Jenkins vs Drone comparison of Continuous Integration servers
What are the differences between Jenkins and Drone?

Jenkins

https://jenkins.io

Drone

https://drone.io
Unique feature

Plugins

Customization

Type of product

Self-hosted / On Premise

SaaS / On Premise

Offers a free plan

Yes

Free, open source software

Yes

The cloud version is free for open source projects. Also offers a free plan for any project, with a limit of 5000 builds per year. The on-premise version is available as a Docker image.
Predictable pricing

Yes

Jenkins is free software, the only costs are those assigned to running your infrastructure.

Yes

Predictable pricing based on number of users and repositories. They have a calculator to help determine cost.
Support / SLA

No (partial)

No official support available, or SLAs. However, Jenkins' popularity ensures you'll find support in various places (official Jenkins forum, IRC, StackOverflow etc.)

N/A

It's not clear what their support commitment is. They have a fairly active community on Discourse, for community support.
Paralellism
Every CI servers tends to address this differently (parallel, distributed, build matrix). Some of it is just marketing, and some is just nuance. For this table, parallel means that tasks can be run concurrently on the same machine, distributed means that tasks can be scaled horizontally, on multiple machines
How to split tests in parallel in optimal way with Knapsack Pro

Yes (partial)

Jenkins allows builds to be run in parallel, but all builds share the same environment and there can be issues arising from shared resources such as the filesystem.

Yes

Pipeline task configuration allows running tasks in parallel
Distributed builds
distributed means that tasks can be scaled horizontally, on multiple machines
How to split tests in parallel in optimal way with Knapsack Pro

Yes (partial)

Jenkins has a concept of master server and agents, for distributing builds, but setting that up requires quite a bit of manual work from a sysadmin, compared to other options.

Yes

Pipelines can be configured to run on multiple machines, although they recommend that to be an option only if paralellizing tasks and scaling vertically doesn't suffice. They even support multi-platform distribution (ie: running tasks on various operating systems)
Containers support / Build environment

No (partial)

By default, Jenkins runs all builds in the same environment as the build server itself, which can lead to numerous issues and is generally not a good practice. Some plugins address this issue, but they need to be manually installed.

Yes

By default, they offer Docker support for the CI/CD job runners.
Analytics / Status overview
Analytics and overview referrs to the ability to, at a glance, see what's breaking (be it a certain task, or the build for a specific project)

Yes

Available via the Blue Ocean project (part of Jenkins): https://jenkins.io/doc/book/blueocean/dashboard/#dashboard

Yes

Management support
How easy is it to manage users / projects / assign roles and permissions and so on

No

In practice, for Jenkins it usually means that there's someone solely in charge of the Jenkins instance (configuration, management). Collaboration features built into other similar products are lacking, as are governance features (no easy way to tell from Jenkins alone _who_ is responsabile for a broken build, for example), even if your Version Control Server of choice can give that information (via `git blame` for example).

Yes

They offer in-depth documentation for user and server management. A lot of it can be done via the drone CLI tool, which seems to be the focal point of the docs.
Self-hosted option

Yes

Jenkins is Open Source Software, and self-hosting is the only way to use it.

Yes

Hosted plans / SaaS

No

Only available for self-hosting.

Yes

Build pipelines
A continuous delivery pipeline is a description of the process that the software goes through from a new code commit, through testing and other statical analysis steps all the way to the end-users of the product.

Yes

Offers extensive support for custom pipelines, either through the Jenkins Pipeline DSL, written in a Jenkinsfile, either through the Web UI. Also, their Blue Ocean project is a great tool for building pipelines: https://jenkins.io/projects/blueocean/

Yes

Easily configurable pipelines via YML files.
Reports
Reports are about the abilty to see specific reports (like code coverage or custom ones), but not necesarily tied in into a larger dashboard.

Yes

Has ready-made integrations for standard reports such as JUnit test results.

N/A

Ecosystem
Besides the official documentation and software, is there a large community using this product? Are there any community-driven tools / plugins that you can use?

> 1000 community plugins

Thanks to it's popularity, there's a large selection of available plugins for Jenkins. They can all be easily browsed over at https://plugins.jenkins.io/. The downside is that almost anything you want to do in Jenkins requires installing a plugin, even core functionality such as parsing output or checking out source code.

Yes

Drone CI allows integrating plugins into the CI/CD process. They have a list of available community plugins and provide documentation on building your own. Plugins are Docker containers which plug directly into the CI/CD process.
Specific language support: Ruby
Some CI servers have built-in support for parsing RSpec or Istanbul output for example and we mention those. Some others make it even easier by detecting Gemfiles or package.json and automate parts of the process for the developer.

Yes (Partial)

RSpec and Cucumber test suites can be integrated into Jenkins thanks to the large pool of available plugins and Ruby gems. Jenkins only understands the JUnit format natively.

