Deployment Groups is now generally available: sharing of targets and more…

Roopesh Nair

We are excited to announce that Deployment Groups is out of preview and is now generally available. Deployment Groups is a robust out-of-the-box multi-machine deployment feature of Release Management in VSTS/TFS. 

What are Deployment Groups?

With Deployment Groups, you can orchestrate deployments across multiple servers and perform rolling updates, while ensuring high availability of your application throughout. You can also deploy to servers on-premises or virtual machines on Azure or any cloud, plus have end-to-end traceability of deployed artifact versions down to the server level.

Agent-based deployment relies on the same agents your builds and releases use, which means you can use the full task catalog on your target machines. From an extensibility perspective, you can also use the REST APIs for deployment groups and targets for programmatic access.

Customer adoption:

Since we announced public preview back in May 2017, we have seen many customers find innovative uses for deployment groups and we’ve been blown away by all the great feedback from customers and the community.

For example, we have customers,

  • Deploying to multiple geographic regions or multiple data-centers.
  • Delivering application updates to multiple end-customers (multi-tenanted deployments).
  • Manage transient work-loads on clouds by dynamically spinning up deployment targets and tearing-it down. Or with auto-scaled targets (example Azure VMSS).
  • Perform blue/green deployments with traffic manager/load balancer
  • With  deployment scale varying from a single server to 600+ servers in a single deployment group.

What’s new?

Shared deployment targets:

If you are using the same server to host multiple applications, managed by multiple teams, you can now share the deployment targets across team projects using deployment pools. Check out the blog for more details.

New templates:

Deploying to multiple targets is now a breeze with the new release definition templates. You will find templates for IIS web site and IIS web site with database deploy, plus multiple deployment templates for SQL DB offline, partially online, and fully online database upgrades.

Provisioning VMs

Use the enhanced Azure Resource Group task to dynamically bootstrap agents on the newly provisioned or pre-existing Virtual Machines on Azure.

You can also bootstrap Azure Virtual Machines with deployment agent from the portal or using Azure Resource Manager extension. Check out the new portal experience that is rolling out soon.

Refreshed experience:

When we launched deployment groups in last May, we shipped a simple UX that worked well for the few scenarios we supported. However, as we expanded the service with these new investments, we enhanced the UX that more closely matches the rest of Team Services.

Get started:

Report any problems on Developer Community, make suggestions on UserVoice, get advice on Stack Overflow, and get support via our Support page. For product news, follow @VSTS


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