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35+ Of The Best CI/CD Tools: Organized By Category

|June 18, 2021|

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The last decade saw a steady increase in the popularity of DevOps. Despite its rapid adoption, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding it. Even engineering leaders not fully versed in all its concepts wildly throw the name around. 

Nevertheless, DevOps’ popularity has reinvigorated old and coextensive approaches such as continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD).

When both of these concepts were created, the focus was still largely on desktop applications. Since the focus has now shifted to cloud and web services, CI and CD tools have been recontextualized and modernized accordingly. 

In this guide, we have constructed what you will find is one of the most comprehensive lists of CI/CD tools on the internet. 

Here, you will find over 35 different CI/CD tools, divided into several categories so you can find the best tools based on your current needs. Before that, though, we will explore what CI/CD is and expand on the fundamentals.

Table Of Contents

What Is CI/CD And Why Is It Important?

CI/CD is a combination of two software development practices — continuous integration and continuous delivery. These two concepts are frequently combined because they are so often used in conjunction. To make them easier to understand, let's look at them as individual concepts.

What is Continuous Integration?

Continuous Integration is a development approach where software engineers continuously merge minute code changes into a codebase. This codebase is usually hosted on a shared server or repository. 

However, the code isn’t just restricted to the development team. For instance, it can be shared with the final user. This is especially useful in cases where the code is part of an open-source project. CI is important because: 

  • It allows teams to collaborate
  • It helps engineers improve code quality from uninterrupted updates and reviews
  • It allows for more efficient software version releases

The integration process is usually broken down into small daily development tasks to help reduce build costs. Additionally, engineers can detect and resolve any issues early in the development cycle.  

What is Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery is a software development practice where software engineers produce and dispatch minute iterative changes in small cycles. In this approach, code is tested and delivered as quickly as possible. CD is important because: 

  • It allows for frequent deployments
  • It allows for faster software builds
  • It shortens the time-to-market

CI/CD tools use one or both of these approaches. In truth, it’s quite rare to find a continuous delivery pipeline that doesn’t implement continuous integration in some way. 

Nevertheless, we will cover the fundamentals of CI/CD tools in the next section.  

CI/CD Tool Fundamentals

CI/CD tools allow us to automate repetitive tasks during testing, deployment, and maintenance of software. These specialized platforms create rich environments for collaboration between software engineers. Additionally, CI/CD tools allow team members and managers to create tasks, backlogs, and keep track of CI/CD processes.

However, CI/CD tools can also be process-specific. They are not all pipeline creation tools. For instance, some of them are specifically used for testing. Others can be used for version control, knowledge management, or cost management.

Nevertheless, we will be covering some of these categories in the rest of this guide. 

Continuous Integration Tools

Under this category, you will find tools catered towards the continuous integration process of the CI/CD pipeline. Some of the tools listed here can help you create and automate entire pipelines. Either way, they are all here to help you streamline the development process from integration to testing.     

1. Buddy

buddy

Buddy allows engineers to build and manage complex CI/CD pipelines. However, the bulk of its popularity lies in its ability to give engineers direct deployment access to public repositories such as GitHub. Buddy’s user interface is simple and intuitive.   

Buddy’s core features include file transferring, error and bug detection, change detection, project planning, alerts and notifications, templates for team workflow collaboration and communication.

Pricing: Free plan, Pro plan - $75 per month, On-premises - $35 per month per user

2. Jenkins

jenkins

You can consider Jenkins to be a true pioneer in terms of CI/CD tools. While it was established in 2011, its lineage stretches further back than that. 

Jenkins forked off from Hudson (another CI tool) after a dispute with Oracle. It is a completely free and open-source platform for web-based and on-premise CI automation. Some of its most notable features include cross-platform support, user-created plugin libraries, multi-build support, integration scheduling, and real-time notifications about build progress. 

Pricing: Free (Open Source)

3. Circle CI

circleci

CircleCI is an industry-leading CI/CD platform that allows engineering teams to build and test software confidently and at scale. It integrates directly with your version control system like GitHub or Bitbucket and validates code changes in real-time. 

CircleCI is a complete CI/CD pipeline tool. You can monitor the statuses of your various pipelines from your dashboard. Additionally, CircleCI helps you manage your build logs, access controls, and testing. It’s one of the most popular DevOps and CI/CD platforms in the world. 

Pricing: Free plan, Performance plan - $30 per month, Scale plan - Custom pricing

4. LayerCI

layerci

LayerCI is one of the newest products on this list. It was founded in 2018 and is geared towards full-stack development testing. What makes it somewhat unique is how it uses memory snapshotting technology for fast and efficient testing. 

