DevOps in the Cloud helps Transform Retail Enterprise
- March 17, 2016
A Fortune 1000 Retailer Transforms IT with DevOps in the Cloud Increases Global Agility, Availability and Market Competitiveness while Maintaining PCI Compliance
This leading retailer decided that the creation of a new portal was just the proof of concept it needed for a larger initiative to transform its IT function, addressing the weaknesses in its traditional on-premises infrastructure and lengthy, manual IT processes. The IT team’s goals to help the business deliver more quickly to market in a secure, highly available, agile fashion fell in lockstep with the DevOps approach and as a result, they quickly set a path to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a platform to launch both the new portal and DevOps initiative.
However, with a deadline looming, IT quickly realized that they lacked the in-house expertise to ensure delivery of a high availability and secure, PCI-compliant platform on AWS.
Flux7 advised the retailer to approach the project with a DevOps in the cloud strategy. The recommendation entailed a move to AWS, for which Flux7’s experienced consultants were able to provide education, guidance, and comparison of AWS with vendors to ease the decision. We then partnered with the organization’s technology leaders to address the three main criteria of its new cloud-based, streamlined infrastructure: security, high availability, and a high degree of automation to increase agility.
Prior to transitioning to a more modern infrastructure, this organization’s IT was defined by lengthy deployment cycles and numerous manual steps for processes such as provisioning new servers or preparing OS and server images. Moving to a more elastic environment in AWS, Flux7 AWS solutions experts helped design and build repeatable, automated processes for provisioning infrastructure and Amazon Machine Images (AMI) using Docker, CloudFormation, and Jenkins.
The increased automation and flexibility resulted in an agile developer workflow that now enables rapid execution and reduces time-to-market for new projects. While DevOps is often a culture change within organizations, the Flux7 engagement also included education for the development and operations teams, helping crystallize a new thought process in approaching an automated, simplified approach. The combination of education and technology has empowered development to act fast, knowing they are supported by self-service enablement and continuous deployment within a structured environment free of timely processes and fragile artifacts.
Another of the team’s key goals was ensuring security and PCI compliance — of both the new portal and the greater architectural approach. Flux7’s deep technical knowledge of AWS helped bridge the gap between engineers, vendors and AWS itself to ensure the new architecture met the organization’s security and compliance requirements.
Moreover, Flux7 brought industry standard best practices and compliance policies to bear, teaching the brand how to quickly apply these criteria to important pieces of their new infrastructure, such as Identity and Access Management. Last, AWS auto scaling enables the company’s new portal to meet customer demand, ensuring availability of the system regardless of peaks in traffic. High availability helps take advantage of any and every opportunity that might arise at the store level, assuring partners they will not lose a customer for any technology-related reason.
Flux7’s strategic expertise and technical knowledge helped this leading retailer in several critical ways. It enabled its transition to a cloud approach which resulted in a new PCI-compliant partner portal with five 9’s availability. Moreover, giving the development team the ability to design and build at the speed of the market means that IT is now not just a business enabler, but a provider of direct business value, giving the organization a means to build solutions that outpace customer expectations.
Flux7 education and guidance helped cement a modern IT mindset and helped speed the establishment of best practices to weeks from a typical 6-12 month long process. The project also benefited the retailer by unearthing next steps. The initial POC illustrated how expanding the continuous integration and continuous deployment process could further transform IT to a service model. The IT team is using the portal experience as a springboard to build more services and grow the transformation process for even greater, continuous business value.
Read how three organizations are establishing a framework for DevOps on AWS, and using AWS ecosystem tools to increase automation