SevOne revamps Self Service DevOps to move faster and save money
SevOne is a leading provider of network monitoring solutions. For its engineering needs it runs several thousands of VMs on more than 7 platforms, including VMware vCenter, several versions of Red Hat OpenStack, Kubernetes and more. A few months ago SevOne turned to Mist.io to improve self-service workflows for its engineers. Empowered by the Mist Cloud Management Platform, SevOne was able to speed up development, save money and invest more resources in key business drivers.
SevOne, a Boston MA based tech company, builds a suite of network & infrastructure monitoring products. This sounds like an understatement if you consider that SevOne's customers include Verizon, Comcast, eBay, Credit Suisse, Lockheed Martin and many more. In fact, some of the largest networks in the world rely on SevOne to run at peak performance.
SevOne's infrastructure footprint for development and QA runs across public clouds and its own data center with a mix of bare metals, VMware vCenter, several versions of Red Hat OpenStack and more. Currently many applications are moving to microservices using Kubernetes for container orchestration. In most cases the OS of choice is Linux. More than 100 developers from different teams need to have access to at least a subset of this hubrid infrastructure, measuring several thousands of VMs, to meet their day-to-day business needs.
"We chose Mist because it was easy to onboard and use. It required no changes in the way we were doing things, while enabling us to iterate and improve." Kevin Williams, Corporate Services Engineer at SevOne
To be more agile and move faster, SevOne adopted a self-service model via a homegrown web-based virtual server provisioning system. However, SevOne development resources familiar with the homegrown application were often diverted of moved to other posts, making it increasingly difficult to maintain and support the application.
"Bottomline, we had a basic homegrown application that was hard to support, maintain and extend. It ended up holding us back instead of helping us move faster", says Kevin Williams Corporate Services Engineer at SevOne.
With this experience SevOne started looking into third party management platforms. Within a few months of testing, SevOne chose Mist.
Kevin notes, "We chose Mist because it was easy to onboard and use. It required no changes in the way we were doing things, while enabling us to iterate and improve. Also, it helps us easily manage our Kubernetes clusters. Finally, we were impressed by their support. Mist.io people were very responsive, knowledgeable and helped us hands-on when needed."
Life with Mist
SevOne is currently managing its DevOps infrastructure with Mist Enterprise Edition, installed on-prem. Each SevOne user belongs to a team with specific rights over resources based on Mist role-based access control. To provision applications, SevOne DevOps has prepared a set of templates and scripts. SevOne developers use these to deploy complex applications, like Kubernetes clusters, in just a few clicks. As an added value, SevOne DevOps is able to view who owns resources and how they are utilized.
Kevin comments, "Since roll out, Mist gained a lot of traction over our homegrown application. Today it's one of the top 3 tools people use on daily basis. Our developers love how easy they can provision resources with templates and pre-built scripts. For example, when we're about to do a new release we need to provision a lot of VMs for QA and training purposes. Mist gives my end users the freedom to do this right away. They don't have to open a ticket for the IT team like they did in the past. My end users are happy and the IT team doesn't have to perform manual steps to stand VMs up. This alone saves us hundreds of hours in each release cycle. It's also much easier to track users and resources across systems, e.g. which team owns what, how much they are using etc. For example, last weekend an engineer was trying to find one of his VMs. He only had an IP that was not responding because the VM was powered off. With vCenter, tracking this VM would be time consuming. With Mist it was a matter of seconds."
By adopting Mist, SevOne was able to score multiple wins across the board:
- SevOne DevOps saved at least 1 full-time equivalent from supporting the old homegrown application. SevOne saved even more by not having to add new features to it. All this effort was diverted to more business critical projects.
- SevOne developers are happier because they can get resources faster and easier. They are no longer bogged down by details and can focus on the work at hand, saving hundreds of hours in each release cycle.
- SevOne managers are also happier because productivity increased across the board. They now have better visibility into what each team owns and this paves the way for further optimizations and more savings.
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