December 30, 2021

2021 Year In Review

Most days at Cycle, we go through the day-to-day grind; checking tasks off our endless to-do list, looking forward, and striving towards our goals. We are focused on the small steps throughout each day: head down, working hard, placing one foot in front of the other.

But every once in a while, it is necessary to pause, lift our head up, and look back at how far we have come.

So, what have we been up to in 2021?

We are always listening to user feedback and continuously seeking to improve our platform. Here at Cycle, we strive to optimize the user’s experience by implementing new, useful features while maintaining simplicity at our core.

Below, we’ll dive into some recaps from the different teams within Cycle.

New Features from Our Developers:

1. Introduced Deployment Pipelines

The biggest feature we launched in 2021 was our Deployment Pipelines, released during the first half of Q2. Through collaborative feedback loops and community based requests, pipelines were crafted as a way to intuitively build and run multi-stage automations, while staying honest to our focus on simplicity. This initial release made sure to include the steps our users were repeating the most often and offered a way to quickly solve manual processes so developers using Cycle could get back to what they do best, writing code.

Chris Aubuchon, Cycle’s Director of Customer Success, reflects on this initiative, stating that, “Deployment pipelines strengthen Cycles' mission to simplify DevOps by tying together a beautiful UI tool in the portal with a powerful API first design. It's a piece that's been over a year in the making and will pay dividends to your team's productivity."

2. Refactored Image Sources

One of the most requested features on Cycle was simpler image management that didn't require re-entering information for subsequent image import events. Now, users can configure an Image Source to Cycle and repeatedly import images from that source, greatly streamlining the update and reimage process as well as saving massive amounts of time on local, as opposed to live, debugging.

Developers can pull an image from three sources: Docker Hub, Docker Registry, and Dockerfiles. Since Dockerfiles are tied to git repos, users can circumvent the tedious local build, push, and pull process.

3. Automatic Backups

Through a collaborative integration with Backblaze, developers can now seamlessly backup their stateful containers using native backup processes while also maintaining ownership of their own backup data in the process. Our team built this feature in a flexible way that enables customers to define how and where they want to back up their data at the container level.

To learn more about backups and our integration with Backblaze, check out this podcast where our CEO, Jake Warner, chats with Elton Carneiro, Director of Partnerships at Backblaze:

4. Environment Scoped Variables + Secrets Management

During the summer, we launched a feature called Environment Scoped Variables (ESVs). With this feature, developers can now define environment variables that span an entire environment. Now, instead of duplicating repeated variables across multiple containers, they can be defined once. Don’t want all of your containers to have access? No worries, as developers can also choose which containers have access to the variables.

Additionally, after a number of requests for being able to store secrets, we’ve also included the ability to encrypt ESVs so that applications can access sensitive passwords, tokens, etc with ease while also ensuring they remain secure.

5. We Completely Rewrote Portal

One of the larger initiatives that the Cycle team wrapped up this year was rewriting the Portal, which began in mid-2020. This rewrite modernized our UI, and brought it inline with a number of improvements that had been made to the platform core over the previous years. As we continue to grow our frontend development team, ensuring the portal stays fast, consistent, and simple is critical to customer happiness.

Grady Saccullo, Lead Frontend Developer, shared his thoughts on the portal rewrite, “It was largely focused on reworking our foundational code to allow for faster future development, bring consistency to our code base, and to be able to implement new UI features faster. We also gained the benefit of reducing API calls across the board while also maintaining more accurate data being displayed to our end users.”

Some Exciting Initiatives From Our Marketing Team:

In 2021, our tech team remained committed to our mission of simplifying container orchestration through advancing our platform. Now, it’s time to take a deeper dive into our marketing and sales accomplishments this year:

1. Partnership marketing

We have such a great story to tell, and partnership initiatives have allowed us to amplify that story in a way we otherwise could not. We are proud of our partnerships this year with Backblaze, Vultr, and Equinix Metal. We also launched our monthly podcast this year, allowing our team to have meaningful conversations with thought leaders in the container industry. We discussed an array of topics: from machine learning and web development to sustainability and modern-day data centers.

2. We rebranded our entire website

Here at Cycle, we are always looking for the best way to tell our unique story. That is why this year, we decided to rebuild our entire website so that it would be easier for users to navigate, find information, and start using Cycle. Our new website now includes additional pages: Manifesto, Company, and Podcasts.

We also changed our branding to reflect who we are by showing our commitment to creating the best orchestration platform. By scaling back the noise on our brand, we present a clearer, more intentional message that we’re here to empower developers and engineers to create amazing and innovative products.

We increased our brand awareness

As our platform grows, our users have grown with us. Developers and teams of all sizes have been able to utilize the Cycle platform to crush their goals, and have openly shared their experiences on G2.

Cycle’s Marketing Coordinator, Lexi Patri, shared her insight on this initiative, stating that, "The marketing department achieved a great accomplishment: gaining over ten positive (five-star!) reviews on G2 in under two months. Our customer's success fuels our continued growth, and I love reading how Cycle has helped them save time, money, and resources."

We are excited that Cycle users are all a part of our journey to help rebuild the internet by simplifying container deployment and making cloud orchestration accessible to all organizations.

Our Transition Into a Growing Business with our Sales Team:

After years of focusing on development, Cycle has begun to grow it’s sales team. We hired our first head of Strategic Accounts, and look forward to expanding the Sales team with a number of additional hires in the new year.

Karl Empey, Head of Strategic Accounts, reflected on this past year, stating that, “2021 was one of the most significant years at Cycle from a sales perspective as we continue to achieve high adoption rates, high approval rates from existing customers, and extremely low churn. The sales momentum we achieved organically over the past couple of years is a testimony to the efforts of our development team's in building a quality platform that our customers value greatly. The accumulation of all these efforts and activities has resulted in our ability to attract new talent and set a foundation for significant future growth.”

We are proud of what we have accomplished in 2021, but we are also eager to continue learning, growing, and setting new goals in 2022.

As 2021 comes to a close, we can’t help but think of what made this year truly special: the people who have supported our journey. Thank you to all of our investors, customers, and partners. Without you, this year would not have been the same.

On behalf of all of us at Cycle,

Happy New Years!