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Visual Studio Team Services Gets Multi-Machine Deployment

Multi-machine deployment with Visual Studio Team Services/Team Foundation Server via deployment groups is now out of preview and generally available.

The new Release Management functionality lets developers orchestrate deployments across multiple servers -- on-premises or via cloud virtual machines -- and allows for rolling updates.

When introducing the feature last May, Microsoft explained a deployment group is a logical group of targets (machines) that have installed agents to coordinate deployments. As these are the same agents already used for builds and releases, the company said developers can use the full task catalog on target machines

"Deployment groups represent your physical environments like single box Dev, multi-machine QA or farm of machines for UAT/Prod," Microsoft said. "They also specify the security context for your physical environments."

Furthermore, Microsoft said, the functionality can be extended by the use of REST APIs for deployment groups and targets for programmatic access.

During the 10-month preview, the company said it saw customers put the functionality to use in various ways, such as:

  • Deploying to multiple geographic regions or multiple datacenters.
  • Delivering application updates to multiple customers (multi-tenanted deployments).
  • Managing transient workloads on clouds by dynamically spinning up deployment targets and tearing them down, or via auto-scaled targets, such as Azure VM Scale Sets.
  • Performing blue/green deployments with a traffic manager/load balancer.
  • Scaling deployments from a single server to more than 600 servers in a single deployment group.

Those use cases are likely to be expanded with new features in the generally availability release, which adds: shared deployment targets via deployment pools; new release definition templates; an enhanced Azure Resource Group to boost the provisioning of virtual machines; and more.

Full details can be found in yesterday's (March 26) announcement post.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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