Combine MacStadium infrastructure with Anka virtualization to manage your CI pipeline
Anka is a virtualization engine for continuous integration on macOS. Anka uses Mac's built-in hypervisor with external registry and controller nodes. Anka is custom-built to work as part of a CI workflow and can be integrated with existing container-based DevOps CI pipelines.
Advantages: Uses Mac's hypervisor, allows for offline development.
Disadvantages: Storage scalability past 50 nodes becomes unreliable, requires custom pipeline (limited standard CI/CD tools).
If you’re running dozens or hundreds of builds a day as part of a CI pipeline, you can improve performance by leveraging a virtualized Mac fleet. Orka, the first and only solution built for orchestrating genuine Apple hardware allows you to orchestrate many build machines using Kubernetes technology.
You can try an Orka sandbox and see for yourself how easy it is to manage a Jenkins pipeline, spin-up VMs and achieve near bare metal speeds on a hypervisor built specifically for macOS and iOS app development. Have questions? Talk to a sales engineer about how Orka can transform your Xcode build process.
At MacStadium, we provide genuine Apple infrastructure for customers who want to bring their own Anka license. However, many customers find Orka to be a powerful, customizable solution for their CI/CD pipeline that leverages simple, automated, and standardized DevOps workflows.
The core of the Anka toolset is a native macOS hypervisor that leverages Apple’s macOS hypervisor.framework for virtualization. This hypervisor includes PV network and disk drivers that are required for operations inside the Anka VMs.
Orka utilizes a combination of CoreOS, KVM, Docker, and Kubernetes to allow for virtualization of macOS over scalable, distributed infrastructure.
Based on the container concept, Anka Registry provides a way to store, version, and distribute macOS VMs that are used for CI and development. Once you’ve setup your VMs, a command can be used to upload or download a VM to the Registry.
Based on Docker, Orka allows you to manage docker-wrapped macOS images. Because Orka uses contemporary, industry-standard DevOps tools, it is easy to integrate your macOS infrastructure with your existing architecture.
Anka Controller is the central management system of Anka. Build and provides an interface for provisioning and managing on-demand macOS VMs on a cluster of Mac hardware (Anka Build nodes). You are responsible for maintaining these custom nodes.
Kubernetes is the top orchestration layer for Orka. This widely-adopted, highly-reliable container orchestration platform is quickly becoming the industry standard for infrastructure automation.
The Anka virtualization application package comes with a command line interface that allows for management of guest virtual machines. The CLI is provided to the customer and maintained by the Anka team.
The Orka CLI uses easy-to-learn commands and verbs that are similar to the Docker and Kubernetes command line interface. The Orka CLI is provided by the MacStadium. Certain functions use the Kubernetes CLI provided by the Kubernetes team.
Anka adoption is intermediate in difficulty. When getting started, a user can typically start their first VM in three hours.
Orka adoption is easy in difficulty. When getting started, a user can typically start their first VM in 15 to 30 minutes.
Anka provides plugins for Jenkins, TeamCity, and Packer. However, Anka typically requires custom-built adaptations to existing CI/CD pipelines.
Orka provides plugins for Jenkins, TeamCity, GitHub, GitLab, BuildKite, and a RESTful API for additional custom development.
Anka USB command allows for the connection of USB devices and additional drives.
Orka utilizes attach-disk commands which is useful for both USB attached drives and high-performance networked storage.
Anka Flow allows VMs to be downloaded and run locally for local development and submission back to the registry. This can be useful for troubleshooting and smaller teams.
By utilizing Kubernetes and Docker on Linux, Orka can be used with all standard CI/CD pipelines. In addition, this standardized DevOps orchestration layer allows Mac infrastructure to be managed side-by-side with non-Mac machines.
With a MacStadium hosted Mac private cloud you have everything you need for true automation. All of our private clouds come with hosting, storage, networking, security, monitoring, and 24x7 remote support.