JFrog Artifactory Vs. Sonatype Nexus – The Integration Matrix

This blog post was originally published by Shlomi Ben Haim, JFrog CEO, in February 2011, and has now been rewritten by Dror Bereznitsky, JFrog CPO, to reflect the current state of JFrog technology. Last updated on February 2021.

 

If you’re reading this, you probably Googled “Artifactory vs Nexus”, and are trying to evaluate which product to use. Well, you’re in the right place, but the text for this post was originally written way back when comparing Artifactory to Nexus (and a few other contenders in the binary repository space) boiled down to supported build tools and CI/CD servers. Since then, repository managers have moved into the mainstream, and today, they are an integral part of any DevOps toolchain. The freedom of choice we offered back then was the foundation on which we have built a customer base of thousands of customers including 75% of the Fortune 100 we have today. But as DevOps takes over the world, your criteria for comparing Artifactory to Nexus needs to change and be more DevOps driven. So when comparing these two products, here are a few things we think you should consider.

Cloud, On-prem and Everything in-Between

When cloud computing started making headlines, it seemed like we would all soon be sending our servers to electronic pasture, but, we soon discovered that “Cloud” is not a binary decision. So, when considering which repository manager to use, make sure it can support your cloud strategy and provide both a multi-cloud as well as a hybrid cloud solution.

DevOps Automation

What would DevOps be without automation? Your repository manager is front and center in a fully automated DevOps pipeline. Make sure it offers all the REST API endpoints you need for development, QA/QC, CI/CD, distribution and deployment processes.

To fully support DevOps automation, a repository manager must expose an extensive and robust REST API. Click To Tweet

Metadata is King

To support any variety of business logic you want to implement around your binary artifacts, you need meta-data and lots of it. Artifactory is the king of metadata. In addition to the standard meta-data that comes with binaries in different package formats, Artifactory adds a variety of properties and also allows adding custom properties. In addition, Artifactory stores exhaustive build-info for all builds (software bill of materials, or SBOM), it hosts and provides Artifactory Query Language (AQL), a simple, yet highly flexible tool to search for artifacts based on this abundance of meta-data. There is no other artifact repository manager on the market that makes such extensive use of meta-data.

To support any business logic around binary software artifacts, a repository manager should provide exhaustive metadata and build info. Click To Tweet

Storage – One Size Does Not Fit All

Freedom of choice applies to storage just like it does to anything else. When choosing your repository manager, make sure it supports a variety of cloud storage providers to make sure you don’t get locked into any particular one. Then, if you need advanced storage solutions that seamlessly grow with your needs, and offer unmatched stability and reliability, look into filestore sharding.

Don’t let your repository manager lock you into any particular cloud storage provider. Click To Tweet

Very Quickly, You Need Multiple Instances that Collaborate

Soon after you understand the value a repository manager brings to your DevOps toolchain, you realize that a single instance is not enough to cover your global DevOps needs. Different groups spread over multiple sites need somewhere to manage their own internal binaries. But more importantly, those groups also need a way to share their binaries with other groups to collaborate on their development efforts. That means actively replicating binaries from one site to another. Depending on the different needs of each group and where they are located, a combination of push and pull replication is usually the best solution. Make sure your repository manager supports a variety of replication modes to support the different multi-site topologies of your global DevOps processes.

Your repository manager should support a variety of replication modes to meet the needs of different multi-site topologies. Click To Tweet

Correcting a Few Misperceptions

True High Availability Solution

JFrog HA is a true high availability solution and is not limited to any number of nodes and can scale without degradation of performance. In addition, all supported Artifactory package types are also supported in HA mode.

Industry Leading Support

JFrog provides its customers with industry-leading 24/7 SLA-based product support for any time zone with unbeatable response times. Our team will respond to any issue within 24 hours. For mission critical issues, our SLA is a 4-hour response time. This means you can always get in touch with someone at JFrog immediately to support a production outage. You can always call our support hotline as well. The average response time is 20 hours for all cases, including non-paying customers (trials & POCs), and JFrog is among the only DevOps vendors to provide 24 hours guaranteed response time even for non-critical tickets 24x7x365.

More than 100 support engineers with open calendars according to the customer’s schedule are available for remote sessions for joint debugging and problem resolution. Most sessions are scheduled within the same day.

JFrog is one of the only DevOps vendors to offer HTS (High Touch Solutions) support with an assigned senior support engineer that knows your environment, CI/CD toolset, and stakeholders on your team that utilize the JFrog Platform,

Ranking on Third-Party Review Site

Although not ranked #1 by IT Central Station, JFrog’s customers consist of businesses from small startups to SMBs to some of the largest enterprises including the likes of Capital One and Bank of America which have chosen JFrog as their DevOps partner and have been recognized for their Enterprise DevOps Innovation.

Be Future-Proof

Whatever development and DevOps tools you’re using today, the pace at which new technologies hit, and then take over the market is dizzying. Just a couple of years ago, Docker rose to container stardom, and by now is mainstream in the industry. Today, Kubernetes, Helm, and Go are becoming household words. Make sure your repository manager is flexible enough to integrate with new DevOps tools and support any package format.

JFrog Artifactory is future-proof. It can support any repository layout and therefore, natively accommodate any package format. Click To Tweet

There are, of course, other criteria to consider. To be truly universal is not only in the package types supported (27+ and counting) but includes the freedom of choice of CI and CD platforms, DevOps tools, cloud providers, massively scalable storage capabilities, and supported environments (on-prem/self-managed, cloud, hybrid, and multi-cloud). What’s important to remember is as you look for your needs today, but also look towards tomorrow. Your repository manager is going to be front and center in your DevOps ecosystem, so you need one that’s going to continue fulfilling all your needs as your business grows.

JFrog has grown from its industry-standard binary repository manager to the JFrog Platform — an end-to-end universal DevOps platform (artifact management, DevSecOps, access federation, distribution, CI/CD automation and orchestration, and business intelligence) to meet the growing needs of its thousands of customers. It offers a consistent and unified user experience for all services with all processes at your fingertips from a single pane of glass. And this is all supported by a world-class JFrog Support team of developers supporting developers, globally, 24/7— in any geo. You can even start for free with the JFrog Free subscription (artifact management, vulnerability security scanning, and CI/CD automation and orchestration).