Ranger4 DevOps Blog

Betfair Won't Gamble with Database Performance

Posted by George Price on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 @ 16:09 PM

Betfair is the world's leading online betting exchange, a concept it pioneered. Driven by cutting-edge technology, Betfair enables customers to choose their own odds and bet against each other, even after an event has started. Betfair processes 7 million transactions a day and 99.9% of these transactions are completed in under a second.

Key Benefits:

  • Captured brief errors other solutions couldn't detect
  • Occupied less than 1% of CPU resource in already highly-stressed serversAutomated testing previously done manually
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Topics: APM, Appdynamics, Case Story

Choose Digital Transforms Loyalty Programs with Digital Content Marketplace

Posted by Malcolm Namey on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 @ 15:07 PM

 
Many hotel chains, airlines and other enterprises rely on customer loyalty programs, promotional offers and affinity sales channels in their marketing and sales strategies. Until recently, offering digital content in such programs has been challenging because the supply chain for digital content has been controlled by a few industry heavyweights, who offer little or no custom branding. As a result, customers of a hotel or airline would be sent to a third-party digital content site with its own branding, resulting in a disjointed and sometimes confusing customer experience.

Challenge:

Get to market first with a private label marketplace for digital content, while preparing for surges in traffic and rapid growth

Solution: 

Use DEV@cloud to accelerate and align development activities with company goals, and deploy in the cloud with automatic scaling

Results: 

  • Zero expense until a working business model was established
  • Equivalent of 8 to 10 full-time employees saved
  • Development up to five times faster

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Topics: Jenkins, CloudBees, continuous delivery, Case Story

Serving Up Application and Infrastructure Visibility For Kraft Foods

Posted by Steve Green on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 @ 16:07 PM

Kraft Foods is a powerhouse food and beverage company that is home to some of the world’s iconic brands including Planters, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Kool-Aid, Oscar Mayer, Cracker Barrel, Maxwell House, Jell-O, and of course, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. The company boasts annual sales of $18+ billion, and its brands are found in 98% of North American households. Kraft’s flagship consumer website, KraftRecipes.com, attracts 40,967,289 during their peak months, and during the holiday season, their typical visitor tally jumps by 30 to 40 percent. High availability and performance are top priorities, especially during peak holiday seasons.

Key Benefits:

  • Unprecedented visibility into root causes of slowdowns and outages
  • A "single source of truth" in a multi-vendor environment
  • Rapid problem resolution
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Topics: APM, Appdynamics, Case Story

How Netflix Moved to the Cloud

Posted by Malcolm Namey on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 @ 16:04 PM

We love hearing about what DevOps unicorns like Netflix do and how we can learn from their experiences and help our customers transform into DevOps businesses - here are two stories from two of our favourite partners:

Netflix Builds Its Open Sourced Cloud Technologies on the CloudBees Platform

More than 36 million Netflix members worldwide view streamed content and access Netflix features delivered via cloud technology that the company has been developing since 2009. Netflix operates on a cloud platform based on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Over the years, Netflix engineers have developed numerous cloud tools and technologies, which the company has now shared with the development community as open source software.

Challenge: 

Support and promote contributions to the open source development of cloud technologies for video streaming and large-scale cloud deployments.

Solution: 

Use the CloudBees Platform, with Jenkins in the cloud, to streamline development, provide immediate build feedback to the community and minimize maintenance overhead and costs.

Results: 

  • Immediate feedback on builds
  • Minimal maintenance overhead
  • Cost-effective pricing

Products Used:

While many companies may be leery of freely sharing core technology, Netflix sees several compelling advantages to the move. First, the company aims to establish its solutions as standards that are widely used throughout the industry. Second, improvements contributed by the community to improve performance or add support for other cloud services will improve the standard for everyone, advancing the platform robustness and quality. Third, the move will burnish the company’s reputation as a technology leader, which was boosted in 2012 by winning an Emmy for Technical Achievement. Lastly, it will help Netflix attract, engage and retain expert engineers, because it can draw directly from a wide pool of proven contributors.

To help maximize these advantages, Netflix chose the CloudBees Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution to support the public builds of its NetflixOSS open source projects. “Open sourcing our cloud-based architecture projects is a way to reduce risk, improve our service and contribute to the broader cloud-based community,” says Gareth Bowles, senior tools engineer at Netflix. “The CloudBees platform is helping us achieve these objectives by enabling Netflix engineers and external contributors to rapidly build and test changes, instantly see the quality of the changes being made and continue to realize the benefits of continuous integration with Jenkins.”

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Topics: APM, Jenkins, CloudBees, continuous delivery, Appdynamics, Case Story

Hiscox Win Celent Award for Continuous Delivery

Posted by George Price on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 @ 13:04 PM

Big congratulations to our customer, Hiscox, who recently won a major industry award from Celent for operational excellence in IT Management for their very successful implementation of a continous delivery pipeline - a project we were delighted to have some involvement with.

