Why Harness Is Buying Continuous Integration Pioneer Drone.io

By Amit Chowdhry ● August 5, 2020
  • Continuous Delivery-as-a-Service company Harness announced that it is buying self-service Continuous Integration firm Drone.io — which is the creator of the popular open-source project Drone

Continuous Delivery-as-a-Service company Harness announced that it is buying self-service Continuous Integration firm Drone.io — which is the creator of the popular open-source project Drone. This news comes on the heels of Harness entering into the open-source software community and the establishment of Harness as the first self-service CI/CD platform for cloud and container-native applications.

The addition of Drone.io’s continuous integration to Harness’ industry-leading continuous delivery platform is going to enable developers and DevOps engineers to build, test, and deploy software on-demand, without delay or downtime. As every business is becoming a software business, the challenge to build, test, and ship software become critical. Industry analysts validate that sentiment with IDC projecting that the DevOps software market will reach $15 billion by 2023.

But there are many DevOps tools on the market that can’t keep pace with today’s modern platforms, processes, and engineering requirements. Legacy continuous integration tools like Jenkins were written ten to fifteen years ago (pre-cloud computing) and require teams of engineers to manually script software delivery pipelines, instead of delivering innovation for their business.

Drone.io is filling this gap. Rather than requiring scripts, continuous integration pipelines can be declared and managed as code in Git — which means they have standard syntax, require less work, and are easy for engineers to create, use, maintain and troubleshoot.

Drone.io plugins are all containerized, making them easy to download, use, upgrade, and create. And Drone.io can reduce the time and cost of continuous integration by 5-10X, so engineers can focus on writing code for the business versus scripting their CI builds, tests, and pipelines.

In order to validate this, Drone currently has over 50,000 active community users, including organizations like eBay, CapitalOne, Cisco, and VMware, and it is one of the most liked CI/CD projects on GitHub.

Harness is going to continue to invest, innovate, and support Drone.io’s open source community, and currently has several internal projects under consideration for open source. As part of the deal, Drone will continue to be open-source and free for the community and will become Harness CI Community Edition.

And Drone Enterprise will be sold as Harness CI Essentials Edition. Later this year, Harness will introduce Harness CI Enterprise Edition, a next-generation approach to CI that will redefine how engineers build and test code in the cloud.


“Today’s software developers are under incredible pressure to create and deploy new applications on-demand, yet a lack of automation means their current process is highly manual, time-consuming, and error-prone. With the acquisition of Drone.io, Harness will continue to simplify software delivery for developers, and will fully embrace, and commit to, the open-source community so that we can accelerate the speed of software delivery together.”

– Jyoti Bansal, CEO and co-founder of Harness

“I’m extremely proud of what our Drone community has accomplished, creating the first container-native CI self-service solution that is both simple and scalable for engineers to use. If you look at Harness Continuous Delivery, its DNA is similar to Drone – both are self-service, simple and scalable. Together we can take CI/CD to the next level for our open-source and enterprise communities.”

– Brad Rydzewski, CEO and founder of Drone.io

“With Drone, we can put the power of CI in our engineers’ hands. Drone is simple and scalable, like a Swiss army knife for our few hundred engineers around the world. They can build and run their CI pipelines in containers, independently, without resource conflicts or bottlenecks. We spend less than a few hours a month administering Drone, so it’s a light lift compared to CI tools we’ve managed before.”

– Jim Sheldon, Senior DevOps Engineer at Meltwater.