasing innovations at the speed of modern business. For additional information, contact us.

Debasree Panda

Debasree is Content Marketing Manager at OpsMx. Before joining OpsMx, he worked as a consultant at Digitate. There, he primarily served in the product management and marketing department. He brings in-depth domain experience in IT Operation, IT Service Management, AIOps, RPA, and Machine Learning. He is a watch connoisseur and a fitness freak.


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