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This post is from the XebiaLabs blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated Feb 26, 2018 — DevOps Expert

Ullink Doubles Deployments and Achieves Zero Production Failures


Ullink provides global, award-winning, multi-asset trading technology and infrastructure that is trusted by the world’s top-tier banks, brokers, and trading venues, from New York to Tokyo. Since 2001, Ullink has been one of the fastest growing technology companies in the financial industry.

Ullink’s Challenge: Deploying Software Faster While Improving Quality

Ullink’s top-tier financial services customers have zero tolerance for failure: even one deployment-related production failure per month was too much for their mission-critical trading needs. Ullink needed a new approach to automatically deploy more than 1,000 changes in production per month, and they had several stringent requirements:
  • Quality & stability: No deployment-related failures in production
  • Automation: Automate application deployment and eliminate manual operations
  • Standardization & rules: Ability to create and enforce rules across applications and environments
  • Extensible: Open APIs so they could execute their scripts
  • Fine-grained access control: User management controls that extend to the granular level of roles and tasks
  • Compatible with current systems: Easy integration with existing in-house technologies
  • Simplified deployments: Ability for anyone to execute a deployment, regardless of technical skill level
  • Data to prove compliance and support continuous improvement: Traceability of who does what and the ability to measure how long tasks took, both before and after changes

Automate Deployments with Provisioning Tools?

[caption id="attachment_17885" align="alignleft" width="276"]Jonathan Berdah, CTO of Customer Service and Operations, Ullink Jonathan Berdah, CTO of Customer Service and Operations, Ullink[/caption] “We started by looking at provisioning tools like Chef, Puppet, and Ansible to build out our DevOps plans,” said Jonathan Berdah, CTO of Customer Service and Operations at Ullink. “At a DevOps convention in Paris, we watched a demonstration of the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform. We immediately understood the limitations we would encounter if we tried to repurpose these provisioning tools and write scripts to automate deployments. “We looked no further, because XebiaLabs met our needs for fully automated and self-service deployments, granular control over user roles and privileges, and integrations with existing tools.”

Double Deployment Capacity within Six Months with XebiaLabs

Ullink discovered that XebiaLabs wasn’t just a solution for deployment automation; it also helped them rethink their entire software delivery system. “XebiaLabs was the cornerstone of the changes we made to rebuild our entire software delivery platform. We moved from micro-sized manual changes to automated full application deployments,” said Jonathan. The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform helped Ullink achieve substantial improvements in their software delivery process:
  • No deployment issues in production, down from 1-2 errors per month
  • Easy for any team member to execute a deployment, regardless of skill level
  • Faster delivery of applications and features to clients due to elimination of bottlenecks in Operations
  • Deployments now take an average of 10 minutes, down from an average of 30 minutes. Previous deployments took up to 5 hours
  • Time savings on manual deployments now allow production engineers to focus their time on other work, such as validating the content of changes rather than manually carrying out the procedure to change things
  • Global, singular view and full control over the software delivery process
  • Better task management: easy to do the right tasks and difficult to do the wrong tasks
  • Improved customer experience: since Ullink implemented XebiaLabs, they’ve had no downtime in production and not a single complaint from customers due to deployment issues
  • Doubled the number of deployments within six months: now automatically deploying > 4000 changes across UAT and Production / month, up from < 2000
“Within six months of implementing XebiaLabs, we doubled our deployment capacity to over 4,000 automatic deployments per month, up from less than 2,000 manual deployments per month. And production is error-free,” Jonathan noted with satisfaction.Read the rest of Ullink’s story here.

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