A Detailed Guide to Canary Deployment

When building enterprise applications, you want to ensure that your customers have a bug-free user experience. Since bugs appear whenever any new code is deployed, your deployment process must be set up to identify bugs at an advanced stage before these bugs can affect your users.

Here’s how Canary Deployment comes into the picture and takes care of everything to enable a smooth and bug-free app release to ensure a flawless experience for your users. Learn more about Canary deployment, its various stages, benefits of implementing Canary deployments, and how they differ from blue-green deployments on AWS and ECS, in this blog. let’s take a look!

What is Canary Deployment?

Canary deployment is a technique that reduces the risk of bringing a new software update into production by slowly rolling out changes to a small subset of users before allowing everyone to use the software.

In simple words, it is a practice to do a phased release. The basic idea is to roll out the software update to a small portion of users first, so that they can test it and provide feedback. Once the changes are accepted and made, the final update is rolled out to the rest of the users. In a typical Canary deployment, traffic for an environment is updated sequentially in small steps, each stage requiring validation to proceed to the next.

Canary Deployment Process – Best for letting users test!

When can you use Canary Deployment Strategy?


canary deployment It is customary to do a phased release. The basic idea is to roll out the software update to a small portion of users first, so that they can test it and provide feedback. Once the changes are accepted and made, the final update is rolled out to the rest of the users.

Canary Deployment Stages

In a typical Canary deployment process, traffic to the environment is updated sequentially in small steps, each step requiring validation to proceed to the next. There are three phases of Canary deployment which include:

1. Plan and Build

The first step involves creating a new Canary infrastructure where the latest updates are deployed. Some of the traffic is routed to the Canary instance, while the majority of users continue to use the baseline instance.

2. Analyze

Once some of the traffic has been diverted to the Canary instance, the team collects data: metrics, logs, information from the Network Traffic Monitor, and results from the Synthetic Transaction Monitor to identify and determine whether the new Canary instance is working. doing it or not. Then, the team analyzes this data and compares the results to the baseline version.

3. Roll

After the Canary analysis is complete, the team decides whether to move forward with the release and roll it out to the rest of users or roll back to the previous baseline state to fix issues.

Canary Deployment Stages

Benefits of Canary Deployment

Canary deployment can be an effective and beneficial release strategy if implemented properly. Let’s see how! Here are some of the benefits of implementing Canary Deployment.

  • Fine-Control the Feature Deployment
    Doing small and regular feature deployments reduces the risk of errors that can disrupt the entire workflow. If your team is able to identify an error in a Canary deployment, only a handful of users will be exposed to it, and it will be a minor problem that can be easily resolved.
  • real world test
    Canary deployments are a great strategy for conducting small-scale real-world testing without facing the risks of rolling out an entirely new application to production before multiple users.
  • Zero-production downtime with fast rollback
    Once tested on small production traffic, it can be easily rolled back if the newly released software has some issues. In case of an error, the traffic is simply redirected back to the baseline, and the error is removed. Afterwards, the DevOps team can then determine the root cause and resolve the issue before re-introducing a new update.
  • small infra. less expensive with
    Since Canary deployments are run on a small subset of users, DevOps teams only need a small infrastructure which lowers the cost of development and makes the whole process less expensive.
  • Flexibility to explore with new features
    Canary instances are first tested on a small amount of traffic, so the impact on user experience and overall organization infrastructure is minimal. Because of this, developers have the flexibility to innovate and experiment with new features without worrying about major impacts and consequences on the user experience.

What are Blue/Green Deployments?

Blue/Green deployment is a deployment technique for releasing new code into production environments. This strategy aims to reduce software downtime, facilitate the rollback of new changes, avoid service interruptions in applications, and meet the all-important up-time requirements.

The blue/green deployment uses two identical production environments – one of which actively serves users, and the other environment is set to passive. New updates are pushed to the active environment, where it is monitored for bugs, while the passive environment serves as a backup where traffic can be routed in case an error occurs.

Final Outlook! Canary vs Blue-Green Deployment

Blue/Green deployments provide IT teams with the opportunity to test a new release with a production-quality environment before they go live. This enables IT teams to switch all users to a new release at once, compared to a Canary deployment where there are phased releases. This makes it good for applications that need to be updated with each new release.

Blue-Green deployments on AWS or ECS require a larger budget to accommodate larger infrastructure requirements, as this strategy requires IT organizations to maintain two identical hosting environments. However, businesses with limited resources or with modular and configuration-driven applications may opt for a Canary deployment.

Whether your team chooses Canary Deployment or Blue-Green, planning to execute either of these two deployment strategies requires some pre-planning and thought about the architecture of your business applications and environments.

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