LayerCI will create automated demo environments to help you quickly review your changes and weed out any bugs. LayerCI supports GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket repositories.  

Pricing: Free plan, Starter plan - $5 per developer per month, Team plan - $35 per developer per month, Enterprise plan - Custom pricing (contact LayerCI for more details)

5. Bamboo

bamboo

Bamboo is a CI/CD tool that combines automated builds, tests, and releases all in a single workflow. Five building blocks make up Bamboos structure (project, plans, storage, jobs, and tasks). 

With Bamboo, you can run build-tasks in parallel or sequentially. Bamboo also provides you with extensive tools to create your build and manage automatic pipelines. Additionally, Bamboo comes with very comprehensive reports and notifications.   

Pricing: Starts at $10 per year for no remote agents and goes up to $167,000 per year for 1,000 remote agents

6. TeamCity

teamcity

TeamCity was developed by Jetbrains as an affordable CI/CD solution for software engineering teams and individuals. It is available as a software-based self-hosted on-premise solution or via a managed cloud service. 

It supports multi-platform development, extensive cloud integration, and advanced controls for complex builds. Users can view and manage their builds through the web user interface or utilize the Kotlin DSL for managing build configurations as code.

Pricing: Cloud plan - $45 per month (14-day free trial), Professional server license (On-premise) - Free, Enterprise server license - $1,999+ per month

Cloud Cost Management Tools

Cloud cost management allows enterprises to understand and manage the total spend associated with their cloud services (e.g., AWS). These tools can provide companies with detailed breakdowns of their cloud costs, assist them in cutting down on waste, and optimize how they use the cloud.

If your enterprise plans on utilizing (or already utilizes) multiple CI/CD solutions, it’s important to understand all the costs associated with each so you know exactly where your cloud spend goes and what drives your costs. This is why cloud cost management tools should be considered as part of your CI/CD strategy. 

Here is a list of five of the best:

7. CloudZero

cloudzero-3

CloudZero is a cloud cost intelligence platform purpose-built for engineering and finance teams. CloudZero uses machine learning to map cloud costs to products, features, teams, and more, as well as unit cost (like cost per customer) — all without manual tagging.

With this powerful cost insight, engineering teams can see how their development changes impact cost and make product decisions with cost in mind. Additionally, engineering leaders can answer questions from finance on cloud costs, like what your cost of goods sold (COGS) is or how much a specific customer costs. 

On top of this, CloudZero also gives engineering teams a continuous cost feedback loop by providing up-to-the-minute monitoring and automated cost anomaly alerts. To see CloudZero in action, request a demo here.

Pricing: Upon request

8. AWS Cost Explorer

aws cost explorer

AWS cost explorer gives you easy-to-understand visual tools to help you analyze and manage your AWS costs. You can sort and group your figures according to usage type and tags. Results can be viewed daily or grouped by month. 

It consists of four different parts – AWS Budgets, AWS Budgets Reports, AWS Cost Explorer API, and AWS Cost Explorer and Resource Granularity. You’re charged for each portion of the service you use.

Pricing: AWS Cost Explorer Hourly and Resource Granularity - $0.01 per 1000 UsageRecords per month, AWS Cost Explorer API - $0.01 for each request, AWS Budgets Reports - $0.01 per report, AWS Budgets - First two action-enabled budgets are free per month (subsequent budgets will cost you $0.10 daily)

9. ParkMyCloud

parkmycloud

ParkMyCloud is a Turbonomic company that was founded in 2015. It helps its customers identify and manage cloud spend for services such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure. It functions mainly as an easy-to-access SaaS tool. Some of its most notable clients include Hitachi ID Systems, National Geographic, and Workfront.

Pricing: Free plan, Standard plan - $3 per instance per month, Pro plan - $4 per instance per month, Enterprise plan - Pricing provided upon request

10. Amazon Cloudwatch

Amazon CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch is a detection solution for AWS cloud applications and other resources. For instance, you can use it to monitor Amazon services such as EC2. It will automatically alert and inform you of any anomalies it detects. Additionally, Amazon CloudWatch gives you the ability to track and collect metrics. 

From this, you can analyze how your resources are used, the performance of your application, where the bulk of your cloud spend goes, and the overall health of your operations. These insights can be used to ensure that your CI/CD pipeline and other operations run as efficiently as possible.

Pricing: Basic Monitoring - Free, Detailed Monitoring - Charged per instance per month (visit Amazon’s pricing guide for more details)

11. ProsperOps

prosperops-1

ProsperOps is a relatively new cost optimization tool for AWS. It features a free non-invasive savings analysis solution that pulls detailed data that would take a team at least a week to manually compile. 

