Just under two years ago, Isaac, Ben and I started Armory after experiencing the magic of building an in-house CI/CD platform we built at a past webscale company that unlocked its ability to innovate with software. Our Distinguished Engineer Andrew (Armory's first employee) was a key architect of that platform.
The graph above shows how, at that company, we went from a very low deployment velocity (4 painful deployments per month, each taking 40+ days, with multiple manager approvals), to deploying over 200x per month. Just a few months later, we boosted that by another 10x, deploying over 2,400 times per month.
Boosting deployment velocity by 600x was truly magical – not just for us, but also for the application teams that really wanted to innovate faster.
Each color above represents a service/app that we deployed. As we gained confidence and velocity in our ability to deploy safely, without breaking customer trust, the number of services we started to deploy multiplied greatly. Before building this platform, the company had apps we'd been afraid to touch and innovate on because nobody knew quite how they were deployed to production. All that fear disappeared when we standardized our deployment processes, with a single, consistent, golden path to production.
When we decided to start Armory, we also learned about Netflix's OSS Spinnaker project early on, before it was open-sourced. It became immediately obvious to us that with Netflix & Google's deep involvement, Spinnaker would become an emerging standard for enabling truly multi-cloud deployments at scale. Instead of re-creating the wheel and building another in-house continuous delivery platform, we made a big bet on having Spinnaker at the core of Armory's Platform.
That bet has really paid off. Armory now has more experience operationalizing Spinnaker in complex enterprise environments than any other company, and as enterprises realize how important it is for them to innovate through software, we know they will need a platform like Spinnaker to enable their success. The Spinnaker community has grown by 500% in the past 18 months, with many Global 2,000 and modern "born in the cloud" venture-backed high-growth companies adopting it.
Here's a sample of just some of the companies using Spinnaker. Learn more about how Spinnaker enables multi-cloud deployments in our whitepaper.
There was a fantastic article in the Wall Street Journal recently about how "Models Will Run the World." From the article:
We agree. Not only are these software companies eating their industries, they are jumping to adjacent industries, and winning those as well. Amazon acquiring Whole Foods is a great example. Under Amazon's ownership, Whole Foods is no longer constrained to low-margin grocery unit economics. Any enterprise in the grocery & retail vertical now has to learn to become a software company to compete effectively.
In order for enterprises to gain this core competency, and successfully compete in this digital age, they will need to learn how to build better software, faster.
The best boardroom strategy is useless if a company cannot actually go from "idea" to "feature in production" with velocity and safety, at scale.
Whereas many Fortune 500 companies only deploy software to production 7 times per year, Netflix deploys software over 4000 times every day. We call that delta the "Innovation Gap." Armory is here to help enterprises remove it.
We are in the first inning of a multi-decade digital race that will re-define entire industries. Companies that don't evolve will see their enterprise value drop precipitously, like Kodak's did, losing 99.6% of its enterprise value in just 15 years.
Kodak's Share Price between 1997 - 2012
We find that most enterprises are still stuck in Stages 1 & 2 of our Software Delivery Evolution maturity model:
Armory's Stages of Software Delivery Evolution Model
We can't yet help those compaines. There's too much cultural change required for companies to reverse the anti-pattern we typically see in those stages: They are terrified to deploy faster because each time they try, something breaks, causing widespread outages and expensive breakages in customer trust. Leadership's natural reaction is to pull the ripcord and stop deployments while they put more layers of manager approvals, integration testing, and manual QA in place to feel safer. This comes at great cost to innovation.
The right thing to do is to upgrade a company's core software delivery infrastructure to a modern, cloud-native solution like Spinnaker, which Netflix uses to deploy safely, at scale, with sophisticated deployment techniques like continuous verification of deployments (which limits the customer blast radius when new features are deployed) and 1-click rollbacks with the ability to break monoliths into microservices, containerize workloads, and deploy to multiple cloud targets.
We do see the Innovators (Stage 3 in the maturity model above) leaning in to modernize their software delivery infrastructure as they move out of data centers and into the cloud (and also, start running Kubernetes in data centers). Armory exists to help these innovative companies ship better software, faster, by providing a distribution of Spinnaker at Enterprise Scale, with proprietary features that enterprises need to use it successfully, and 24x7 enterprise support.
Below is our Series A funding announcement. We're thrilled to have Eric Chin of Crosslink Capital lead our Series A and join Armory's board. Phil Boyer was instrumental in getting the fundraise done – he's been tracking us since Armory was one month old, back in October 2016. Also participating are Noah Doyle of Javelin, who led Armory's seed round, Salil Deshpande of Bain Capital Ventures (as well as Bill Lehmann, another amazing Principal), Y Combinator (Armory was in the W17 batch), Robin Vasan, and Ed Roman, all of whom have already provided tremendous support and value to Armory in our first two years.
