Netlify Build vs Cirrus CI comparison of Continuous Integration servers
What are the differences between Netlify Build and Cirrus CI?

Netlify Build

https://www.netlify.com/products/build/

Cirrus CI

https://cirrus-ci.org
Unique feature

Deploy your sites to global Netlify infrastructure

Every commit gets its own deployed version. Automatically attach a new Deploy Preview at a unique permanent URL whenever you submit a Pull/Merge Request. Set Netlify Build to deploy every branch in the repository for unlimited staging environments.

FreeBSD support

Type of product

SaaS

SaaS / On Premise

Offers a free plan

Yes

300 build minutes/month, 1 concurrent CI build

Yes

Free for open source projects
Predictable pricing

Yes

Extra 500 build minutes costs $7/month. User seat $15/user/month.

Yes

Besides the seat (per-user access) you need to buy compute credits for running the build, priced differently depending on the machine you're running builds on.
Support / SLA

Yes

99.99% uptime SLA for Starter and Pro plan. Business plan has negotiable SLA.

N/A

Not clear if they offer any real SLA on support.
Paralellism
Every CI servers tends to address this differently (parallel, distributed, build matrix). Some of it is just marketing, and some is just nuance. For this table, parallel means that tasks can be run concurrently on the same machine, distributed means that tasks can be scaled horizontally, on multiple machines
How to split tests in parallel in the optimal way with Knapsack Pro

Yes

Starter plan (free) has only 1 concurrent build but Pro plan has 3 concurrent builds included.

Yes

There are limits on how many tasks can be run in parallel for the free tier builds: https://cirrus-ci.org/faq/#are-there-any-limits
Distributed builds
distributed means that tasks can be scaled horizontally, on multiple machines
How to split tests in parallel in the optimal way with Knapsack Pro

Yes

High-Performance Builds - The premium build environment gives more concurrency, processing power and asynchronous deploys.

N/A

Containers support / Build environment

Yes

When you trigger a build on Netlify, their buildbot starts a Docker container to build your website. The buildbot will look for instructions about required languages and software needed to run your command before running build command. The instructions are called dependencies, and how you declare them depends on the programming languages and tools used in build. Build image selection is available. Until recently, all Netlify sites were built using the same build image. Netlify is experimenting with allowing customers to select from multiple Docker images with different operating systems and software versions.

Yes

Allows containers or VMs for every major operating system.
Analytics / Status overview
Analytics and overview referrs to the ability to, at a glance, see what's breaking (be it a certain task, or the build for a specific project)

Yes

Simple dashboard to see CI builds. Other than CI analytics Netlify has Netlify Analytics that brings data captured directly from their servers for your website.

Yes

Management support
How easy is it to manage users / projects / assign roles and permissions and so on

Yes

Team members managment. Role-based access control only in business plan.

N/A

Self-hosted option

No

Yes

Hosted plans / SaaS

Yes

Yes

Build pipelines
A continuous delivery pipeline is a description of the process that the software goes through from a new code commit, through testing and other statical analysis steps all the way to the end-users of the product.

Yes, partially

Simple steps, define your own steps in bash commands

Yes

Defined via YML config files
Reports
Reports are about the abilty to see specific reports (like code coverage or custom ones), but not necesarily tied in into a larger dashboard.

No

N/A

Ecosystem
Besides the official documentation and software, is there a large community using this product? Are there any community-driven tools / plugins that you can use?

No

There are only small helpful things like incoming webhooks so other services can trigger Netlify deploys, and send outgoing webhooks as a deploy starts, succeeds, or fails.

N/A

Specific language support: Ruby
Some CI servers have built-in support for parsing RSpec or Istanbul output for example and we mention those. Some others make it even easier by detecting Gemfiles or package.json and automate parts of the process for the developer.

Yes

It has support for Ruby.

No (partial)

No specific support from what I can gather, but it does provide documentation for Ruby, including integration with the knapsack_pro gem.
Specific language support: JavaScript

Yes

It has support for JavaScript.

No

No specific support and no documentation on setting up a CI/CD process for a Javascript project.
Integrations
1st party support for common tools (like Slack notifications, various VCS platforms, etc)

Yes

Netlify has incoming webhooks so other services can trigger Netlify deploys, and send outgoing webhooks as a deploy starts, succeeds, or fails. For instance you can integrate it with Slack.

