Rundeck User Story

FreedomPay Uses Rundeck as Extension of Next Level Platform Engineering Team

82a8e6d2-2951-425c-9707-8419f8ec295f-1595338145713

 

Business Success Puts Pressure on Operations

FreedomPay is a data-driven Next Level Commerce™ platform that transforms existing payment systems and processes from legacy to leading edge. As the premier choice for many of the largest companies across the globe, FreedomPay’s technology is built to deliver rock solid performance in the highly complex environment of global commerce. 

As the FreedomPay business scaled, Chris Randall (Director, Platform Operations), DJ DeBrakeleer (Site Reliability Engineer), and their colleagues found that the volume of operations and maintenance tasks was increasing to the point where it was straining their team. In addition to project work, Chris and his team found themselves frequently executing repetitive tasks like configuration and setup for new customers, validating and maintaining data feeds with customers, investigating and recycling app pools, database maintenance, and more.

Adding to the burden was the push to have the Platform Operations team provide 24x7 coverage. Burnout was looming and it was clear that a new approach would have to be taken.

Knowing that throwing more headcount at the problem was not the right solution, Chris and DJ decided to look for an automation solution. 

Why Rundeck?

Fortunately, Chris connected with a performance engineer colleague of theirs who had been using Rundeck for a variety of test infrastructure automation use cases. 

Chris and DJ’s first experiment with using Rundeck was to automate running SSIS jobs outside of SQL agent using PowerShell. During this proof-of-concept, the ease of use and general utility of Rundeck became clear. The team immediately started an internal wiki page to keep track of all the ideas they had for where Rundeck’s capabilities could be applied.

“By automating tasks in Rundeck, we have saved the equivalent of three or four dedicated people’s worth of time. And by removing the risk of human error, we have solidified the reliability of our critical processes.”

DJ DeBrakeleer, Site Reliability Engineer

Additionally, it became clear to the team that using Rundeck would help FreedomPay improve their security posture. Considering the importance and sensitivity of FreedomPay’s customers’ data, maintaining strict privileges around production infrastructure PCI compliance is paramount. Using Rundeck to put appropriate permissions around automated processes made this easier. 

Rundeck Usage Continues to Spread 

After their proof-of-concept, DJ and team jumped at the opportunity to create further operational efficiencies using Rundeck by automating the onboarding of a large, complex client. 

Previously, onboarding this type of account would require a great deal of file processing and manual tasks that typically would have fallen on DJ’s team to fulfill. Instead, DJ and team automated the workflows by having Rundeck invoke the various tools and scripts needed to onboard the new client. 

With this success under their belt, the Platform Operations team continued to automate more procedures with Rundeck. It’s estimated that this pattern of creating runbook automation with Rundeck is already saving them 3-4 person years of effort each year.

What’s next? DJ and his colleagues are looking to use Rundeck for incident response and spread Rundeck usage to other teams who participate in production operations work.