February 11, 2021

Harness Deployment Freezes aka Deployment Blackout Windows

Table of Contents

Key takeaway

Harness CD allows development teams to schedule deployment freezes. A deployment freeze, also known as a blackout window, is a scheduled period of time where developers are unable to deploy code to production. This new Continuous Delivery feature gives managers more control over their deployment pipelines and helps mitigate downtime risk during key windows of company revenue.

Why Deployment Freezes?

Deployment freezes help mitigate risk during times of high business impact. Companies schedule deployment freezes, otherwise known as deployment blackout windows, at times of high volume and during business-critical events. For example:

  • Retailers schedule deployment freezes during Black Friday shopping events, to reduce outage risk for a high revenue impact timespan.
  • Finance firms forego deployments around the holidays because of the anticipated increase in website traffic. 
  • Software companies pause deployments during client demos to ensure the product works correctly. 
  • Google shuts down deployments for the entire month of December to give developers a break during the holidays. 

Before Harness’ Deployment Freeze feature, companies would have to schedule ad-hoc deployment freeze windows. A calendar invite might be sent out with the title “DO NOT DEPLOY.” An ad-hoc scenario could easily turn into a disaster if anyone didn’t get the proper communication. 

How to Schedule a Deployment Freeze in Harness

Harness Admins are the only ones able to schedule deployment pipelines. In order to do this, an admin must navigate to the governance tab under security. In the upper right-hand corner, they will see an option to schedule a deployment freeze. The Admin will need to fill out the following window.

Harness Deployment Freezes

After all of the information is submitted, the deployment freeze will be scheduled. Anyone who tries to conduct a deployment during the freeze window will receive the following message:

Harness Deployment Freezes

If you want to see a complete walk-through of our new Deployment Freeze feature, we walk you through it below, step-by-step.

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Continuous Delivery & GitOps