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Introduction

DevOps methodologies have evolved over the years. And so have the deployments. Today, as businesses are increasingly transitioning to multi-cloud or cloud-first strategies, deployments are far more automated as well as complex than they used to be a decade ago. Additionally, the increasing demand for microservices requires businesses to use tools like Kubernetes. This makes it imperative for businesses to implement technologies that can not only simplify their deployments but also make them safer and scalable. Yet many businesses are not able to do so easily. 

As such, the deployment verification process is largely a manual process. This means it is time-consuming, error-prone, and vulnerable to failure. This is why organizations need an automated deployment verification process that can ensure all security and compliance concerns are met.

Current Challenges with Deployment Verification

When software development teams implement CI/CD tools for deploying applications, we often find them dealing with a common set of challenges.  These include:

Error-prone manual verification processes

The verification of software deployment still remains a manual and time-consuming process. Typically, DevOps teams spend multiple hours diagnosing issues and identifying risks in the build, test, and staging environments before deploying to a production stage. As a result, this process of verifying a release becomes overwhelming and error-prone,  and, most importantly, delays the time to release the software into production.

Inability to enforce enterprise policies and governance

Maintaining compliance with changing corporate policies also requires a significant amount of time. If not done correctly and quickly, security and compliance can become a bottleneck. This, in turn, means that release managers push vulnerable code to production, compromising the safety of the entire pipeline.

Failure rate increases with speed

There are many reasons why a software release can fail. Not prioritizing quality over speed is one of the top reasons. Often, these releases are unpredictable and can result in poor quality even after a successful release. So, when teams try to release software at scale and velocity without enforcing compliance and best practices within the deployment pipeline, the failure rate increases.

Real-World Problems that OpsMx Strives to Solve

Customer 1- Well-known destination sites

One of our customers at OpsMx is an online leader and offers a well-known destination site. 

Their primary bottleneck was a lengthy manual approval process to move updates from staging to production. Next, their IT architecture was complex as they deployed a broad range of microservices-based applications on Kubernetes, as well as a large number of monolithic applications. And lastly, their CI/CD system was built using Jenkins, plugins, and custom scripts. 

All these factors together prevented them from moving quickly because: 

– They needed to evaluate every single deployment. 

– Required three expert engineers/SREs, taking an hour or more to verify.

– Estimated costs of more than $1M to verify updates.

OpsMx helped this customer to automate their deployment verification process by adding a layer of intelligence to their software delivery pipelines. This solution, OpsMx Autopilot, uses AI/ML to automate verification and approvals, provide continual governance, and create visibility and insights into operations. Additionally, it can be easily integrated with any CI/CD platform. Thus, the online leader achieved multiple benefits. Some of them are- 

1. 10X rise in the deployment frequency, 1000+ deployments per month.

2. Improved production reliability with accurate approvals of releases and policy checks.

3. Engineers have more freedom to do what they are supposed to do- innovate and code.

You can learn more about this case study here

Customer 2- Regional telecommunication leader

A regional telecom company was struggling to improve its digital retail experience for its customers due to an outdated software delivery process. Their DevOps team could not meet the demands of the business. Some of their problems were-

– Lack of seamless software delivery process.

– Unreliable release verification process. Manually repetitive and time-consuming.

– Impacted production availability, created performance issues, and low website engagement.

They needed a solution that would help them to update their website to be the hub delivering new mobile and TV content and improving the ordering process for a unique voice and data plans. 

After implementing the OpsMx Enterprise for Spinnaker (OES) solution, the telecom company streamlined its CI/CD process. OES was easily installed and implemented with a “security-first” approach. Their DevOps teams can now easily verify the performance and quality of every new update. Most importantly, they achieved the ability to perform a risk assessment and then make automated decisions to roll back or forward based on the confidence in the update. All these changes helped them transform their continuous delivery (CD) process within 10 days, resulting in 99% faster delivery. 

So, the benefits in a nutshell were-

1. Faster time to market with a reduction of deployment time by 99%.

2. Improved business assurance with an automated verification process.

3. Productivity improvements due to continuous delivery.

You can learn more about this case study here

Customer 3- Leading digital payment player in Africa

A leading digital payment player in Africa was struggling to comply with the strict regulations and standards of the finance sector. It was challenging for their IT team to manually address policy checks and adhere to SDLC regulations set by their own compliance team. So they needed a solution that could streamline their entire software delivery process, eliminate excess excessive dependency on tribal knowledge, with respect to adherence to compliance departments and handle scale now; what all three of these are about is about as they accelerate the velocity of their deployments and try and scale. 

Some of their problems were-

– Difficulty in migrating from traditional software to microservices and containerized applications.

– Inability to comply with financial regulations.

– Manually addressing policy checks and adhering to SDLC regulations.

OpsMx offered them a scalable CD platform to speedily and safely deploy apps into Kubernetes. With OpsMx Autopilot, their IT teams could –

1. Automate the software delivery process.

2. Deliver applications at scale.

3. Safely release with Automated Canary Analysis.

4. Enforce SDLC compliances with finance regulation

You can learn more about this case study here

Conclusion

OpsMx Autopilot is an AI/ML-powered Continuous Verification platform that verifies software updates across different deployment stages using CI/CD pipelines, ensuring their safety and reliability in a live/production environment. It automates new release verification, reducing time-consuming and error-prone manual verification processes. Autopilot uses AI and ML technologies to assess the risk of a new release, find the root cause of issues and abnormalities for instantaneous diagnosis, and provide real-time visibility and insight into the performance and quality of new deployments to avoid business disruption.

If you are interested to learn more about how the mechanism of automated deployment verification works, watch the on-demand webinar here.

Tags : Spinnaker

Anushua Gorai

Anushua is a Sr. Content Marketing Specialist at OpsMx with over 8 years of experience. Her background is in B2B SaaS content marketing. When not at work, she likes cooking for her family, spending time with her pet, propagating plants, working out at the gym, and eating carbs.

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