Yes

Integrates well with GitHub - the whole CI/CD process starts with a commit to a GitHub repo.
API
Custom integreation is available, via an API or otherwise, it's mentioned separately as it allows further customization than any of the Ecosystem/Integration options

No

Yes

Provides a pretty nifty GraphQL API which allows querying the Cirrus CI Schema, as well as webhooks support for other types of custom integrations (such as Slack or IRC notifications, for example). They also added support for GitHub actions
Auditing

N/A

N/A

From what we can tell, there's no specific support for auditing changes in the Cirrus CI config (other than what is traceable via git commits to the YML config file)
Additional notes

Seems to be used by companies with a solid engineering background (Google)

How to run parallel tests on Netlify Build and Cirrus CI
to execute 1-hour test suite in 2 minutes?

Without Knapsack Pro

you have to wait 20 minutes for slow tests running too long on red node

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Run fast parallel CI build with Knapsack Pro

CI build completes work in only 10 minutes because Knapsack Pro ensures all parallel nodes finish work at a similar time

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You can even run 20 parallel nodes to complete your CI build in 2 minutes

How it works

1. Install Knapsack Pro client in your project


2. Add Knapsack Pro client to your current CI server and run your tests in parallel

Knapsack Pro how it works with CI server

3. Update your CI server config file to run tests in parallel with Knapsack Pro

Knapsack Pro in Queue Mode will split tests in a dynamic way across parallel CI nodes to ensure each CI node finishes work at a similar time. Thanks to that your CI build time is as fast as possible. It works with many supported CI servers.

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Start using Knapsack Pro

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Get faster feedback from Netlify Build and Cirrus CI server

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Knapsack Pro terminal

Introduction to CI parallelisation with Knapsack Pro

Run tests in parallel on Netlify Build and Cirrus CI in the optimal way and avoid bottleneck parallel jobs.

How much can you save with faster tests
on Netlify Build and Cirrus CI?

minutes
$

Monthly you can save hours
and up to $
on faster development cycle.

Features that make your tests perform better

  • Queue mode see video

    Dynamic tests allocation across Netlify Build and Cirrus CI parallel jobs. Autobalance tests to get the optimal test suite split betweeen CI nodes.

  • Regular mode see video

    Test suite split based on time execution. Generates subset of test suite per CI node before running tests.

  • Fallback mode

    Network issues? Not a problem, run tests anyway! Auto switch to the fallback mode to not depend on Knapsack Pro API.

  • All supported test runners

    Ruby: RSpec, Minitest, Test::Unit, Cucumber, Spinach, Turnip.

    JavaScript: Cypress.io, Jest

    Do you use different programming language or test runner? Let us know in the poll

Discover all features or see
how to use Knapsack Pro with your CI

Trusted solution

Join the teams optimizing their tests with Knapsack Pro.

We've been really enjoying Knapsack Pro, it's been saving us a ton of time.

Devin Brown Software Engineer at Pivotal

This is a fantastic product, it's been a total game-changer for us.

Geoff Harcourt CTO at CommonLit

We are using CircleCI and we noticed that builds were being limited by the slowest parallelized container. Knapsack Pro was really east to setup and we saw huge improvements right away. Thank you for making this tool!

Martin Sieniawski Software Engineer at Collage

Knapsack Pro has helped us build an insanely fast and scaleable build pipeline with almost no setup or maintenance.

Tim Lucas Co-founder of buildkite.com

Knapsack Pro saves us hours of engineer waiting time every week, and is the best solution for keeping our tests load balanced that we've used to date.

Michael Amygdalidis Senior Software Engineer at Popular Pays

I've been playing with Queue Mode. Love it! Wow, I love how fast it goes.

Michael Menne CTO at humanagency.org

I just logged into my account expecting it to say that I needed to add a credit card and was so surprised and delighted to see the trial doesn't count usage by calendar days but by testing days! This is incredible! I love it!!!

I just wanted to say that I really appreciate that small but very huge feature. Thank you for being so thoughtful :)

Shannon Baffoni Senior Software Engineer
at Blue Bottle Coffee

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