Unleashing the Power of Efficiency with Nested CI/CD Pipelines

Have you heard of continuous integration and continuous deployment, or CI/CD for short? It’s a way of delivering software quickly and reliably. This is super important in the fast-paced world of software creation!


As developers look for ways to be more efficient and use automation, nested CI/CD pipelines have become a really powerful tool. It helps them streamline and orchestrate complex software release processes.


What are Nested CI/CD pipelines?


A nested CI/CD pipeline is a series of automated steps within a larger CI/CD process. It’s like a set of smaller pipelines within the main pipeline. Each nested pipeline handles a specific task, such as building, testing, or deploying, making the overall process more modular and manageable. This nested structure helps streamline development workflows and ensures efficient code delivery.


In this blog post, we’ll explore how nested CI/CD pipelines can help you save time and make your software development workflows more efficient. First, let’s take a look at what nested pipelines look like.


Tree View of Nested Pipeline


[Main Pipeline]


|__ [Build Pipeline]

|       |

|       |__ [Compile Code]

|       |

|       |__ [Generate Build Artifacts]


|__ [Test Pipeline]

|       |

|       |__ [Unit Tests]

|       |

|       |__ [Integration Tests]


|__ [Deploy Pipeline]

|       |

|       |__ [Deploy to Development Environment]

|       |

|       |__ [Deploy to Staging Environment]


|__ [Monitor Pipeline]


|__ [Monitor Performance]


|__ [Collect Logs]


So, what are the advantages of using nested CI/CD pipelines? Let’s find out!



  • Breaking Down Complicated Workflows



Nested CI/CD pipelines offer a way to divide complex software release workflows into smaller, manageable units. With nested pipelines, you can split your development process into logical stages, such as building, testing, deploying, and monitoring. Each stage can be its own pipeline, allowing you to focus on specific tasks without overwhelming complexity.


By organizing your workflow into nested pipelines, you gain a clear visual representation of the overall release process. This structure helps with easier understanding, debugging, and maintenance. It also promotes modularity, allowing you to reuse and share specific pipeline components across different projects, reducing repetition and enhancing efficiency.



  • Enhanced Scalability and Parallelization



Imagine you have a really complex application that needs to work on different platforms or places. With nested pipelines, you can create separate pipelines for each environment. It’s like having different teams working on different tasks, so everything runs smoothly. So, you can have separate pipelines for development, staging, and production.


This scalability lets you test and deploy your application in multiple places at the same time in multiple environments, reducing the time needed for comprehensive testing and validation. Additionally, nested pipelines provide the ability to run stages in parallel, leveraging the power of distributed computing resources. This parallel execution improves the speed of your CI/CD processes, resulting in faster feedback loops and quicker time to market.



  • Precise Control and Conditional Execution



Nested pipelines offer precise control and conditional execution, allowing you to customize CI/CD processes based on specific criteria. For example, you can define conditional statements within your pipeline to trigger or skip certain stages or steps based on the branch being built or the specific environment being targeted.


This customized control is super helpful because it allows you to automate the deployment of specific features or branches to specific environments. You can make sure only the changes that are needed get released. And here’s the really cool part – nested pipelines can handle different deployment scenarios. Whether it’s rolling deployments (like a snowball getting bigger), blue-green deployments (like swapping between two versions), or canary releases (like testing out new features with a small group), nested pipelines can handle it all! You can define special rules and logic to make sure everything happens smoothly.


So, with nested pipelines, you can make things happen exactly how you want them to, like magic!



  • Increased Reusability and Maintainability



Nested pipelines promote reusability and maintainability by encapsulating common deployment patterns, configurations, and scripts into modular components. These reusable pipeline components can be shared across multiple projects, ensuring consistent deployment practices and reducing duplication of effort.


With nested pipelines, you can create a library of reusable pipeline templates or modules that encapsulate specific deployment strategies, environment configurations, or testing routines. These templates can be easily plugged into different projects, simplifying the setup and maintenance of CI/CD pipelines. By centralizing these reusable components, you also ensure that any improvements or updates to a shared component propagate to all projects that utilize it.


Nested Pipelines at Creative Chaos


At Creative Chaos, we consistently structure our CI/CD pipelines in a way that allows us to use these pipeline templates across various projects. This approach simplifies the process, as we don’t have to start from scratch each time. It’s similar to using a ready-to-use cake mix instead of starting the baking process from the very beginning – it’s efficient and saves time.


By adopting this method, we’ve assisted our clients in swiftly setting up new project pipelines. Additionally, any enhancements or modifications made to these templates are automatically applied to all the projects utilizing them, ensuring consistent improvements across the board.




Wrapping up, nested CI/CD pipelines provide a powerful approach to streamline and automate complex software release processes. By breaking down workflows into smaller, manageable units, developers can gain better control, scalability, and efficiency in their CI/CD pipelines. The ability to parallelize stages, customize conditional execution, and foster reusability enhances collaboration and empowers teams to deliver software faster and with higher quality. Embracing nested CI/CD pipelines can be a game-changer for your software development processes, enabling you to stay ahead in the competitive software landscape.

Safder Qasim

Safder Qasim

DevOps Architect

Safder is a seasoned DevOps Architect at Creative Chaos and also assumes the role of the DevOps Community Manager within the company. In this pivotal role, Safder leads a dynamic team of DevOps engineers, steering the enhancement of the software delivery pipeline. His responsibilities encompass overseeing software release deployments, streamlining automation processes, and fostering seamless collaboration across cross-functional teams.