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Insider: A container case study

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Challenge

Insider decided to apply DevOps practices including automated deployments, versioning and infrastructure-as-code. They wanted to benefit from using managed services like Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to focus on core business and innovation.

Because Insider is a global player, their resource needs fluctuate based on the traffic. To keep the costs down in an efficient manner, a flexible infrastructure rather than a static number of instances was needed.

Beside, Insider wants to smoothen the first-day developer experience, getting rid of development environment related installations and configurations.

 

Client: Insider

Project type: AWS DevOps Container Pipeline

Website: useinsider.com

Solution

Transitioning the current software stack to containers and together with AWS Elastic Beanstalk, benefiting from scaling and automation.

AWS offers PaaS services like RDS, Elasticache, ECS, ElasticBeanstalk which help businesses focus on their core operations.

ElasticBeanstalk was used for autoscaling, rolling deployments, and versioning without a big effort. Elastic Beanstalk complies with infrastructure-as-code approach benefiting from ebextension definitions, which are then pushed to be application code repository. All application dependencies including host based and also external dependencies like RDS and Elasticache are defined within those files. Besides, monitoring APM and logging tools are also defined as-code within those ebextension files so that they are provisioned automatically. With this change, it was possible to manage  all dependencies, host environment related installations, and configurations with ElasticBeanstalk. It is relatively easy to manage deploy-time configurations with ElasticBeanstalk as it is injecting the configuration based on the stack it is running on (php, dotnet. java…) Minor code refactoring was required on Insider codebase to fetch the configuration from environment.ini file that is managed by ElasticBeanstalk deploy-time configuration key-value pairs.

 

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Results

By using AWS, Insider was able to focus more on its core business without worrying about scalability and maintenance. PaaS services like ElasticBeanstalk and RDS helped a lot for automation and Spot Instances helped optimize AWS costs.

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