It will show you your spend over the last 12 months, how effective you’ve been in using your savings instruments, the state of your commitment capacity planning and how your results compare to your peer group. 

Pricing: AWS Savings Analysis - Free, Autonomous Cloud Savings - Upon request

Application Lifecycle Management Tools

As the name implies, application lifecycle management software allows businesses to monitor and manage their applications from commencement to retirement. This is one of the purposes of the CI/CD approach — to ensure optimal delivery cycles and smooth transitioning. 

Here are a few simple application lifecycle CI/CD management tools.

12. Asana

asana

Asana is a fairly popular task management service. It helps teams coordinate and synchronize their work. This can range from daily tasks to special projects. It’s available in the form of a desktop application, web application, and mobile application. 

You can integrate and connect Asana with other tools such as Microsoft Teams, Adobe Creative Cloud, Slack, Tableau, Microsoft Office 365, Power Bi, etc. Asana has been around since 2008 and they have garnered a decent reputation since then. 

Pricing: Free plan, Premium plan - $10.99 per user per month, Business plan - $24.99 per user per month, Enterprise plan - Pricing provided upon request 

13. AHA!

aha

AHA! is a product management software suite that specializes in roadmap creation. You can create strategic business models, delegate tasks, visualize the timing, collaborate, and crowdsource ideas from customers and colleagues.

Pricing: Startup plan - Depends on the size of your business. Visit Aha!’s Start-up page for more details, Premium plan - $59 per user per month, Enterprise plan - $99 per workspace owner/contributor per month

14. CollabNet VersionOne

collabnet

CollabNet VersionOne is the oldest project management and lifecycle tool on this list. It was established in 1998. CollabNet describes VersionOne as an “application Agile lifecycle management (ALM) solution”. 

Once again, while Agile is near obsolete, this proves that some of its tools and concepts can be repurposed for the new CI/CD approach. Nevertheless, VersionOne features portfolio management, product road mapping, sprint planning, test management, timeline tracking, and release planning.

Pricing: Team plan - Free, Catalyst plan - $175 for 20 users per month, Enterprise plan - $29 per user per month, Ultimate plan - $39 per user per month

15. Trello

trello

Trello is a great alternative for enterprises that are looking for less convoluted or feature-heavy forms of application lifecycle management tools. It uses a visual card/board-based user interface that is easy to work with and organize. 

With Trello, you can assign tasks, create timelines, create reports with productivity metrics, and organize your team or project calendars. In addition to this, Trello features AI that helps eliminate repetitive tasks. You can connect Trello with applications such as Slack, Dropbox, Confluence, Google Drive, and Evernote. 

Pricing: Free plan, Business plan - $10 per user per month, Enterprise plan - Upon request

16. Pivotal Tracker

pivotaltracker

Pivotal Tracker is an Agile management tool that has been around since 1989. Once again, it proves that some of Agile’s concepts still translate very well to CI/CD methodology. While the user interface may feel a little simplistic and outdated, Pivotal Tracker has the functionality to compete with the best of them. 

It allows teams to share and view current project requirements and priorities. Additionally, Pivotal Tracker gives you access to detailed reports on your team’s progress. Projects can be broken up into chunks and work can be delegated accordingly. 

Pricing: 5 collaborators with 5 projects - Free, 10 to 100 collaborators (unlimited projects) - $10 to $550 per month, 125 to 500 collaborators (unlimited projects) $687.50 to $1,750 per month

Configuration Management Tools

It’s hard to write software that will work for every operating system, every screen resolution, and for every user. Deploying your applications through cloud and AWS makes them easier to configure but it’s not entirely foolproof. 

The following configuration management tools will help you organize and keep track of your settings on your servers, networks, applications, security, and cloud.

17. Puppet Enterprise

puppet

It would be disingenuous to call Puppet Enterprise a configuration management tool. It is a software suite that specializes in workflow automation. 

For those who are unfamiliar, Puppet Enterprise is the commercial version of Puppet, an open-source software management tool. It specializes in the automation of not just the configuration process but can also be used for patching, provisioning, and deployment.

Pricing: Upon request

18. Terraform

terraform

Terraform is an infrastructure as a code solution. It allows you to configure and define data center infrastructure through HashiCorp’s custom configuration language or JSON.

Terraform is compatible with a wide range of Cloud providers, including Azure, VMWare, and AWS. If you’re subscribed to multiple cloud providers, Terraform is a great way to ensure that they have consistent configurations.

