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CIO Influence Interview with Adam Frank, SVP of Product & Marketing at Armory

CIO Influence Interview with Adam Frank, SVP of Product & Marketing at Armory

“Generally, data protection is challenging because the containers are fundamentally stateless — constantly changing, moving, or even disappearing and reappearing.”

Hi, Adam. Welcome to our Interview Series. Please tell us a little bit about your role and responsibilities at Armory. How did you arrive at this company?

I’m very passionate about Continuous Deployment and all the business and personal benefits it provides. I ended up at Armory because I believed — and now know for sure — that Armory was set up to be the most innovative company with the most potential in the CD space. I believe a simple experience combined with a simple message and with a little personality creates undeniable success. I saw the opportunity to help Armory craft this value statement. The experience connected directly to the message, and the message connected directly to the experience!

I head up product management (why we build what we build), design (my happy place), technical enablement (because documentation, error messages and education are all part of the experience), product marketing (the transparent story we tell), and marketing (how we tell our story).

What is Armory? What are your core offerings?

Armory empowers software development organizations to accelerate their innovation and time-to-market while reducing risk to their customers’ experience.

Developers can easily, reliably, and securely deploy software and configuration changes alongside live versions, incrementally scale up new versions, enable time-saving automation, and effortlessly roll back, all with one out-of-the-box Continuous Deployment solution.

Armory Continuous Deployment features:

  • Integration with your existing SDLC and CI tools
  • Flexible GitOps and declarative workflows
  • Multi-cloud and multi-environment orchestration
  • Developer-first experiences

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How has continuous deployment technology evolved in the last 2-3 years?

We’re seeing most organizations move to the cloud and leveraging ephemeral environments, shifting away from monolithic applications toward microservices. This includes control planes and automated orchestration. As a result, development complexity has increased because developers have more ways to approach the same tasks. To combat complexity, teams are adopting declarative deployment v. imperative deployment and, moreover, declarative deployment orchestration. The declarative nature obfuscates complexity and makes managing infrastructure and software deployments easier. The obfuscation of complexity will be the continuing trend as we push into technologies like Generative AI.

Could you highlight the benefits and core features of CD-as-a-service? What makes Armory unique in this fast-paced landscape in the Cloud?

The core benefits are:

  • Improved developer experience and productivity
  • Accelerated time-to-market
  • Increased innovation
  • Improved customer experiences
  • Ability to focus on core competitive advantages
  • Improved day-to-day DevOps velocity
  • Security at runtime assurance
  • Efficiently scaling your business and growth

The core features are:

  • End-to-end deployment orchestration across all clusters and environments
  • Declarative deployment with GitOps workflows
  • Advanced progressive deployment strategies (e.g., canary with automated canary analysis, blue/green, service mesh and traffic management support) with the ability to automatically and jointly roll back, including tightly coupled services
  • Multi-tenant access control
  • Ability to plug and play with existing SDLC tools to meet our customers where they are today
  • CRD-less onboarding
  • Git branches that do not require one-to-one relationships with clusters (structure your repos however you want)
  • The ability to deploy any K8s objects together without changing the existing packaging
  • Ability to deploy any change the same way without any need to restart pods

These features abstract complexity, removing the burden on developers by managing the entire deployment process. Armory is unique in its focus on deployment. Because we aren’t trying to solve every development problem, we can build a comprehensive end-to-end deployment solution.

Our core differentiator really boils down to the fact that we are the first and only declarative continuous deployment solution that orchestrates your deployment across all clusters using advanced progressive strategies to reduce risk. It’s the future of continuous deployment, and no one else is doing this.

We use Armory Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service to continuously deploy to Armory Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service. It’s how we innovate so quickly and maintain 99.9% or better availability and SLAs. We’re elite in every category of the DORA metrics and measurements. We believe everyone can achieve this and want to empower them to do so.

Why should CIOs look out for in a modern DevSecOps application?

Automation and security at runtime. Manual policy checks and security processes do not scale. They require too much time and create opportunities for errors. Code needs to be secured at runtime, not just compile or build time.

What are the important steps leading up to selecting and deploying to Kubernetes?

The first step is your architecture approach and choices (e.g., one big cluster vs. several clusters). Each has different scalability hurdles, but ultimately, Kubernetes is a declarative system. That means you want to choose a declarative deployment approach that will enable you to scale your processes, people and technology as you grow. Put your developer experience first to reap the benefits of efficiency, scalability and satisfaction.

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What are the biggest challenges related to data protection in Kubernetes?

Generally, data protection is challenging because the containers are fundamentally stateless — constantly changing, moving, or even disappearing and reappearing. This requires solutions and policies to be extremely dynamic as logic can change from moment to moment.

What impact did the shift to a remote / hybrid working environment have on your business model? How do you cater to the needs of remote-working customers?

The shift to remove work created new strain on our customers, as more businesses brought more software and business functions to the cloud. The need for effective and reliable deployments grew as software demands escalated due to remote work. Development teams needed an effective and reliable way to deploy code to meet demand. We continued to provide support during the pandemic and eventually debuted our CDaaS platform to offer more options for new working environments. Our product helps distributed teams create and execute a seamless deployment process, regardless of location.

How can companies find better value out of AI and machine learning in CD-as-a-Service?

Using AI for the sake of using AI is never a good idea. If you have a task that can be automated and AI technology fits the bill, then it’s a good idea. Let’s take automated canary analysis as an example: CD-as-a-Service integrates with the leading observability solutions to consume baseline data of the user’s choice. As changes are introduced to various environments at different traffic intervals, the metrics and baseline are evaluated in real-time. If the change has inflicted enough variance that the metrics are outside the baseline threshold, the change is automatically rolled back. There are AI technologies that enable this level of sophistication and automation. After all, the calculations and decisions are being made in seconds to reduce risk and ensure customer experience.

Your advice to CIOs looking to build a strong data infrastructures and model for their organization:

Automating deployment helps build and reinforce your data infrastructures. Creating standardized rules for deployment ensures the best practices are universally applied and removes the potential for human error. With fewer manual tasks, development teams can focus on building strong and effective infrastructures and practices. Additionally, CIOs should consider investing in a low-code/no-code solution. These tools eliminate the need for teams to maintain and troubleshoot a proprietary solution and make your processes easier to scale. The ultimate goal is to allow your teams to focus on your competitive advantage— your software.

Read More: CIO Influence Interview with Ed Anuff, Chief Product Officer at DataStax

An event/ conference or podcast that you have subscribed to consume information about the B2B technology industry: If invited, would you like to be part of a podcast episode on IT/ Data Ops, CX and B2B SaaS?

Masters of Scale and Stack & Flow are pretty solid. Yes, I’m always up for a good podcast appearance.

Thank you, Adam ! That was fun and we hope to see you back on cioinfluence.com soon.

[To participate in our interview series, please write to us at sghosh@martechseries.com]

Adam Frank is a product and technology leader with more than 20 years of Development and Operations experience. His imagination and passion for creating development and operations solutions are helping developers and innovations around the world. As Armory’s SVP, Product & Marketing, he’s focused on delivering products and strategies that help businesses to digitally transform, carry out organizational change, attain optimal business agility, and unlock innovation through software.

Armory Logo

Armory makes continuous deployment achievable and effortless, at any scale, for all developers. Easy-to-use continuous deployment solutions eliminate the need to migrate away from existing tools and minimize disruptions to an existing software delivery lifecycle. Developers can easily and confidently deploy updates that improve and protect their customer experience.

Founded in 2016, Armory is funded by B Capital, Insight Partners, Crosslink Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Mango Capital, Y Combinator, and Javelin Venture Partners.

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