Harness updates platform to speed up software delivery, lower cloud costs

The Harness software delivery platform uses intelligent features and a unified pipeline to help developers work more efficiently.

Harness, a software delivery platform, announced a handful of significant updates on Wednesday aimed at helping developers speed up delivery with AI and automation, as well as helping organizations lower their cloud computing costs. The updates were announced as part of the company's annual developer conference, {Unscripted} 2021

After emerging from stealth in 2017, the San Francisco-based Harness now has a $1.7 billion valuation. The company's customers include Kohl's, McAfee, National Bank of Canada, UK Home Office, and Citigroup.

While Harness has a number of competitors, like GitLab and CircleCI, the DevOps market is expected to grow quickly: IDC projects that the market will reach $15 billion in 2023, up from $5.2 billion in 2018. 

The new updates contribute to Harness' overarching aim of providing a unified pipeline for software delivery, sped up with intelligent features. The four new components of the Harness platform include Test Intelligence, Feature Flags, Cloud Auto-Stopper and Unified Pipeline. 

The new Test Intelligence reduces test cycle time by up to 98% using AI/ML workflows to prioritize and optimize test execution. In addition, it automatically shifts the failed tests earlier in the build cycle, so the developer will know, almost immediately, if the fix worked. Harness says it's the only software delivery company on the market using test intelligence driven by AI and ML.

Feature Flags, meanwhile, allow developers to release new features without making them visible to users. With control over which pieces of functionality are on and off, developers can release, manage, and govern features at scale outside of the code. Companies can also test out more advanced and complex scenarios like feature A/B testing or software functionality variations, such as one- or two-step checkout. 

With Cloud Auto-Stopper, Harness promises to reduce cloud compute waste associated with non-production environments (dev, QA, staging) by up to 75%. The new features follows Harness' acquisition of Lightwing technology, which was integrated into the Harness Cloud Cost Management module. This allows engineering teams to quickly auto-stop and restart non-production environments. 

Harness said its own engineering team was able to reduce AWS non-production spend by 25% and Azure non-production spend by 50% using the feature. 
 
Lastly, Harness' Unified Pipeline offers continuous integration and delivery, feature flags, cloud cost and change verification, all managed in a single pipeline.