Hiscox are an international insurer providing a diverse range of insurance products to individuals and businesses and over a hundred years old.

Hiscox recognised that in an increasingly competitive market, with ever more demanding customers, the ability to change services fast would be key to continuing to thrive and so embarked on a major replatforming programme with an eye firmly on a future with improved IT agility.

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Topics: Case Story

How IBM Watson Explorer Helps Insurance Organisations

Posted by Helen Beal on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 17:03 PM

A global financial services and insurance company based in New York City minimizes risk, increases fraud detection and gains deeper insight into claims losses when it implements IBM Watson Explorer software to provide a faster, more efficient data capture and analysis solution

Client Background:

The client is a multinational insurance and financial services company. Through numerous subsidiaries, the company provides commercial, institutional and individual customers with a broad portfolio of products and services, including property casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement services and asset management services.   
 

Business Need:

The business of insurance is simply about assessing the risk of occurrence of some action - damage to a high-risk structure from a hurricane, for example - and putting a dollar figure on the actuality of the action occurring. It’s a high-stakes bet, and insurance companies need every bit of information at their disposal to understand the true risk and limit risk exposure.

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Topics: Case Story, Watson

Test Factory Gives AppDynamics an A+ For Managing Performance of Cloud Apps

Posted by Steve Green on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

New Relic Dropped for AppDynamics; Test Factory gains substantial performance improvements, real-time issue resolution, and significant cost savings

The Test Factory, the UK-based online assessment solution provider has achieved significant performance improvements across its application infrastructure following deployment of the AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform. In both its production and staging environments, The Test Factory is able to identify bottlenecks, bugs, and performance issues with AppDynamics that eluded its prior performance monitoring solution, and is able to achieve “unbelievably faster” fixes.

“There are some issues we would spend weeks and weeks trying to solve using all sorts of logs we had,” says Paul Fleming, solutions architect at The Test Factory. “AppDynamics gives us a direct picture of where the problem is happening straight away.”

The Test Factory runs a number of websites to deliver its customized online assessments to the education and corporate entities, and it relies heavily on Microsoft Azure for its cloud application infrastructure. Debugging and diagnostics in the Azure environment was “very, very tricky” according to Fleming, until AppDynamics was deployed. Setting up AppDynamics for Azure was virtually effortless, with minimal configuration. And with AppDynamics in place, those cloud monitoring problems have largely been eliminated.

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Topics: APM, Case Story

Fox News Move to Application Performance Monitoring

Posted by Steve Green on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

Fox News is one of the largest news websites in the United States with up to a billion page views every month. New content is constantly being uploaded to its content management system (CMS) and delivered on the website via Fox's delivery system. In addition, Fox News provides an API that feeds content to other websites for distribution of its content.

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Topics: APM, Appdynamics, Case Story

Orbitz Moves to Continuous Delivery

Posted by Paul Hancock on Wed, Feb 4, 2015 @ 07:02 AM

Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW) is a leading global online travel company using technology to transform the way consumers around the world plan and purchase travel. Orbitz Worldwide sells more than $12 billion in travel annually and operates the consumer travel planning sites Orbitz, ebookersHotelClub and CheapTickets. Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Partner Network delivers private label travel technology solutions to a broad range of partners including some of the world’s largest airlines, bank loyalty programs and travel agencies and Orbitz for Business delivers managed travel solutions for companies of all sizes. The company’s business platforms are supported by more than 180 different applications that work together to serve Orbitz customers and business partners.

Challenge: 

Shorten delivery times for more than 180 applications that power 13 different Web sites

Solution: 

Refine software delivery processes and implement open source Jenkins and CloudBees solutions for continuous delivery to automate tests, ensure reliable builds and increase build consistency across the organization

Results: 

  • Release cycles cut by more than 75%
  • Teams focused on high-value tasks
  • User experience enhanced through increased multivariate testing

Products Used:

With more than 350 developers on 35 different teams in multiple locations around the world, the Orbitz development organization has relied on continuous integration (CI) with open source Jenkins to build software for several years. Recently, Orbitz began using CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise as part of a move towards continuous delivery (CD).

“This year, one of our technical focuses is on delivering not only consistently and reliably, but also much faster. By making our process more efficient, and adopting continuous integration and continuous delivery practices with open source Jenkins and CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise, we have cut our release times in half, and then cut them in half again,” says Jacob Tomaw, principal engineer at Orbtiz. “Additionally, we now ensure that each one of the artifacts we build for our applications is produced consistently and in a repeatable way — a capability that is essential for continuous delivery.”

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Topics: Jenkins, CloudBees, continuous delivery, Case Story

Hiscox See the Value of DevOps and IBM UrbanCode

Posted by Paul Hancock on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 @ 20:11 PM

I attended the IBM Developer Connect event at Twickenham stadium on Thursday 6th November. With various Industry, IBM and Business Partner speakers there was plenty of choice, but the afternoon session that caught my interest was DevOps at Hiscox.

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Topics: DevOpstastic, UrbanCode, DevOps, Case Story