Using Spinnaker with Kubernetes for CI/CD

Using Spinnaker with Kubernetes for CI/CD

Kubernetes is now the de-facto standard for container orchestration. With more and more organizations adopting Kubernetes. This post will focus on pushing out new releases of the application to our Kubernetes cluster i.e. Continuous Delivery.

Kubernetes is now the de-facto standard for container orchestration. With more and more organizations adopting Kubernetes, it is essential that we get our fundamental ops-infra in place before any migration. This post will focus on pushing out new releases of the application to our Kubernetes cluster i.e. Continuous


  1. Running Kubernetes Cluster (GKE is used for the purpose of this blog).
  2. A Spinnaker set-up with Jenkins CI enabled.
  3. Github webhook enabled for Jenkins jobs.

Strategy Overview

  1. Github + Jenkins : CI System to build the docker image and push to registry.
  2. Docker hub: Registry to store docker images.
  3. Spinnaker : CD System to enable automatic deployments to Staging environment and supervised deployment to Production.

Continuous Delivery Pipeline for Kubernetes

Continuous Integration System

Although this post is about the CD system using Spinnaker. I want to briefly go over the CI pipeline so that the bigger picture is clear.

  1. Whenever the master branch of a Git repo gets merged, a Jenkins job is triggered via Github webhookThe commit message for the master merge should include the updated version of the app, and whether it is Kubernetes Deploy action or Patch action.
  2. The Jenkins job checks out the repo, builds code and the docker image according to the Dockerfile, and pushes it to Docker hub.
  3. It then triggers a Spinnaker pipeline and sends a file as a build artifact. This properties file contains very crucial info that is consumed by Spinnaker and will be explained later in this post.

Properties File


Continuous Delivery System

This is the crucial part. Spinnaker offers a ton of options for Kubernetes deployments. You can either consume manifests from GCS or S3 bucket or you can provide manifest as text within the pipeline.

Consuming manifests from GCS or S3 buckets includes more moving parts, and since this is an introductory blog, it is beyond this article's scope right now. However, with that being said, I extensively use that approach as it is best in scenarios where you need to deploy a large number of micro-services running in Kubernetes as such pipelines are highly templatized and re-usable.

Today, we will deploy a sample Nginx Service which reads the app version from a 

pom.xml file and renders it on the browser. Application code and Dockerfile can be found here. The part where index.html is updated can be seen below (This is what the Jenkins job does basically).

#Author: Vaibhav Thakur

#Checking whether commit was in master of not.
if_master=`echo $payload | jq '.ref' | grep master`
if [ $? -eq 1 ]; then
    echo "Pipeline should not be triggered"
    exit 2

#Getting tag from pom.xml
TAG=`grep SNAPSHOT pom.xml | sed 's|[<,>,/,version ]||g'`
echo $TAG

#Getting action from commit message
ACTION=$(echo $payload | jq -r '.commits[0].message' | cut -d',' -f2)

#Updating index.html
sed -i -- "s/VER/${TAG}/g" app/index.html

#Pushing to dockerhub
docker build -t vaibhavthakur/nginx-demo:$TAG .
docker push vaibhavthakur/nginx-demo:$TAG

echo TAG=${TAG} >
echo ACTION=${ACTION} >>

The manifest for the Nginx deployment and service is below:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Namespace
  name: nginx
apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
kind: Deployment
  namespace: nginx
  name: nginx-deployment
  replicas: 1
      annotations: "/status/format/prometheus" "true" "80"
        app: nginx-server
          - weight: 100
                - key: app
                  operator: In
                  - nginx-server
      - name: nginx-demo
        image: vaibhavthakur/nginx-demo:1.0-SNAPSHOT
        imagePullPolicy: Always
            cpu: 2500m
            cpu: 2000m
        - containerPort: 80
          name: http
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  namespace: nginx
  name: nginx-service
  annotations: Internal
  - port: 80
    targetPort: 80
    name: http
    app: nginx-server
  type: LoadBalancer

k8s kubernetes cicd continuous-integration continuous-delivery kubernetes-cluster pipeline jenkins

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