Fast Archiver plugin

The Fast Archiver plugin uses an rsync-inspired algorithm to transfer archives from agents to a master. The result is that builds complete faster and network bandwidth usage is reduced.

The feature was introduced in CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise 12.05.

After a job is built on an agent selected build artifacts in the workspace may be copied from the agent to the master so those artifacts are archived. The Fast Archiver plugin takes advantage of the fact that there are usually only incremental changes between build artifacts of consecutive builds. Such incremental changes are detected and only those changes that need to be sent from the agent to the master are transferred, thus saving network bandwidth. The algorithm is inspired by rsync’s weak rolling checksum algorithm, which can efficiently identify changes.

The changes are gzipped to further reduce network load.

Setting up Fast Archiver

The Fast Archiver plugin is automatically installed and enabled if you have downloaded CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise. This plugin takes over the built-in artifact archiving functionality in Jenkins. If you are already using that feature, no configuration change is needed to take advantages of this feature. This plugin also does not touch the persisted form of job configurations, so you can just uninstall this plugin and all your jobs will fall back to the plain vanilla artifact archiving.

Simply use the regular Archive artifacts option in the Post-build Action section for a build. You can see the result in Fast archiver running.

fast archiver console
Figure 1. Fast archiver running

Note that fast archiving only occurs on builds run on an agent, not those run on the Jenkins master. Also there must have been previous builds which produced artifacts for the new artifacts to be compared to. Otherwise, Jenkins will perform a regular complete artifact transfer. It will do the same if the fast archiver detects that data is corrupted due to an internal bug.

Normally you need do nothing to configure fast archiving. As can be seen in Fast archiving configuration, this "artifact manager" is enabled by default when the plugin is first loaded. However you can remove this strategy and later read it in the main Jenkins configuration screen.

fast archiver config
Figure 2. Fast archiving configuration