GitHub vs JFrog: Who Can do the Job for DevOps?

When you choose a product, you’re hiring it to do a job. You’ve put out the“Help Wanted” sign for DevOps, and choosing between two well-qualified prospects is high stakes. The hire you make can ensure the enterprise swiftly rises — or sinks.

With JFrog and GitHub, you have two of the best candidates. Now judge which is the best fit. Beyond the puzzle of competing features, which one knows how best to get the job done?

The Candidates: GitHub and JFrog

GitHub has a great résumé. They set the industry standard for source code collaboration tools, and GitHub’s version control system (VCS) may already play a vital role in your development pipeline. Now part of Microsoft, GitHub is relied upon by developers and increasingly by operations as well through modern GitOps practices.

GitHub has built on this legacy with GitHub Actions for performing CI/CD, and GitHub Packages for local package type repositories. They’ve also integrated another Microsoft acquisition, Dependabot, to provide OSS security vulnerability oversight.

The JFrog DevOps Platform is powered by Artifactory, the first-in-class binary repository manager that pioneered many modern DevOps practices. The JFrog Platform is composed of scalable solutions that help build (JFrog Pipelines), secure (JFrog Xray) and distribute (JFrog Distribution) your software under a unified system for end-to-end software delivery.

The Job: Responsibilities and Duties

To succeed at DevOps, the solution you choose must enable you to accomplish a set of key things well and can’t fall short. Let’s examine GitHub and JFrog and see how well each can do the job you’re hiring for.

Release Faster

Our years of experience have proved one truth: Achieving DevOps is all about your binaries. 

Software development is about code, and quality code comes from empowering smart people who know how to write it. 

Software delivery is about binaries — ensuring quality builds and getting them swiftly into your customers’ devices. Quality binaries come from smart systems that know how to manage and distribute them.

To get that done, you’ll need:

JFrog GitHub
Automation: Natively integrated CI/CD
Build Promotion for Release Staging X
Extended Metadata for Traceability X
Advanced Query Language X
Proxy Repository Caching X
Distribution Solution X
End-to-End DevOps Solution Limited

 

Automation and Promotion

GitHub Actions and JFrog Pipelines each provide CI/CD automation to create builds. But only the JFrog Platform is inherently designed to help move those builds through your SDLC stages of development, testing, and production. Pipelines’ native steps make it easy to practice automated promotion of immutable builds with metadata through successive repositories in Artifactory to a safe and rapid release.

Extended Metadata and Advanced Query Language

Automation needs information and the ability to use it well. The more complete your artifact metadata, the more intelligent your automation can be to create builds, and to roll them back for safety.

GitHub Packages maintains basic metadata properties for the artifacts it stores (e.g., creation date, number of dependencies, download activity). It does not provide the ability to extend artifact metadata with your own, custom properties. As a consequence, the GitHub GraphQL query API cannot provide the advanced query facilities required for effective artifact management.

Artifactory maintains a rich range of extended metadata for full querying and traceability of all artifacts, enabling complete accountability and reproducibility of all build, package, and release components. Artifactory’s metadata is extensible, so that other tools in your DevOps ecosystem can maintain custom properties as well. This robust metadata and query language can reveal usage and impact insights within Artifactory, as well as through export to analytics.

Proxy Repository Caching

While GitHub Packages enables you to maintain private package type repositories, it leaves you at the mercy of your external connection to public repos. With Artifactory’s remote repositories, you can cache those open source packages in a proxy repo, providing local speed and ensuring against any connection outage.

End-to-End and Distribution

The JFrog Platform is a complete DevOps solution, from code builds to delivery of those builds into production. In addition to enabling deployment through Helm to Kubernetes, the JFrog Platform supports CDN and peer-to-peer distribution. Using JFrog Distribution, you can create signed release bundles and deliver them securely to edge nodes for large-scale deployments.

Connect to Your Universe

To be versatile, your DevOps platform needs to be able to support all the technologies that your development teams use, to merge seamlessly with the tools you need.

JFrog GitHub
Package Types 29+ 5
Cloud Native Artifacts Limited
REST APIs and CLI
Out-of-the-Box Integrations X
Available integrations

Package Types

GitHub Packages supports management of 5 package types for 4 languages, plus repositories for Docker currently in public beta.This limited set may be sufficient for your needs — today.

Artifactory supports the most robust set of package types of any artifact manager, 25+ as well as generic repositories to store untyped binaries. It can even proxy and cache your GitHub source repos, and enable Git large file storage through an Artifactory repository.

Artifactory’s universal package management not only assures that all development teams can work with the languages and dependency types they choose today, but that a growing company can readily integrate new teams into developer operations from new lines of business or acquisition.

Language or OS JFrog Artifactory (partial) GitHub Packages (entire)
Javascript
Java
Java,C/C++,etc.
Javascript
Python
.NET
Golang
Docker
Helm
C/C++
iOS
PHP
Ruby
Linux, Yum
GNU Linux
npm/Yarn
Apache Maven
Gradle
Bower
pip/twine
Nuget
Go modules
Docker
Helm charts
Conan
CocoaPods
PHP Composer
RubyGems
RPM
Debian
npm/Yarn
Apache Maven
Gradle


Nuget

Docker (in beta)




RubyGems

Cloud Native Artifacts

The GitHub Packages solution supports private container registries for Docker images. This feature is a relatively recent addition, currently available as a public beta release. Public images can be hosted for free in the beta version of GitHub Container Registry. Neither solution is yet OCI compliant nor able to host Helm chart repositories.

Artifactory can host both public and private Docker registries, is OCI compliant, and supports repositories for Helm 2 and 3. By maintaining rich build information metadata, Artifactory can act as your complete Kubernetes registry, providing a fully traceable path for all builds deployed to your clusters. 

