Continuous Delivery Implementation Done Right: Learn from National Broadband Ireland Story
How NBI is delivering applications efficiently and accelerating ambitious broadband rollout using DevOps automation
Everyone wants to deliver software faster and more reliably. That is certainly the case when National Broadband Ireland (NBI) was tasked to rollout broadband that will cover 96 percent of Ireland’s land mass and serve 23 percent of the population.
NBI is a public-private partnership that’s designing, building, and operating a high-speed broadband network for rural Ireland. The ambitious National Broadband Plan will deliver fiber optic cables to over 569,000 premises, including homes, farms, schools, and businesses.
Automating software releases for continuous delivery
When Neale Foulds joined NBI as Release and IT Change Manager in June 2020, the NBI team that delivers software to support operational and business requirements for the rollout was the deployment and release of applications. Manually, this was time-consuming, lacked visibility, and risked introducing variation and human error in the delivery chain.
“If you do something three times, you have a strong argument for automating,” said Foulds. “We do things thousands of times and want a dependable, deterministic outcome every time.”
Foulds wanted an automated process for orchestration and deployment to protect against the risks inherent in manual deployment while also managing release activity in the most efficient way possible. NBI’s requirements were workflow management, ticket management, support for process triggers, reporting and dashboards, statistics, metrics, analysis, and toolchain integration. The Release and Deploy products from Digital.ai were selected as best-in-class.
Ambitious rollout continues at pace
The National Broadband Project rollout is consistently building momentum and is on track to deliver within an ambitious seven-year rollout schedule. This is being made possible through the collaboration of many internal stakeholders and facilitated by the automation capabilities provided by solutions such as Digital.ai Release and Deploy.
Within 18 months, NBI had completed 4,500 releases, with the rate exponentially increasing to over 1,000 per month as the rollout accelerates. “We’re really happy we’re not doing 4,500 releases manually,” said Foulds.