Armory truly believes software is the highest-leverage way to improve humanity, which also makes it the highest-leverage way to create enterprise value. We're just getting started helping software teams ship better software, faster.
Daniel R. Odio, CEO, Armory
If you'd like to learn more about Spinnaker:
- Read Armory's Whitepaper on Spinnaker
- Read this O'Reilly book about Spinnaker, written by Netflix & Google
You can also email me directly at DROdio@Armory.io if you'd like to continue this conversation.
Armory Series A Announcement
San Mateo, CA — Armory, Inc. announced today a $10 Million Series A led by Crosslink Capital, with Bain Capital Ventures, Javelin Venture Partners, Y Combinator and Robin Vasan participating. This brings Armory’s total funds raised to $14 Million.
Armory was founded in late 2016 to bring Spinnaker to the enterprise. Spinnaker is the continuous software delivery platform developed open-sourced by Netflix and Google to help companies deploy software into multiple clouds with safety and velocity. As enterprises move out of datacenters and into the cloud, and start to containerize their applications with technologies like Kubernetes at scale, they’ll need Armory to deploy with safety, velocity and sophistication.
Armory is the market leader, with more experience operationalizing Spinnaker in complex enterprise environments than any other company.“In Armory, we see parallels to other successful investments we’ve made in companies commercializing important open-source projects,” said Eric Chin, Partner at Crosslink Capital. “We believe enterprises will need to double down on their ability to ship software orders of magnitude faster to thrive in this digital age, and Spinnaker is the emerging standard for software continuous delivery. Crosslink invests in 1) Exceptional founders going after 2) Large markets with 3) Highly differentiated tech. Armory hits the mark on all three.”
The Core of Armory’s Platform is powered by Spinnaker. Armory extends open-source Spinnaker with proprietary features to use Spinnaker at enterprise scale, along with 24x7 enterprise-grade support. Armory also offers integrations with other best-in-class devops toolchain platforms like Atlassian’s Jira, Github, DataDog, New Relic and Slack.
“Spinnaker is the emerging standard for sophisticated multi-cloud deployments, with support across leading cloud vendors and a robust, rapidly growing community,” said Daniel R. Odio, CEO of Armory. “That’s why we’re investing in Spinnaker to power the Core of Armory’s platform, which helps software teams ship better software, faster. With Armory, enterprises can innovate faster without breaking customer trust.” In less than two years, Armory has landed innovators from the Fortune 20 as customers, as well as a number of Global 2,000 enterprises.
Armory's platform automates software delivery, enabling software teams to ship better software, faster. Companies use Armory's platform to migrate workloads from VMs to containers without disrupting deployment workflows, and to deploy orders of magnitude faster, in a consistent manner across teams, replacing a mess of brittle deployment and configuration management tooling.
Armory optimizes every part of the software development lifecycle, enabling sophisticated multi-cloud deployment strategies that leverage advanced features like: automated canaries, 1-click rollbacks, 1-click app creation, automated load-testing, red/black deployments, chaos engineering, certified deployment pipelines, SLA-driven rollouts-rollbacks, chatops and actionable insights into software delivery bottlenecks. This enables developers to be more productive, and organizations to deploy up to 600x more frequently. Code is released to users faster, allowing the business to innovate faster.
As enterprises break monoliths into micro-services, containerize their workloads and deploy to public, private, hybrid & multi-cloud environments, they'll need Armory's cloud-native software delivery platform to achieve these goals.
Armory leverages open source:
The Core of Armory's Platform is powered by Spinnaker, created and open-sourced by Netflix and Google. Spinnaker codifies the best-practices that put them a decade ahead of most other companies. Spinnaker is a multi cloud-native software continuous delivery & infrastructure management platform for deploying safely & continuously to AWS, EKS, GCP, Kubernetes, Azure, OpenStack, DC/OS, Oracle's Cloud & others. Importantly, Spinnaker deploys infrastructure, not applications -- aka immutable deployments.
About Crosslink Capital:
Crosslink Capital is a leading early-stage venture capital firm with roughly $1.6 billion in assets. Crosslink, which traces its roots back to 1989, was among the first and largest investment firms in the U.S. to integrate public and private technology investing in three families of funds: venture capital funds, long/short hedge funds, and a unique hybrid crossover fund. This strategy allows Crosslink to partner with its portfolio companies on a long-term basis.
With more than 25 years behind it, Crosslink Capital has invested in hundreds of private companies, including Pandora (NYSE: P), Ancestry.com (NASDAQ: ACOM), Omniture (acquired by Adobe Systems), Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX), Carbonite (NASDAQ: CARB), BlueArc (acquired by Hitachi), SeaMicro (acquired by AMD), Bleacher Report (acquired by Turner Broadcasting), Flurry (acquired by Yahoo), Bizo (acquired by LinkedIn), ServiceMax (acquired by GE), Coupa (NASDAQ: COUP), DataStax, Hired.com, Postmates, Casper, Vungle, and Prosper.