E-commerce as well as m-commerce are increasingly eating into the market share of traditional retail. New online technologies are springing up like mushrooms in the ground and so payment Systems also have to evolve fast. Until recently, it was not easy for Ingenico, a developer of payment software, to process the rapid changes. The CTO therefore made the drastic decision to integrate its infrastructure and software teams according to DevOps. At the same time, together with Xylos, he switched to a new infrastructure model. This is accelerating the activation of servers and so also innovation.
In the past, it took weeks or even months to provision servers for software development or tests. "We were not delivering at the desired pace," Niccolo Giulianelli, IT infrastructure architect and project leader, admits honestly. "We have to be able to finish projects within a few weeks, but our time-to-market had been many times slower in comparison with the competition."
Ingenico's 'Infrastructure as Code' project therefore had two objectives, adds Niccolo Giulianelli: "Not only did we want to be able to provision virtual machines for software development faster and more efficiently. We also wanted to deploy Our staff much more according to skills and not according to, for example, seniority. By switching to a Spotify inspired model, we want to get Our teams for software development and infrastructure management to collaborate better. DevOps will ultimately shorten the lead time of IT projects."
"Our teams worked very independently and this had an Impact on Our operations and ultimately the duration of certain projects," says Giulianelll. "Thanks to thls agile transformation based on the Spotify model, employees will work together more closely. We are breaking down departmental walls. Such a transformation requires a different way of working and we may need some years to achieve all the objectives. Still, we are already reaping the benefits, thanks to the close collaboration with Xylos."
Xylos and Ingenico ensured that the software developers can set up virtual machines themselves through a self-service portal. Developers can easily select the necessary processing power, storage capacity, etc. from a catalogue and take care of the provisioning of a virtual server Within fifteen minutes.
"Provisioning virtual machines used to take a few days," says Giulianelli. "Particularly because the security had to be thoroughly checked. After all, we are a financial services provider. Now we recycle the same approved image of the operating system, and we only have to adjust a few details. In fact, Our 'Infrastructure as Code' stack gives us the agility that public cloud also promises. Another application, Pester, moreover automatically monitors whether new servers satisfy the specified configuration."
When the software is ultimately deployed in production, Ingenico Will switch to other, more powerful systems. It will call on the expertise of its infrastructure team for this. Giulianelli: "They are now being deployed for the more complex work, and proving their added value for Ingenico faster. Ultimately, creating a virtual server is a routine job. Our senior engineers are now concentrating on things like architecture design and replication.More interesting for them and more useful for the company."
Xylos also introduced Azure Automation. This orchestration software offers Ingenico a helicopter view of its servers and allows the automation of manual tasks in the background, for example for configuring virtual servers. You simply work out a Desired State Configuration once, so that you do not need to repeat the work unnecessarily. 1f the configuration of the server deviates from this DSC during its life cycle, then IT Operations is notified of this. In some cases the configuration is automatically corrected.
Giulianelli has already worked with Xylos before. "In fact, we knew exactly what we wanted to do with our Spotify ambitions and we believed that Xylos had the skills in- house to guide us in this. And indeed they already had their first DevOps transformation project behind them. For them DevOps is not a technology story, but a change in attitude. Because they know how they have to approach change, they are the perfect partner. The infrastructure is now ready and the staff are convinced that it is the right approach. Now we expect IT to regain time and deliver agility and added value to the business. We are already seeing the first signs of this."
"For Xylos DevOps is not a technology story, but a change in attitude. Because they know how they have to approach change, they are the perfect partner."