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For many DevOps teams, getting a pipeline to run with little to no breakage is a win. However, for some organizations, it could mean the difference between success or failure.
For software development company Jasper Solutions, this couldn’t be more true. Jasper Solutions provides a range of business technology services for its clients around the world, including federal, state, and local government agencies. One of the technological solutions it enables for organizations is tactical edge. Tactical edge is the ability to operate in certain environments constrained by limited communications, connectivity, or storage availability. Many IT services and systems are designed to operate in a robust IT environment but don’t scale when deployed outside of it, such as in field operations where there is intermittent or no connectivity.
Jasper Solutions offers constantly-updated, evolutionary data in the form of what its CEO and owner, Andy Patel, has coined, “DevOps in a box.” This enables operations at the tactical edge and gives the ability to modify any application to fit any environment and update intermittently when a network is established. Public sector clients like Airmen, Marines, Sailors, and other sectors of military service rely heavily on Jasper Solutions for their crucial tactical edge needs. This decisive reliance requires technology that works not just some of the time, or even most of the time, but every time.
For five years, developers at Jasper Solutions “Frankensteined” various pipeline tools (like Atlassian, BitBucket, Jira, Jenkins, and SonarQube) together in order to provide “DevSecOps in a box” pipeline solutions for customers and their unique development needs. However, Jasper Solutions developers continuously ran into challenges with broken pipelines from single tool updates — when one tool in the stack updated, it would break its communication with other tools.
“We were more worried about when the pipeline was going to break and how to actually fix the pipeline or roll it back so we could continue to do development,” said Patel. They would then introduce the additional features and functionalities by each different product in order to get it fully configured and tested, he said. “A lot of times, the development and test environment would have various test packages with different vendors.”
In order to create and maintain this “DevSecOps in a box” approach, Jasper solutions needed a platform that deploys easily, offers code management and has security awareness, ideally all in one tool. A single platform would allow the team to focus on development, rather than on constant pipeline failures caused by updates from multiple tools. Not only would this capability help team members, it would also improve customer satisfaction — with better products delivered at a faster rate.
After testing more than 260 DevOps tools, Jasper Solutions found a platform that matched every need. GitLab, a DevOps platform for all stages of the DevOps lifecycle in a single application, initially stood out from the pack because of its transparency. According to Patel, not only is the usability of the tools transparent, but the company’s roadmap was too.
“From a value proposition perspective, especially in the DevSecOps space where it’s ever-evolving and constantly changing, the ability to discuss a specific problem or a gap that GitLab currently does not offer and actually put it on a roadmap — no other company does that while being completely transparent,” said Patel. “And, at the same time, addressing the entire stack of CI, CD, and SCM.”
GitLab offers every functionality, feature, and benefit that Jasper Solutions’s customers benefit from. Although initially only used for internal development, GitLab became part of Jasper Solution’s external service after the team saw how easily GitLab enabled deployments. GitLab is now their single stack software for CI, CD, and SCM.
“When we do one, single upgrade, the entire pipeline gets upgraded with all of the new features and functionalities,” said Patel. “Ninety-nine percent of the time we’re not breaking the pipeline and we can still address the customers’ software development needs and focus on the application lifecycle rather than worry about our pipeline.”
Since adopting GitLab for its DevOps needs three years ago, Jasper Solutions has reduced cycle time by 30%. Deployment frequency has accelerated by 25%, 90-95% of project releases are on budget and on time, and nearly 350 man-hours are saved on average for each individual product.
With GitLab, “we’re providing a better value proposition from delivery, execution, and also from a management perspective.”
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Feature image via Pixabay.
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