No (partial)

No specific support, but they do provide sufficient documentation on getting a Ruby project up and running, including a multi-platform example.
Specific language support: JavaScript

Yes (Partial)

Jest, AVA and other test suites can be integrated into Jenkins thanks to the large pool of available plugins and NPM packages. Jenkins only understands the JUnit format natively.

No (partial)

No specific 1st party support, but the plugin marketplace features an NPM authoring and an NPM authentication plugin.
Integrations
1st party support for common tools (like Slack notifications, various VCS platforms, etc)

Yes

Allows integrations with other tools (ie: Slack, GitHub) or communication protocols (ie: email) via it's rich plugin suite

Yes

Integrates well with source code management platforms (1st party support for GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket) as well as other systems via 3rd party plugins.
API
Custom integreation is available, via an API or otherwise, it's mentioned separately as it allows further customization than any of the Ecosystem/Integration options

Yes

For use-cases that the +1k plugins don't cover, the Jenkins Remote API is yet another way to integrate Jenkins into your favorite tools or internal products.

Yes

Drone provides a feature-rich REST API, as well as an official Go SDK for it.
Auditing

No

Jenkins instances are really managed by a sole user with administrative privileges. This can lead to various issues when it comes to audit trails / accountability.

Yes

Additional notes

The fact that Drone works with any source code manager, as well as the fact that it can run tasks on multiple platforms makes it stand out from the rest. Very nifty!

How to run parallel tests on Jenkins and Drone
to execute 1-hour test suite in 2 minutes?

Without Knapsack Pro

you have to wait 20 minutes for slow tests running too long on red node

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Run fast parallel CI build with Knapsack Pro

CI build completes work in only 10 minutes because Knapsack Pro ensures all parallel nodes finish work at a similar time

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You can even run 20 parallel nodes to complete your CI build in 2 minutes

How it works

1. Install Knapsack Pro client in your project


2. Add Knapsack Pro client to your current CI server and run your tests in parallel

Knapsack Pro how it works with CI server

3. Update your CI server config file to run tests in parallel with Knapsack Pro

Knapsack Pro in Queue Mode will split tests in a dynamic way across parallel CI nodes to ensure each CI node finish work at a similar time. Thanks to that your CI build time is as fast as possible. It works with many supported CI servers.

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Knapsack Pro terminal

Continuous delivery pipelines in Jenkins and CI parallelisation

Jenkins parallelism integration

Introduction to CI parallelisation with Knapsack Pro

Run tests in parallel on Jenkins and Drone in optimal way and avoid bottleneck parallel jobs.

How much can you save with faster tests
on Jenkins and Drone?

minutes
$

Monthly you can save hours
and up to $
on faster development cycle.

Features that make your tests perform better

  • Queue mode see video

    Dynamic tests allocation across Jenkins and Drone parallel jobs. Autobalance tests to get optimal test suite split betweeen CI nodes.

  • Regular mode see video

    Test suite split based on time execution. Generates subset of test suite per CI node before running tests.

  • Fallback mode

    Network issues? Not a problem, run tests anyway! Auto switch to the fallback mode to not depend on Knapsack Pro API.

  • All supported test runners

    Ruby: RSpec, Minitest, Test::Unit, Cucumber, Spinach, Turnip.

    JavaScript: Cypress.io, Jest

    Do you use different programming language or test runner? Let us know in the poll

Discover all features or see
how to use Knapsack Pro with your CI

Trusted solution

Join the teams optimizing their tests with Knapsack Pro.

We've been really enjoying Knapsack Pro, it's been saving us a ton of time.

Devin Brown Software Engineer at Pivotal

This is a fantastic product, it's been a total game-changer for us.

Geoff Harcourt CTO at CommonLit

We are using CircleCI and we noticed that builds were being limited by the slowest parallelized container. Knapsack Pro was really east to setup and we saw huge improvements right away. Thank you for making this tool!

Martin Sieniawski Software Engineer at Collage

Knapsack Pro has helped us build an insanely fast and scaleable build pipeline with almost no setup or maintenance.

Tim Lucas Co-founder of buildkite.com

Knapsack Pro saves us hours of engineer waiting time every week, and is the best solution for keeping our tests load balanced that we've used to date.

Michael Amygdalidis Senior Software Engineer at Popular Pays

I've been playing with Queue Mode. Love it! Wow, I love how fast it goes.

Michael Menne CTO at humanagency.org

I just logged into my account expecting it to say that I needed to add a credit card and was so surprised and delighted to see the trial doesn't count usage by calendar days but by testing days! This is incredible! I love it!!!

I just wanted to say that I really appreciate that small but very huge feature. Thank you for being so thoughtful :)

Shannon Baffoni Senior Software Engineer
at Blue Bottle Coffee

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