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Boxed has built an innovative mobile app that gives consumers direct-to-their-door access to their favorite warehouse club products. Because Boxed had no operations staff, their developers handled the management of their infrastructure using dated networking and AWS deployment tools like OpsWorks and Elastic Beanstalk.
When Boxed reached out to [Fairwinds] in 2015, they had an inconsistent infrastructure with problematic security rules and only partial automation with many manual processes. They wanted [Fairwinds] to stabilize their infrastructure, decrease vulnerabilities and provide highly reliable 24/7 support.
[Fairwinds] onboarded Boxed to our immutable deployment solution, Omnia, and set them up on a virtual private cloud (VPC). From the outset, they gained dramatic security and structural improvements. We organized their infrastructure, cleaning and updating all of their security groups and ensuring all traffic remained within their network. Config management also gave them a repeatable infrastructure, which they had previously lacked.
Part of this onboarding effort involved moving approximately 30 applications to the new infrastructure. Our immutable infrastructure situated their applications under config management and enabled them to be effectively redeployed with each release, giving them fully tested deployments and rollback of the environment if necessary. Automated deployment increased deployment speed, brought greater fidelity to their software releases and eliminated the need for daily troubleshooting and maintenance. It also made their developers’ lives much simpler.
Another key element of our solution involved increased scalability. Prior to working with [Fairwinds], Boxed often had to spin up instances manually and hope their site didn’t crash. These concerns are a thing of the past since the infrastructure now scales on its own, which has the added benefit of decreasing their exposure to attacks.
As part of our DevOps-as-a-Service model, we now manage Boxed’s infrastructure and handle continual improvements and support, while an in-house DevOps engineer runs Omnia day to day. The next step will involve transitioning Boxed to Kubernetes, a platform for automating deployment, scaling and operations of application containers across clusters of hosts.
Boxed is excited about the upcoming transition, which will be simplified by the fact that many of the Kubernetes technologies are similar to those used to institute their current infrastructure. During this transition, we’ll continue to be responsible for managing the infrastructure and making updates to the clusters, as well as support their team if problems or questions arise.
All along, Boxed has been open to change and new technology. Back in 2015 they knew they needed help with their infrastructure, then found a trusted long-term partner to make smart choices for them, giving them greater scalability, reliability and peace of mind.
“[Fairwinds] has enabled us to reposition and strengthen our infrastructure. Now our infrastructure is more scalable, more reliable and more secure, and the operational burden is off our shoulders.”
Charlie McConnell, Senior DevOps Engineer