Thursday, 25 January 2018

OpenShift - the 'f' is silent

So it's come to this.

After almost-exactly four years of free-tier OpenShift usage for Jenkins purposes, I have finally had to throw up my hands and declare it unworkable.

The first concern was earlier in 2017 when, with minimal notice, they announced the end-of-life of the OpenShift 2.0 platform which was serving me so well. Simultaneously they dropped the number of nodes available to free-tier customers from 3 to 1. A move I would have been fine with if there had been any way for me to pay them down here in Australia - a fact I lamented about almost 2 years ago.

Then, in the big "upgrade" to version 3, OpenShift disposed of what I considered to be their best feature - having the configuration of a node held under version control in Git; push a change, the node restarts with the new config. Awesome. Instead, version 3 handed us a complex new ecosystem of pods, containers, services, images, controllers, registries and applications, administered through a labyrinth of somewhat-complete and occasionally-buggy web pages. Truly a downgrade from my perspective.

The final straw was the extraordinarily fragile and flaky nature of the one-and-only node (or is it "pod"? Or "application"? I can't even tell any more) that I have running as a Jenkins master. Now this is hardly a taxing thing to run - I have a $5-per-month Vultr instance actually being a slave and doing real work - yet it seems to be unable to stay up reliably while doing such simple tasks as changing a job's configuration. It also makes "continuous integration" a bit of a joke if pushing to a repository doesn't actually end up running tests and building a new artefact because the node was unresponsive to the webhook from Github/Bitbucket. Sigh.

You can imagine how great it is to see this page when you've just hit "save" on the meticulously-detailed configuration for a brand new Jenkins job...

So, in what I hope is not a taste of things to come, I'm de-clouding my Jenkins instance and moving it back to the only "on-premises" bit of "server hardware" I still own - my Synology DS209 NAS. Stay tuned.

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