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As most of you have already known, we moved to a faster release schedule back in 2016, wherein we have been managing to deliver new features to all of our users on a bi-weekly basis thanks to keeping on agile practices. That being said, you might have noticed that this time the sprint for the new Bitbar Testing update is longer than usual. Why? Because we have exciting news to announce and it will bring great benefits to everyone down the line.

Major Cloud Upgrade

We have a big public cloud upgrade coming this week. Make sure that you are ready for the service break and new features.

  • On Tuesday, August 22nd we will be upgrading some hardware, so some devices may not be available all the time. Nevertheless, all devices should become available by the end of the week.
  • On Tuesday, August 22nd at 10:00 PM PDT | Wednesday, August 23rd at 7:00 AM CET, we will start upgrading our cloud service. This will be visible to customers as ‘Service not available’. The service maintenance should not last longer than three hours.
  • Change in Appium image recognition sample. The Akaze package has been upgraded and customers should verify their tests to continue working.

Introducing Dockerization to Bitbar Testing Infrastructure

As an advocate of Agile Development and Mobile DevOps practices, we strongly believe that fast and continuous delivery is the key to business success in today’s mobile-dominant world. But compromising on quality for speed is not what we are after at Bitbar. That’s why we’ve been dedicated to moving to Dockerization during the whole summer.

What are now and will be in Docker

  • Appium Client-Side Execution was Dockerized.
  • Appium Server-Side Execution was also Dockerized.
  • Our internal Appium and Selenium tests were moved to specific Dockers.
  • We created an Appium sample to our Dockerhub which we’ll publish in the coming weeks. If you need it earlier, drop us a line.
  • Our clusters, the machines to which our mobile devices are connected, were upgraded and virtualized. This includes plenty of changes, but we’ll spare you of talking about BTRFS (an old file system we had in use), system OS updates, moving out of Cookbooks to use Ansible, took Consul into use for service discovery and the list could go on and on.
  • We also refactored test run configurations to improve how they are managed and upgraded.
  • The remaining testing frameworks are getting Dockerized while you read this blog and will come out in a matter of weeks. At the moment, we want to test them and assure the quality before pushing them out to you.

The Benefits of Embracing Docker

In general, moving to Docker brings us tremendous benefits in terms of deployment speed, level of customization, scalability, etc.

1. The most scalable cloud solution

No other mobile device cloud providers can offer such a flexible, robust and automated cloud solution. How cool is this? Migrating to dockerization makes Bitbar Testing ahead of the competition.

2. Faster product releases

The migration to dockers will help us release new versions of Bitbar Testing way faster than before. We will also be able to support multiple environments simultaneously.

3. Faster and safer On-Premise setup

With the help of dockerization, setting up Bitbar On-Premise solution now is faster and safer than before. We can use customer’s existing clouds for running their own device cloud

4. Faster framework updates

With each testing framework running in its own container, we can safely upgrade frameworks without affecting the remaining frameworks

5. Bespoke test run configurations

This makes our platform very flexible at supporting multiple test framework versions or configurations for e.g. running tests on dedicated devices in specific teams.

6. Supporting customer specific test frameworks

Bitbar On-Premise customers now can use their existing cloud infrastructure to provide Bitbar Testing service to their internal teams with no need for new special hardware. Your own framework can now be running in a managed cloud. This means you can safely try a newer version of the service before upgrading all teams to the newer version. You will have the full control when to upgrade your testing framework

7. Scaling

Running your cloud service in containers supports an automatic scaling of the service by most cloud infrastructure providers

8. Monitoring

Easier and better service monitoring is available for Bitbar On-Premise customers. There are plenty of Docker container monitoring solutions to choose from.

9. Proprietary test frameworks coming

  • At the same time, we are in the process to bring some proprietary test frameworks to our Bitbar Testing cloud. Stay tuned for more information later
  • To test framework providers – Do you want to get your mobile testing frameworks to be used by millions of mobile testers in the most versatile and developer friendly mobile device cloud? Get in contact with us to see how your test framework Docker image can be included into Bitbar Testing cloud!

Interested in Dockerization?

We have studied a lot before diving into our Docker exercise and have clear steps on how we wanted to do things from here forward to provide our customers with a better and more flexible service in the future. In the process, we have learned a lot!

If you are interested in hearing more about how to start using Docker, how to dockerize your system or just about mobile DevOps practices and solutions do not hesitate to contact us and leave your comments below! Or if you just want to discuss containers or DevOps challenges or solutions, we’re also interested in hearing about you!

We’re happy to help you out on your journey to a less painful service development process!

Niko Cankar

Bitbar Product Owner