Thursday, March 09, 2017

Oracle Cloud - Backup Jenkins to the Oracle Cloud

If you are using Jenkins as the automation server in your build and DevOps processes it most likely is becoming an extremely valuable asset. It is very likely that you have a large number of processes automated and people have been spending a large amount of time to develop scripting, plugins and automation to ensure that your entire end-2-end process works in the most optimal manner.

In case Jenkins forms a critical role in your IT footprint you will most likely have a number of Jenkins servers working together to execute all the jobs you require to be executed. This means that if one node fails you will not have an issue. However, if you would loose a site or you would loose a storage appliance you do want to have a backup.

Making a backup of Jenkins is relative easy. In effect all artifacts to rebuild a Jenkins server to a running solution are stored in Jenkins home. This makes it extremely easy from a backup point of view. However, keeping backups in the same datacenter is never a good idea. For this you would like to backup Jenkins to another location.

Making the assumption you run Jenkins within your own datacenter, a backup target can be the Oracle Cloud. If you run your Jenkins server already in the Oracle Cloud, you can backup Jenkins to another cloud datacenter.

Backup Jenkins to the Oracle Storage cloud Service
As stated, the Jenkins objects are stored as files which makes that you can very simply create a backup. If you want to backup to the Oracle Storage cloud this would take in effect two steps which both can be scripted and periodically be execute.

Ensure you package all the content of your Jenkins directory. We assume you have all your information stored in the default location when installing Jenkins on Oracle Linux. This is /var/lib/jenkins . This means that we should package the content of this location and after that transport it to the Oracle storage Cloud Service.

The backup can be done by using the below example command which will create a .tar.gz file in the /tmp directory. The file will contain the epoch time stamp to ensure it is really unique.

tar -zcvf jenkins_backup_$(date +%s)_timestamp /var/lib/jenkins

After we have created the .tar.gz file we will have to move it to the Oracle Storage Cloud. To interact with the Oracle Storage Cloud and push a file to the Oracle Storage Cloud you can use the Oracle Storage Cloud File Transfer Manager command-line interface (FTM CLI). For more background information and more advanged features (like for example retention and such) you can refer to the FTM CLI documentation.

As a simple example we will upload the file we just created to a container in the Oracle Storage Cloud named JenkinsBackup.

java -jar ftmcli.jar upload -N jenkins_backup_1489089140_timestamp.tar.gz JenkinsBackup /tmp/jenkins_backup_1489089140_timestamp.tar.gz

Now we should have the file securely stored in the Oracle Storage Cloud and ready to be retrieved when needed. As you can see the above command will take a number of additional actions when you want to create a full scripted version of this. You will also have to make sure that you have the right configuration for the ftmcli stored in a file and you define you want to make use of the backup option and retention times in the backup cloud.

However, when done, you have the assurance that your backups are written to the Oracle Cloud and will be available in case of a disaster.

Backup Jenkins to the Oracle Developer Cloud Service.
As we know.... Jenkins and GIT are friends... so without a doubth it will not come as a supprise that you can also backup Jenkins to a GIT repository. The beauty of this is that Oracle will provide you a GUT repository as part of the Oracle Developer Cloud Service.

This means that you can backup Jenkins directly into the Oracle Developer Cloud Service if you want. Even though the solution is elegant, I do have a personal preference for the backup in the file based manner.

However, for those wanting to explore the options to backup to a GIT repository in the Oracle Developer Cloud Service, a plugin is available which can be used to undertake this task. You can find the plugin on this page on the Jenkins website.
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