At SmartLogic, our business is building custom software applications typically but not always greenfield projects, apps built from scratch. As such, it might not be readily apparent why we offer DevOps consulting unless you consider that for each app we build, were generally also managing the server infrastructure and related deployment procedures.
Given that each project is unique, our team has experience deploying to different cloud hosting environments and designing infrastructure to meet a wide range of client needs. Although its only recently that weve begun to offer DevOps as a standalone consulting service, our team has managed the DevOps architecture and support for a multitude of apps over the past 14+ years, since before AWS was publicly launched in 2006.
All that being said, DevOps is still a bit of a buzzword. In the spirit of providing some clarity and context, here are a handful of examples of the kind of DevOps work weve done for our clients.
DevOps exists where software applications meet deployment infrastructure. Prior to roughly 2009, software engineers (Dev) and system administrators (Ops) were typically siloed and functioned as completely separate teams. DevOps has since emerged as a practice that bridges those two domains with a goal of making deployments more consistent, reliable, repeatable and easier to reason about. If youre interested in more historical context, SmartLogic developer Donald Guys article What is DevOps? is a good place to start.
Some examples of DevOps in practice:
Most modern web apps are deployed to the cloud. Ultimately, the cloud is just a bunch of computers and those computers eventually need updates.
We recently updated and reconfigured some of the cloud infrastructure for SpotCrime, a crime data aggregator with map views, email alerts and daily crime reports. A client of ours since 2008, SpotCrime has evolved over time into a diverse system that uses many programming languages, a polyglot system unified through DevOps work.
For this update, we created playbooks defined with Ansible, an IT automation tool, for server configuration. In this case, some of the infrastructure setup is a bit more manual because the project originated before many of the DevOps tools we currently use.
As with all of our long-term projects, every two to four years theres a need for a full server upgrade to keep the operating systems current, leverage faster virtual machines, and adopt new best practices. We also restructured the servers, separating responsibilities for emails, a high-volume low-frequency task, from the web, API, database and various other servers. The result has been that performance across the different environments has dramatically improved, and the infrastructure is easier to enhance and maintain.
Another long-term client of ours is Brookes Publishing. We develop and support their Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), a developmental and social-emotional screening tool for children under age 6.
The ASQ project is one that we took over as opposed to building from scratch. One of the initial challenges of the project was getting its deployment to a stable status. Although it was already in production use when we started working on it in 2011, we were not confident in its ability to consistently deploy, so we stood up a new version, migrated the data, and got it on stable footing. The project is housed on client-owned hardware creating a private cloud, for maximum control in support of medical data privacy rules like HIPAA.
In more recent years, weve run operating system updates and transitioned the application to Rackspace; ASQ Online supports seven languages including Arabic and Chinese, and to date the app has been used to collect over 3 million questionnaire responses.
For FolioCollaborative, a SmartLogic client since 2011, the server infrastructure has evolved over time to support growth. At launch, Folio was used in three schools; today, the educator professional growth platform is in use in over 165 schools around the world.
We recently migrated Folio to AWS to support current scale and future growth; we used Terraform to define infrastructure rules as code, both documenting the setup and providing version control for future iterations. We used Ansible to configure the servers and Capistrano, the gold standard for Rails applications, for deployment.
By using modern tools that document and automate resource deployment and configuration, we create reliable, consistent systems; we put the time in up front so that when its time to roll out an update we know that the deploy will run smoothly. These systems are also largely self-documenting, meaning that if another team member needs to troubleshoot, the information they need is contained within the configuration code. This is especially useful for apps that are supported by a variety of developers.
DinnerTime provides personalized and automated meal planning, grocery shopping, recipe support and nutrition education services. Weve worked with DinnerTime since 2012, and we recently created a more robust infrastructure for their application. We built a workflow that leverages GitHub (code version control) and Continuous Integration (automated code testing) to build container images with Docker that can be deployed with Ansible. This allows DinnerTime to retain manual control over deployment, while leveraging the latest in deployment technology.
We also set up a log aggregation toolchain that filters and stores only the most relevant and useful log files. The toolchain, a combination of Fluent Bit and Datadog, makes log entries easy to search and to use in process monitoring and debugging. Logs are also collected and aggregated across multiple servers so that log data is preserved when servers in a cluster are replaced. This setup simplifies monitoring and troubleshooting in DinnerTimes multi-server cluster and ensures that logs persist across infrastructure changes.
In 2019 we started a new project with SimpleBet, a modern sports betting platform. Our team is providing DevOps support for their high-stakes large-scale architecture. SimpleBet focuses on real-time data, and as such has very specific reliability and uptime requirements. We worked with their team to transition their cloud resources to Kubernetes (K8s), a container orchestration system. We also integrated permission and encryption manager Vault and set up lifecycle management for their cloud resources with continuous integration and separate development, testing, and production environments.
The systems we designed and configured will enable their teams to manage their quickly-growing systems with consistency and reliability, while supporting their products high-performance requirements.
