Ever since Github announced Github Actions, which is now generally available for everyone, I have been a huge fan of the service. I even shared a blog post earlier this year on how you can easily incorporate automated application deployment to a vSphere or VMware Cloud on AWS based environment, which can automatically be triggered by native developer workflows directly from Github. This can be a really powerful and enabling capability for your developers, especially when taking advantage of an on-demand solution like VMware Cloud on AWS.
Right before VMworld Barcelona, I saw a tweet from the Github Twitter account announcing another cool feature which is the ability to run your own self-hosted runners. By default, when you use Github Actions, the runners are hosted by Github and when a Docker Container is launched, it is running within their infrastructure. During the beta, I had noticed some inconsistencies on how long it would take my Github Actions to kickoff which is usually within a minute or so but I have seen cases where it has gone up 5 to 10 minutes.
I was told that this was an infrastructure issue, but it did raise an interesting question in my mind on SLAs. As far as I know, nothing is publicly documented and Github also mentioned they did not have an SLA for the service. If you need a more predictable experience, you now have the option of running the "runners" in your own infrastructure which can be on-premises environment or even a public cloud where you have available compute capacity.
I finally got a chance to explore this capability and of course, I had to figure out how to get this working with our very own VMware PhotonOS. With a bit of trial and error, I was able to get everything working. In fact, I was able to run my Github runner directly in my VMware Cloud on AWS environment which can be quite useful for customers with development and CI/CD-based workloads and being able to leverage Github Actions.