Need Help Tackling the Implementation of a DevOps Strategy? HGS Digital and AWS Can Help

HGS Digital is an Amazon Web Services Advanced Consulting partner. HGS Digital has been successfully delivering digital innovation for our clients powered by AWS for over 10 years. Our seasoned team of certified AWS DevOps professionals can help your team make the transition to a DevOps approach and will help drive your cloud initiatives across the finish line.

As you strive to build innovative solutions and improved user experiences, you will face challenges surrounding budget, pressure to launch quickly, and resource constraints. To address these challenges and more, taking a cloud-native and DevOps approach to innovation can free up and refocus resources and dramatically reduce costs and launch times. HGS Digital's team of DevOps and Cloud professionals can assist in you in achieving your goals by helping you redefine your approach to development. Whether you're looking for seasoned resources to augment your existing team or would like to define a specific engagement with a team who can drive your deliverables, HGS Digital can customize a solution that meets your specific needs.

As an AWS partner, we are well versed in the benefits that the AWS DevOps approach can bring to your organization. AWS has readily available services you can spin up on demand within your AWS account. For those who don't have an AWS account, HGS Digital can help you establish and provision one. Once there, there's nothing to setup or install, you merely spin up the services. These fully managed services will help you leverage AWS resources faster so you can focus on your core product. The AWS resources are built to scale and offer complete flexibility to increase or decrease capacity on demand, only paying for what is needed, when it's needed.

Each service can be used via the AWS command line interface or through APIs and SDKs. Additionally, you can model and provision AWS resources and the entire AWS infrastructure using declarative AWS Cloud Formation templates. With AWS automation you can build faster and more efficiently with the ability to leverage AWS services to automate manual tasks like deployments, dev and test workflows, container management and even configuration management. By taking advantage of the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to set permissions and policies, you'll gain granular control over who can access your resources and how they can access them. Finally, their pay-as-you-go model lets you purchase services as you need them and only for the period when you plan to use them with no upfront fees, termination penalties, or long-term contracts.2

AWS Developer tools help you drive continuous integration and delivery and enable you securely store and version your application's source code and automatically build, test, and deploy your application to AWS or your on-premises environment.

HGS Digital's team of seasoned and certified DevOps professionals will help your team take a comprehensive approach to DevOps including the collaboration of teams, processes and toolsets designed to drive an agile methodology to development that delivers new functionality and quick wins throughout the development cycle. This process allows you to quickly collect user feedback and continue to drive improvements along the way while reducing the overall time to deployment. A DevOps strategy deployed on the cloud can accelerate deployment times and reduce the workload's overall total cost of ownership by 40%1 on average over those deployed on premises.

Below, find a couple of project samples where HGS Digital partnered with our clients to drive value with AWS DevOps solutions.

Project One

Challenge

This project included a dockerized application hosted on the AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS). For application code changes, developers had to build the docker image and push this manually to the AWS Elastic Container Registry (ECR) and then validate the changes. This was a heavy time- and resource-consuming process, which impeded the development team's productivity and ability to make changes quickly.

Solution

HGS Digital opted to use CodePipeline, AWS managed continuous delivery service, which automates build, test and deploy phases of the release process whenever there is a code change. CodePipeline automatically detects the change in the source repository and start the build process. It will also test and deploy the code to AWS ECR. This solution eliminated the developer time previously required to do the build process manually. Application code consistency is maintained, and the developers can then push the code to the source repository. With the use of this service we were also able eliminate the server cost for the continuous integration and development (CCI/CD) pipeline.

Benefits

  1. No CI/CD server is needed.
  2. Low cost for CodePipeline.
  3. No server maintenance.
  4. Human effort is eliminated.
  5. Reduced time to deploy code changes

Project 2

Challenge

This project involved an Oracle WebCenter Sites (WCS) installation, which when done manually can be a complex initiative. WCS is one of the Oracle middleware solution which has complex installation process inclusive of installing WebLogic and WCS binaries, domain creation and sites configuration. In this particular engagement, the client team had roughly 80 WCS nodes. They had one big monolithic shell script to install it on the Dev servers. The problem with their script was that they could not maintain the configuration of the servers among the environments. Further, they were unable to run the script more than one time on the same server. For even small configuration change they would need to uninstall and change it in the script then run the script again.

For one server it took almost 2 hours for the developer to install it. Also, for every small configuration change, the developer had to log into each server and make the change, allowing for more chances for the occurrence of human error. For example, when the security team needed to update the underlying operating system, they had to completely change the OS and then do the WCS installation again. In this case developers had to completely perform the entire process again from scratch.

Solution

HGS Digital solved these issues with the use of Ansible, a configuration management automation tool. HGS Digital wrote the Ansible script in such a way that you can execute this script a number of times without breaking the environment. With this approach we were able to complete an installation in 30 mins, and we able to simultaneously run the script across the servers. If there are any configuration change needed, developers can merely change it in the source script and easily execute it. When there is an update in the OS, or whenever there is an update with the security patches, they can simply change it in the script and can deploy the changes to all the WCS nodes. In this case configuration consistency is always maintained. Human error is eliminated since there is no need to manually login to the server.

Benefits

  1. Human error is eliminated.
  2. Configuration consistency is maintained across environments.
  3. Installation time is dramatically reduced.

Whether your goal is to implement a long-term strategy for DevOps within your organization or to deliver a new solution driven by a DevOps approach, HGS Digital and AWS can help. We will tailor an engagement that meets your specific objectives. Our DevOps resources are available via short and long-term staff augmentation service engagements or through project-based work with defined deliverables. Whatever your need and preferred method of engagement, HGS Digital and AWS can help define and deliver DevOps solutions that achieve your project goals.

References:
  1. Stratocale Article/David Linthicum reports: https://www.stratoscale.com/blog/clou/cloud-migration-savings/
  2. https://aws.amazon.com/devops/
Author: Sherry Thompson | June 06, 2019