Utilising automation to slash server deployment times and enhance build consistency.
This mobile enterprise messaging service provider with global telco customers had an expanding customer base and growing application infrastructure needs.
The slow, manual deployment of application infrastructure led to reduced service levels. Avocado leveraged the power of Ansible to configure operating systems and deploy application infrastructure within minutes, not weeks.
With a focus on the customer experience, Avocado designed a solution to meet the client’s requirements. Our approach was to:
- Interview stakeholders – application developers, database administrators, operation teams and project management – to align business goals and identify current practices.
- Identify best-of-breed tools (including Git, Vagrant and Ansible) and design the requirements for automated deployment of infrastructure and application components.
- Leverage Vagrant to allow developers to construct and develop automation code in isolation, prior to deploying in testing and production environments.
- Implement the solution, provide training, and deliver detailed handover documentation.
Our strategy was to focus on the customer’s pain points in the deployment of greenfield servers. Ansible was chosen for its flexibility and ability to integrate with other tools in the client’s environment. These integrations included Vagrant for local development environments, ESXi for staging and production environments and native integrations with Red Hat. Ansible’s agentless nature and shallower learning curve made it the perfect choice for this solution.
- Reduced deployment times – Previously servers took weeks to build manually. Ansible automation reduced server build times to minutes.
- Consistency in deployments – By using Ansible playbooks, the consistency of builds across multiple servers was assured. This removed the elements of human error from future builds.
- Enhanced documentation – Ansible playbooks utilise easy to read tasks and modules that provided human readable automation code for new users. This assisted with documenting server builds where there was a gap in documentation before.
- Workforce efficiency – Reduced the time taken and the quantity of engineers that were required for deployment of new greenfield sites, allowing engineers to concentrate on platform improvements and less on the running of the platform.
- Reduced maintenance – Ansible’s agentless nature meant there was less software on the server for the client to manage.
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