Pricing: Free plan, Team and Governance plan - $20 per user per month, Business plan - Upon request 

19. CFEngine

cfengine

CFEngine is the most cut and dry configuration management software on this list. It was originally released in 1993 and has managed to keep up with software development trends. CFEngine features full CI/CD integration. You can automate infrastructure configurations and manage your patches. It also features compliance reporting and infrastructure hardening.

Pricing: Community Edition - Free, Enterprise Edition - Upon request  

20. Red Hat Ansible

Red Hat Ansible

Red Hat’s Ansible is an automation platform used for configuration management as well as deployment. Ansible allows you to keep your configurations consistent across all platforms. Whether your software is hosted on a physical server, cloud, virtual machine, or container, you can alter and manage your configurations from a single point.

Pricing: Upon request

21. Rudder

rudder

Rudder is an open-source web-based configuration management tool. It allows for continuous audit and enforcement. Rudder comprises a full feature web-based interface. In addition to this, it features standardized, reusable policies, a custom policy editor, central reporting, grouping based on search queries, and per-host policies. 

Since Rudder is open source, the bulk of its core features are free. However, there are additional features such as support hidden behind a subscription paywall. 

Pricing: Without subscription - Free (Open), With subscription - $75 per node per year

Deployment Tools

How quickly an application is deployed is the core defining quality of the continuous delivery approach. Deployment tools allow you to dispatch software and updates efficiently. With a well-rounded deployment tool, you can schedule and automate deployment, which will free up time for your development team. 

Here’s a list of some of the best deployment tools on the market.

22. Spinnaker

spinnaker

Spinnaker is an open-source continuous delivery tool. It can be used to deploy your applications across multiple cloud providers. It’s quite clear that Spinnaker was made with CI/CD pipelines in mind. You can automate system tests, manage your rollouts, and trigger pipelines through git events. Additionally, it’s compatible with CRON, Travis CI, Jenkins, and Docker.

Pricing: Open-source 

23. UrbanCode Deploy

urbancode

UrbanCode Deploy is a deployment automation tool. As a company, UrbanCode has been around since 1996. They’ve survived this long by keeping up to date and connected with the open-source community along with the latest practices. 

With UrbanCode Deploy, you can automate deployments, rollbacks, updates, provision of cloud environments, etc. It also allows you to configure your software across different environments.

Pricing: Community Edition - Free, Standard Edition - Upon request

24. DeployBot

deploybot

DeployBot is a deployment management tool that supports manual and automatic deployments. It supports simultaneous multi-server deployments. However, its capabilities aren’t limited to these features. 

You can use DeployBot to build your code. It will fetch dependencies from repositories such as Node.JS, Composer, and NPM. It has New Relic and Bugsnag integration, which helps you keep a close eye on the stability of your deployments. DeployBot also integrates with services such as Slack to deliver automatic notifications.

Pricing: Free plan, Plus plan - $25 per month, Premium plan - $50 per month

25. RunDeck

rundeck

RunDeck is an operations automation platform. It doesn’t just manage deployments but several processes in the CI/CD pipeline. It’s great for creating standard operating procedures and synchronizing actions across all your enterprise’s various scripts, tools, and APIs. RunDeck is particularly suited for companies planning to migrate to cloud services. 

It works for old legacy frameworks and new ones. Its built-in governance and control features make it easy and safe to delegate a broad range of activities to your teammates.

Pricing: Community Edition - Free, Enterprise Edition - Upon request 

26. Juju

juju

Juju is an application modeling and deployment tool. It allows you to deploy software simultaneously on local servers, containers, and private and public cloud. 

What makes Juju unique is its approach. CI/CD pipelines for large companies can be complex. Juju uses what is known as charms to deploy infrastructure and code. It supports AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Oracle.

Pricing: Free (Open Source)    

Software Build Tools

These are the foundational tools not just for the CI/CD approach, but also for basic software development. You cannot build a high-quality product without the best tools at your disposal. 

Here are five of the best software build tools for your CI/CD pipeline.

27. Apache Maven

maven

Apache Maven is a software build automation and project management tool. It’s popular among the open-source and Java community. Maven allows you to build and deploy code in Scala, Ruby, Java, C#, Python, etc.

Pricing: Free (Open Source)

28. Docker

docker

Docker is a virtualization tool that allows enterprises to create cross-platform applications. It achieves this through the power of virtual containers which can be run on Linux, Windows, Mac OS, public and private cloud. 