As with all of the custom software we write, we bring our opinions and expertise, and we are very intentional and thoughtful about which choices are right for each individual client application. Not every app needs to run in a cluster on Kubernetes; but its important that time and attention are paid to infrastructure and deployment beyond just spinning up a turnkey solution for any app that needs to manage scale efficiently over time. When you need more flexibility than what great tools like Heroku give you, there are many options that can be tailored to your needs.
If you find yourself needing to make sense of infrastructure choices as your product grows and needs to scale, reach out. We work with all kinds of systems and were more than happy to help you find your right DevOps path. And of course if you are seeking assistance with building a custom web or mobile software application, that fits well within our wheelhouse as well.
- Two new higher education institutions select OnBase hosted in the Hyland Cloud - PRNewswire - February 27th, 2020
- Cloud Hosting Service Market Types and Applications Outlook, Industry Drivers, Ongoing Trends, Future Demand, Challenges, Top Companies & Forecast... - February 27th, 2020
- Alibaba to give out free cloud to help businesses affected by Coronavirus - Data Economy - February 27th, 2020
- Arizona Health Information Exchange Launches NextGen Healthcare Health Data Hub to Improve the Physician Experience and Enhance Patient Care - Yahoo... - February 27th, 2020
- Financial organisations leading the way for hybrid cloud, Nutanix finds - DataCentreNews Europe - February 27th, 2020
- LINX Cardiff Becomes LINX Wales as Regional Internet Exchange Welcome NGD to the Network - RealWire - February 27th, 2020
- ServerCentral Turing Group and Digital Realty Expand Partnership for Hybrid Cloud Solutions - HostReview.com - February 27th, 2020
- How CPAs Can Have a Stronger IT Infrastructure - Accountingweb.com - February 22nd, 2020
- Cohere Cyber Secure announces Fully Integrated "Cyber-Managed Security as a Service" Targeting High-Demand Enterprises in Healthcare and... - February 22nd, 2020
- Software Asset Management Market 2020 Analysis, End Users, Business Growth, Top Key Players and Forecast to 2025 - News Times - February 22nd, 2020
- Cloud Hosting Service Market Insights with Statistics and Growth Prediction 2020 to 2026 - Instant Tech News - February 21st, 2020
- Will VMware's New Fees Trigger Rush to the Cloud? - Toolbox - February 21st, 2020
- Infoblox Core DDI and Cloud Platform appliance products are now certified as Nutanix Ready - Help Net Security - February 21st, 2020
- HMRC chief gives thumbs up to five-year cloud migration programme - PublicTechnology - February 21st, 2020
- How can government manage the growing digital market choice? - The Mandarin - February 21st, 2020
- The long read: 20 years in ITS - Highways Magazine - February 21st, 2020
- ResellerClub Turns 14, Celebrates With Big Birthday Bash Sale on Web Hosting and Servers - Yahoo Finance - February 18th, 2020
- Will Gaia-X deliver the independent cloud network Europe needs? - Techerati - February 18th, 2020
- 6 reasons why the cloud is great for your business - Techaeris - February 18th, 2020
- When Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots break: 3 things to know - The Enterprisers Project - February 18th, 2020
- Right Networks Partners with Fintainium to Streamline Cloud-Based Accounting Services - JSA - February 18th, 2020
- STG Announces Partnership with Infosys Finacle to Bring Powerful Cloud Native Banking Platform to US Community Banks - PR Web - February 18th, 2020
- The Best Cloud Web Hosting Services for 2020 | PCMag - February 17th, 2020
- Mahomes Tech Interview Why Has This Web Hosting Company Become A Leader - Instant Tech News - February 17th, 2020
- Data Center Outsourcing and Hybrid Infrastructure Managed Services Market To Wi - News by aeresearch - February 17th, 2020
- Business Process as a Service Market Is Thriving Worldwide with CA technologies, Dell, International Business Machines - Nyse Nasdaq Live - February 17th, 2020
- Take care of ERP data security when moving to the cloud - TechTarget - February 17th, 2020
- Dish gets its day in the sun, becomes No. 4 US wireless carrier - FierceWireless - February 17th, 2020
- Three-year-old partner Solution Tech buys thirty-year-old partner Modern Computer System - CRN Australia - February 17th, 2020
- Cloud Hosting Service Providers Market investigated in the latest research - WhaTech Technology and Markets News - February 13th, 2020
- Mastering the complexity of multi-cloud in 2020 - Intelligent CIO ME - February 13th, 2020
- Weather Source uses Snowflake to keep ahead of extreme weather - ComputerWeekly.com - February 13th, 2020
- Video Hosting Software Market Investigation Highlights Growth Trends in the Coming Years: Wistia, Vimeo, BombBomb - Nyse Nasdaq Live - February 13th, 2020
- Innovative Report on Cloud-based Database Market with Competitive Analysis, New Business Developments and Top Companies: Amazon Web Services, Google,... - February 13th, 2020
