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JFrog catching more enterprises as devops, legacy ops converge

Analyst: Jay Lyman

 

JFrog is a commercial backer of the open source Artifactory repository management software. The company, with offices in Israel and Milpitas, California, reports an increase in enterprise customers melding new, more agile application development and release practices (aka devops) with legacy systems and processes. The company’s repository management software and new Bintray for distributing binaries are significant components in a growing number of continuous-integration (CI) efforts by large enterprises. JFrog, which claims to be profitable, raised series A funding of $3.5m in 2012. The company has a little more than 40 employees.

The 451 Take

JFrog’s Artifactory repository management can be a vital part of faster, more efficient application development and release processes, particularly for distributed teams and divisions. The company has grown its integrations and partnerships wisely with other key pieces of CI. JFrog is serving both on-premises and cloud users, which bodes well for continued growth of enterprise customers that will likely take advantage of both versions of Artifactory. The company’s biggest challenge may be keeping up with growth and support for enterprise customers, a greater number and variety of which are adopting CI and devops technologies and practices.

Products

JFrog’s main product is its open source Artifactory repository management software. Artifactory manages binary repositories as software moves from development to testing, quality assurance and deployment. The software sits as a proxy between other development tools used in managing software repositories and CI, including Bamboo, Jenkins and TeamCity CI servers. Artifactory caches software artifacts, so repeated downloads are not necessary. It also blocks unwanted or external requests for internal repository artifacts, controlling how, where and by whom artifacts are deployed. This helps to manage artifacts and third-party dependencies used by developers and IT operations, which can also share repositories among different departments or teams using Artifactory. The software supports high concurrency and data integrity. JFrog says Artifactory’s underlying storage, which is backup-ready, is based on checksums, which can lead to substantial savings in storage space and data transfer.
Artifactory also supports the attachment of searchable user-defined properties via JFrog’s OpenMetadata technology, which is a key feature in supporting custom artifact management use cases. JFrog’s Artifactory comes in two versions: Pro and Cloud. Artifactory Pro is an annual subscription that includes a set of paid add-ons bundled with the open source software. The Pro version, priced at $2,750 per year, includes updates, full maintenance and bug fixes, as well as a growing list of add-ons for CI server support, resource management, license control, search and other capabilities that go along with the repository management. The cloud version, Artifactory Cloud, is available for a free 30-day trial, after which it is $450 per month, plus data transfer and storage fees for an Artifactory server hosted on a dedicated private Amazon EC2 instance, with the Pro features provided as a service with support. The company says its binary repository management often answers the needs of customers, and is even replacing legacy and existing technologies. These companies need tools for binary distribution, whether for internal or external needs, and are leveraging Artifactory’s extensibility and flexibility, the company says. Artifactory also offers a rich and mature REST API that can extend the repository management via scripting, which means it can be tied to storage or other extensions. This results in greater efficiency and smaller, more modular downloads, according to JFrog. The company is also planning to release Artifactory HA, a high-availability version of Artifactory that is a response to requests for zero downtime, even during maintenance. JFrog’s newest product is Bintray, a platform for distributing binaries. The idea is to give developers access to a place where they can expose their binaries to the world – or to IT operations or other teams – for reviews, updates and other capabilities that make Bintray a self-service platform. Bintray also allows users to see how binaries are being used and, with Artifactory, can be pushed to the cloud. JFrog says its software is a good match for cloud computing since software tends to be modular and extensible, which is consistent with our research on open source software in
the cloud.

Partners and Integrations

Due to JFrog’s focus on application development and deployment, its technology must interface and integrate with a range of other technologies. Chef and Puppet configuration and provisioning automation are among the technologies commonly used with Artifactory in packing binaries and distributing them, the company says. Other technologies that are typical alongside Artifactory are: the node.js programming language, the Vagrant virtual configuration tool, the related Packer application containerization, Docker application containers and Jenkins CI server. JFrog also partners more formally with a number of vendors in the space, including development tools and CI vendor Atlassian, code management and integrity vendor Black Duck, PaaS player CloudBees, TeamCity CI server vendor JetBrains, and VMware’s SpringSource division.

Customers

JFrog reports hundreds of customers, and says its clients are a mix of small startups and large enterprises. Three-quarters of its business is in the US, with additional revenue in other geographies, mainly Europe and Australia. Part of the company’s traction among enterprises, it says, has to do with the fact that IT organizations and CMOs are getting more authority and bigger budgets in serving their divisions, end users, and customers. This results in the move to make things more automated and efficient, which is where Artifactory and Bintray come in, JFrog says. This is consistent with our research on devops and the market drive toward faster iteration and more efficient IT operations among a growing number of large enterprise and service-provider organizations.

Competition

JFrog’s most direct competition continues to be Sonatype, backer of the Apache Maven and Nexus repository management software, although this rival has recently taken more of a security approach to repository management. Collaboration and devops vendors, such as CollabNet, Electric Cloud and Perforce, are increasingly including artifact and repository management in their offerings, representing competition for JFrog. Apache Archiva repository manager, which is also open source, also competes with JFrog’s Artifactory.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths
JFrog’s repository management is a critical component of managing and improving faster, more efficient software development and release efforts.

Weaknesses
The company is still not w ell know n among many large enterprise customers and providers.

Opportunities
Integrations and partnerships w ith other key technologies and providers may help to fuel continued enterprise adoption.

Threats
Inclusion of repository management by other vendors, particularly large providers or devops players, could intensify JFrog’s competition.

 

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