Docker’s SaaS offering is made up of three components — software, objects, and registries. Within its suite, it offers three core tools — Docker Compose, Docker Swarm, and Docker Volume.

Pricing: Free plan, Pro plan - $5 per user per month, Team plan - $7 per user per month, Large plan - Upon request  

29. Apache ANT

apache ant

Apache Ant (“Another Neat Tool”) is the oldest tool on this list and it can be considered a precursor to Maven. Just like Maven, it was written entirely in Java. ANT uses XML to define the code build process. While ANT is primarily a JAVA build tool, it can be used to define processes and build C++, C, and C# applications.

Pricing: Free (Open Source)

30. HashiCorp Packer

packer

HashiCorp Packer is the most well-rounded CI/CD pipeline build tool in this section. It automates the creation of multiple machine images. It’s extensible and pluggable. You can add builders, data sources, post-processors, and provisioners with plugins.

Pricing: Free (Open Source)

31. Grunt

grunt

Grunt is a JavaScript task automation tool. Grunt can be used to build, test, and debug your code. Tasks can be configured using what is known as a Gruntfile. 

Grunt is also extensible. It has a large library of community-created plugins. Working with Grunt as a novice user can be daunting. Luckily, Grunt has a thriving community and ecosystem that is ready to assist you with any queries. 

Pricing: Free (Open Source)

Cloud/IaaS Tools

If you’re not directly deploying your software onto your clients’ machines or giving them direct access to a server, you’re going to need a service to host your application. You may have the best building tools and deployment software, but it doesn’t mean much if you don’t have the infrastructure or resources to get it to the final consumer. 

The following list of tools addresses these challenges. 

32. Amazon Web Services

aws

Amazon Web Services need no introduction. According to Statista, in 2020, they had a 33% global quarterly market share.

You can build virtual servers with Amazon EC2, relational databases with Amazon Aurora and Amazon RDS, isolated cloud resources with Amazon VPC, and machine models with Amazon SageMaker. It also features a litany of analytics and app integration tools.

Pricing: Pay-as-you-go (For detailed pricing, visit the AWS pricing guide)   

33. Morpheus

morpheus

Morpheus is a cloud management platform with a focus on cloud migration. It’s a self-service platform for hybrid cloud application orchestration. Morpheus allows you to enable private cloud and control public cloud access to teams provisions on demand. 

It’s persona-based so IT, security, and finance teams all get what they need to spend less time worrying about infrastructure and more time modernizing applications. It affords you the freedom to mix and match on-premise and public cloud technologies. 

Pricing: Upon request 

34. OpenStack

openstack

OpenStack is a cloud framework. It provides users and enterprises with horizontal scale infrastructure. Its tools allow you to compute, store and share data and resources. It also provides self-service administration that users can interact with directly. 

OpenStack is open-source, which makes it highly adaptable. This also saves you from possible vendor lock-in.

Pricing: Free for private cloud (Open Source), Public cloud is enterprise size-dependent (visit the price guide for more details

35. Google Cloud Platform

gcp

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) allows engineers to create and host programs and websites. It also allows you to analyze and store data using Google’s computing infrastructure. GCP has over one hundred products and tools separated into three core categories — compute, storage, and machine learning. 

Pricing: Priced according to the services and tools you register for (visit Google’s price listing guide)

36. Dokku

dokku

Dokku is a great alternative if you’re working with a stringent budget. It’s a miniaturized self-hosted platform as a service. You can deploy applications to it using Git. Because it’s a Heroku derivative, it’s compatible with Heroku apps. 

It’s easy to set up and has a wide variety of plugins that work out of the box. These plugins include Mongo, Postgres, and Redis. Additionally, you can write your own custom plugins if you feel that the available plugins just aren’t enough. 

Pricing: Free (Open Source)

Picking The Best CI/CD Tool For Cloud Cost Management

If you’re going to implement an effective CI/CD plan, you’re going to need the right resources and tools. CI/CD can get complicated, especially when you’re using multiple vendors and platforms. There are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. Where your cloud spend goes, can get a little murky.

This is why a cloud cost intelligence platform, like CloudZero, is vital for determining what drives your cloud costs. CloudZero provides engineering teams with detailed cost insight that enables them to make development decisions with cost in mind — allowing teams to build cost-optimized software.

Additionally, CloudZero maps cloud costs to products and features, notifies teams of cost anomalies, and helps teams measure unit cost (like cost per customer). Good CI/CD implementation involves a lot of long-term planning and goal setting.

CloudZero’s cloud cost intelligence platform can help you see how your budget will adjust and align with these goals and plans. Request a demo here to see CloudZero in action.

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