When the pandemic erupted, one of our top priorities as a SaaS company was to ensure that our response was rapid, uninterrupted, and most importantly sustainable in the long run. Solvoyo’s Development & DevOps teams were able to switch to remote working in a matter of hours while ensuring critical systems and projects kept running. Solvoyo has built strong DevOps since its foundation. Thanks to putting agile and resilient plans in place well ahead of the crisis, we were ready pretty quickly.
DevOps was formed by the words “development” and “operations” and signifies a cultural shift that bridges the gap between development and operation teams, which historically functioned in separate universes. DevOps is a combination of practices that works to automate & integrate the flow between development and traditional IT teams. The purpose is to build, test, and release software in a much faster and more efficient way.
Here are DevOps related best practices a SaaS company could put in place before a crisis:
1) Distributed DevOps
Distributed DevOps was already a necessity, the pandemic only reinforced this necessity further. In SaaS companies, the physical separation of the product development and support teams can create potential friction, slow down software development, and hurt customer support. Yet, a strong distributed DevOps team breaks down silos between business and IT teams while enabling productivity, efficiency, and security during this sustained period of remote working.
In the face of a crisis, a distributed DevOps team helps SaaS companies maintain the stability of the software and enables engineering teams to hold on to the quality that they fought so hard to achieve.
2) Reliable DevOps Operations
The primary goal of DevOps is to optimize the flow of value from ideas to customers. DevOps operational readiness is essential for any SaaS company to maintain the flow. These operations have to continue in any extraordinary circumstances that may arise, such as during a global pandemic. Readiness is the key to maintain a reliable process. Once a reliable process is tried and tested in a given situation, the goal is to repeat it as many times as required by any circumstance. At Solvoyo, all our employees are trained on how to apply the process in different scenarios, similar to what we had done during the COVID-19 crisis.
3) Effective Business Continuity Planning (BCP)
Business continuity planning (BCP) is the process of creating systems of prevention and recovery to deal with potential threats. The goal is continuity of operations before and during the execution of disaster recovery.
Whether you have a BCP in place or are developing one on the fly, the key to resiliency is the same: an ability for your organization to adapt quickly and learn on the go.
According to Gartner, when a pandemic strikes, a strong BCP can help organizations:
- Minimize the impact on staff, the organizational supply chain, service delivery, and IT infrastructure
- Protect the organization’s reputation
- Reduce the financial impact
- Return to new normality sooner
4) Ensuring Redundancy for Cloud-Based Solutions
System failures are not an option for SaaS companies that have mission-critical environments. Redundancy offers backup to increase the reliability of systems.
During the pandemic, Solvoyo has utilized backup resources that continue to process data without interruption. Operating two Physical Data centers and two separate AWS regions ensure maximum redundancy. Thus, we manage to provide many of our solutions such as replenishment planning, production planning, purchasing, and transportation planning with increased reliability provided through our systematic infrastructure.
DevOps is not a goal, but a never-ending process of continuous improvement. For a DevOps team in a SaaS company, taking these four actions does not only help tackle current challenges but also prepare businesses for future crisis scenarios.
DevOps at Solvoyo
Here is how Solvoyo built a strong DevOps team that operates uniquely:
- We use infrastructure automation to create our own reliable hybrid infrastructure which was initially designed for maximum operability
- With the continuous delivery build, we test and deploy our apps in a fast secure automated manner
We use common industry practices such as:
- Incremental testing
- Continuous integration
- Continuous configuration
- Continuous build
- Automated release management
These practices enable us to operate efficiently and undisturbed in any circumstance.
We use certain tools that allow the DevOps team to function as an agile team.
- Teamcity – allows automatically sending the status of builds and deployments to Jira Software Cloud
- AWS – Amazon Web Service for cloud platform
- Nagios – helps teams to find and correct problems within the network & infrastructure
- Git – allows tracking progress of the development work. Different versions of source code can be saved and returned to a previous version when necessary
- Docker – allows users to assemble apps from components and work collaboratively
- Kubernetes – is a container orchestration platform taking containerization to the next level
- Other industry – standard products
On the bright side, a crisis can provide a viable scenario for many employees, particularly the ones that work in digital and cloud-native fields. It harbors the birth of a new breed of tools, where innovation naturally steps in through necessity.
Reach out to us if you would like to learn more about our DevOps experience and share yours. We would be happy to help.