- One.com buys its second Nordics web hosting firm in months - Data Economy - February 13th, 2020
- alwaysAI now open to meet growing demand from computer vision developers - PR Web - February 13th, 2020
- Matic nodes now available for deployment on the Ankr cloud - CryptoNinjas - February 10th, 2020
- The National Archives is looking for some more cloud - FedScoop - February 10th, 2020
- UKCloud survey reveals why public sector organisations are turning to multi-cloud - Intelligent CIO Africa - February 10th, 2020
- Build your own cloud infrastructure with Nextcloud and Collabora - IT PRO - February 10th, 2020
- Web hosting firms to take down unsavoury content without court orders - Law Society of Ireland Gazette - February 10th, 2020
- The Top 7 Google Cloud Books You Need to Read in 2020 - Solutions Review - February 8th, 2020
- Teresa Carlson, AWS Worldwide Public Sector VP, Named to 2020 Wash100 for Cloud Innovation, Business Expansion and New Educational Platforms -... - February 8th, 2020
- 7 online courses that will help you improve your technical skills - Ladders - February 8th, 2020
- Cloud Technology Solutions CEO on keeping pace with Google Clouds growth - NS Tech - February 8th, 2020
- Anurag Goel on Cloud Native Platforms, Developer Experience, and Scaling Kubernetes - InfoQ.com - February 8th, 2020
- Goodbye Google: Is it possible to live online without Google? - Stuff Magazines - February 8th, 2020
- 5 Companies That Came To Win This Week - CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution providers - February 8th, 2020
- Azubuike named Kareem Abdul-Jabaar Center of the Year Award finalist - Salina Post - February 8th, 2020
- WIPL enters into partnership with Plesk to offer fully integrated cloud hosting services in India - Web Hosting | Cloud Computing | Datacenter |... - February 6th, 2020
- What Type of Server Provides the Highest ROI? - Techiexpert.com - TechiExpert.com - February 6th, 2020
- Health Care Cloud and Hosting Market likely to touch new heights by end of fore - News by aeresearch - February 6th, 2020
- Health Care Cloud And Hosting Market 2020 Industry Trends, Opportunities and Forecast to 2026 - Instant Tech News - February 6th, 2020
- The 20 Coolest Cloud Infrastructure Companies Of The 2020 Cloud 100 - CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution providers - February 6th, 2020
- Five benefits of colocation: Why it should be part of your hybrid cloud strategy - Intelligent CIO ME - February 6th, 2020
- What Are the Benefits of Using Cloud Hosting Over Traditional One? - India West - January 30th, 2020
- IT Solutions & Services Provider Technologent Partners with Armor to Bring Cloud Security and Compliance Solutions to its Customers - Yahoo... - January 30th, 2020
- Hotel Operations in The Cloud: What Are Your Options? - Hospitality Net - January 30th, 2020
- Five New Domain Extensions Coming from XYZ in 2020 - Web Hosting | Cloud Computing | Datacenter | Domain News - Daily Host News - January 30th, 2020
- Hit Rail awarded hosting and operation of ProRail Common Interface - Global Railway Review - January 30th, 2020
- 4 contact center trends that drive customer experience - TechTarget - January 30th, 2020
- Improving Information Security with ISO 27001 - IDM.net.au - January 30th, 2020
- The 3 fundamentals of hybrid cloud architecture management - TechTarget - January 30th, 2020
- Data Protection Day: Why protection is better than a cure - Verdict - January 30th, 2020
- 2020 vision: edtech in 2020 with Ashley Cartwright - Education Technology - January 30th, 2020
- Cybersecurity in 2020: The rise of the CISO - MIT Technology Review - January 30th, 2020
- 'Financing the Future' with Barry Gross, Partner at BCLP Law - Finvest Summit Special - Data Economy - January 30th, 2020
- Ways In Which Cloud Hosting Affects SEO Services And Results - HostReview.com - January 13th, 2020
- Home Office reinforces commitment to AWS with 100m cloud hosting deal - ComputerWeekly.com - January 13th, 2020
- WSL 2: Where is it, and where is it going? - TechRepublic - January 13th, 2020
- The biggest govtech deals of the week (13/01/20) - NS Tech - January 13th, 2020
- Lost in Migration? Attributing carbon when outsourcing to cloud - Data Economy - January 13th, 2020
- UKCloud announces new discounts to help organisations thrive and build an increasingly independent national capability - RealWire - January 13th, 2020
- How Cloud Computing is Driving the Industrial Revolution 4.0 - Elets - January 13th, 2020
- Informatica expands its leadership team and appoints Amit Walia as CEO - Data Economy - January 8th, 2020
- Enhancing Hyperscale Cloud Growth at the infra // STRUCTURE Summit - Yahoo Finance - January 8th, 2020
- Green House Data Adds Digital Transformation Expert Victor Tingler to Executive Team to Lead Enterprise Consulting Services - Yahoo Finance - January 8th, 2020
- Five Things To Do in St. Cloud, Jan. 13-17 - SC Times - January 8th, 2020
- FASB cloud computing cost standard to soon take effect - Compliance Week - January 3rd, 2020
- Amazon, Google, Microsoft: Who had the best year in cloud in 2019? - The Register - January 3rd, 2020