How to marry DevOps to vintage cars

Sharing K&C experience

German cars have always been renowned for their quality and reliability. That’s why a large community of German vintage cars fans appeared rather naturally. An old car like any other vintage artifact belongs to history reflecting the cultural code of the nation somehow. “No future without a past” as they say at Bosch Automotive Tradition which is a central hub for the vintage car drivers community. K&C was fortunate to make a contribution to the development of the contemporary online system serving those dedicated persons who spend their time and money trying to put old cars back on the road.

Designing and developing Bosch Classic Cars web portal, K&C team assisted in consolidating more than 19 000 old car fans in order to foster the social mission of Bosch Group along with providing vintage car drivers with numerous offline and online services of the Bosch Automotive division.

The ever-expanding user base of Bosch Automotive required a highly responsive web solution capable of making the time-consuming process of frequent updating more efficient. In the course of project implementation, K&C programmers had to figure out how to integrate the new portal organically into the legacy web environment of Bosch. It was a certain challenge because the Bosch Classic Cars portal was not just a startup “in a drawer”. It should be a part of the actually working system bringing value to customers, where users were interacting in 24/7 mode. Participation in legacy projects is always fraught with the high degree of responsibility. This is not about a client’s claims but about the actual state of affairs.

In the case of Bosch Automotive services, the traditional manual approach functioning in a proprietary data format implied neither DevOps principles nor continuous integration services in optimizing the application deployment process.

K&C team clearly realized that such multi-data source system as the Bosch Classic Cars portal required rapid responses to different logic changes as well as better adaptation of users to new interfaces. The available DevOps techniques represented an opportunity of increasing the release frequency along with improving the deployment process stability at the same time. Besides, K&C was able to reduce deployment time and introduce staging environment for the three-level acceptance testing.

K&C programmers began with reviewing the existing server infrastructure figuring out what alterations should be made in order to implement the continuous integration practices. The mere hardware standpoint suggested adding the following servers:

• Quality assurance server

• Demo server for user acceptance testing

• Failover server

Then, the general approach to the project was approved. Since K&C was responsible for the entire scope of project tasks, all-too-familiar DevOps architecture was implemented. The CI and autotesting technologies corresponded straight to the K&C vision how the clients’ requirements could be met. In contrast to the client’s traditional practices, the safe deployment technologies used by K&C have reduced the “go-to-market” period by an order of magnitude(!) K&C team has implemented the following:

• Automated backups

• Zero downtime deployment and instant rollback

• Multiple containers for running the product components

The applied DevOps technologies such as Docker, Git, Jenkins, and Artifactory allowed K&C to achieve significant speeding up of update releases. Besides, much better detecting and fixing bugs through automated tests and freeing resources for other development goals appeared as a positive aftermath.

The entire project deployment process took K&C less than a month while some previous smaller releases took the client much longer periods.

What else did the client receive besides the fully featured web solution?

The flexible, responsive and reliable like a Swiss watch (pardon, like a German car!) web portal capable of meeting all users’ expectations has reaffirmed Bosch Group leadership in a dedicated segment.

The trusted partnership with K&C as with an expert in the advanced DevOps technologies has demonstrated how efficient could be following the newest trends by means of selecting the right partner for complex assignments.

K&C for their part have seen once again that the DevOps paradigm proved its viability running through another successful project.

Since both parties are satisfied with the results, K&C will continue sharing their experience regarding DevOps practices along with describing the other interesting aspects of cooperation with Bosch Automotive in the upcoming blog posts.

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