In addition to securely hosting your own container resources, Artifactory can proxy and cache any public registry such as Docker Hub, or even GitHub Container Registry, to provide speed and outage protection. And as an integration partner, Docker grants all JFrog cloud subscriptions unlimited, high-performant access to Docker Hub and to Docker Official Images.

APIs and Integrations

GitHub and JFrog each provide REST APIs and CLIs to enable integration. Review them both — we think you’ll find JFrog offers a more comprehensive set for versatile automation.

GitHub Actions and Packages are tightly coupled with GitHub source control repositories. While the JFrog Platform provides end-to-end DevOps, you can also use Artifactory with CI/CD tools you might prefer — whether that’s Jenkins, CircleCI, or even GitHub Actions. JFrog provides some integrations out-of-the-box, or choose from a large family of technology partner integrations.

Protect Your Business

Practicing strong DevSecOps means having the best risk data and being able to interpret results to maintain safety and regulatory compliance. It also means enabling everyone along the software production process to be aware of security. 

JFrog GitHub
DevSecOps Included Limited
Extended Vulnerability Database X
License Compliance X
Automated Enforcement Policies X
Impact Analysis X
IDE Integrations to Shift Left X

 

Vulnerabilities, Licenses, and Enforcement

GitHub’s Dependabot security scans your individual repo’s manifest against Github’s vulnerability database, and identifies all risks found. This enables you to remediate each dependency of an application with its latest safe version.

JFrog Xray performs deep recursive scans of binaries in all the Artifactory repos you select to watch, against JFrog’s database extended by VulnDB from global data leader Risk Based Security. Xray will also flag use of any open source packages whose licenses don’t comply with the policies of your organization or regulatory standards. And you can configure Xray fine-grained rules and policies to fail builds according to risk severity or CVSS score.

Impact Analysis

While Dependabot examines each repo separately, Xray reveals the risk impact to your entire binaries ecosystem through impact graphs that show the full scope of any policy violation.

Shifting Left

The earlier vulnerabilities are found and resolved, your production costs get lower and your releases get speedier. With any of the Xray plugins for popular IDEs, you can shift left security awareness to developers, flagging and remediating vulnerabilities in OSS dependencies even before code commit.

 Scale to Infinity

Your business can’t stand still; you must be able to seize every opportunity to grow globally. There are no limits and, no matter where you’re starting from, your tools have to keep up. Your critical path operations must fit your needs today, but also enable business agility to meet your needs of tomorrow without interruption.

JFrog GitHub
Expandable High Availability Limited
Regional Geo-Replication
Multicloud Offering X
Hybrid Solution Limited
Scalable, Cloud Native CI/CD Limited
Unlimited number of users X

 

Expandable High Availability

Both GitHub and JFrog support high availability (HA, also known as “clustered”) deployments using multiple, load-balanced instances to help assure swift response time while enabling failover protection and zero downtime when performing upgrades. However, GitHub’s HA support does not include Packages, Actions, or Dependabot security. 

Multicloud and Hybrid

GitHub hosts all cloud (SaaS) service levels on a single, unspecified cloud platform, making multi-cloud redundancy impossible. For self-hosting or on-premises, GitHub Enterprise Server is available and can be combined with an Enterprise Cloud account to create a hybrid system. Joining the two through GitHub Connect creates a unified search and contribution experience.

JFrog Cloud (SaaS) is available for managed hosting on all major cloud providers (AWS, GCP, and Azure), empowering you to choose your cloud platform or maintain more than one for a multi-cloud strategy. All subscription levels of JFrog Platform (Pro, Team, Enterprise, Enterprise+) are available for self-hosting or on-premises and can be combined with any JFrog Cloud account to build a hybrid system through repository geo-replication.

Scalable, Cloud Native CI/CD

GitHub Actions is tightly coupled with GitHub source code management, enabling workflows to work closely with those repositories and to be triggered by any GitHub event. Developers can build workflows from standard actions, as well as create custom, private actions for use within the repository.

JFrog Pipelines integrates out-of-the-box with GitHub, as well as Gitlab and Bitbucket, each of which can trigger workflows on any repository event. Pipelines can also be configured to trigger on any resource changes, enabling complex, multiple entry workflows that can also trigger other workflows for fan-in/fan-out operations to create a “pipeline of pipelines.” 

Pipelines workflows can be built using a common library of “native steps,” as well as extension steps that can be shared across teams and departments.

Unlimited Users

When your license fees are by the number of user accounts, that can significantly add to the expense of an expansion or acquisition. With JFrog’s unlimited user licensing, that’s not something you’ll need to ever think about; add as many user accounts as your installation can practically support with no added cost.

Benefits

DevOps won’t happen by making your existing procedures a little better. DevOps is about changing the way you work. When done right, you can digitally transform your software development processes in order to produce fast, continuous, and safe updates to end users around the globe.

Now that the job duties are clear — to release faster, connect universally, protect the enterprise, and scale infinitely — we hope you’ll see that JFrog can best get it done. It’s the field we’ve been expert in from the beginning.

Your choice doesn’t even have to be exclusive. With JFrog’s integration for Git repositories and the ability to integrate with most CI/CD tools — including GitHub Actions — you can gain the versatility of JFrog and still work with the tools that fit you best.

When you choose JFrog, we’ll be alongside you the whole way with: 

For the kind of radical change you need, just adding to the familiar won’t do. You’ll need to consider transformative solutions — especially ones that have been proven to work elsewhere. That’s why 75% of the Fortune 100 depend on JFrog to manage their binaries for their mission-critical applications.

Call JFrog in for your own interview, and start for free in the cloud.