Auror and Octopus Deployauror.co
“Now, whenever a PR is merged in GitHub, Octopus deploys it to QA, waits for automated tests to finish, and then without any intervention it will deploy to all of our production environments. All these workflows are orchestrated with Octopus and this is the kind of thing that helps us do so many deployments in a day. Once you’ve merged, it’s headed for production, there’s no bottleneck.”
Auror’s mature CI/CD pipeline allows them to deploy up to 18 times a day.
Auror helps protect retailers from the impacts of retail crime with an industry-leading crime intelligence platform. Over 70,000 retail and law enforcement users across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand leverage Auror to report, solve, and prevent crime in their stores and communities.
Auror serves major retailers and hosts their infrastructure themselves in Azure data centers. Due to data sovereignty laws, Auror ensures each country has a dedicated set of resources with controls for potentially sharing data between stores and law enforcement. In some countries, like New Zealand, retail stores from different chains share certain intelligence with one another, as well as law enforcement to ensure the information is actionable. In others, like the US, customers are more likely to choose to have their information only shared within the same company.
One of Auror’s priorities is to ensure its global customers have data sovereignty, ensuring they comply with privacy laws - regardless of location around the world.
Before implementing Octopus Deploy, Auror’s deployments to production were manual and often took days to complete. They deployed to Windows Virtual Machines (VMs), remoting into each machine and copying files or deploying from Visual Studio.
In 2018, when a major Australian retailer became a customer, Auror re-evaluated its deployment pipeline, and they brought in consultants to help them select the best deployment automation tool. The consultants recommended Octopus Deploy to advance their product and user experience.
Auror’s key goal was streamlining deployments. Engineers were spending too much time on what they could be doing in one click.
Adopting Octopus helped Auror mature its CI/CD pipeline.
First, they reduced the number of clicks to deploy to one-click per environment. But they wanted even more efficiency.
When Auror migrated from Windows VMs to Azure Web Apps and Azure SQL, they found that Octopus Deploy’s guided failure mode complemented their tools. It meant that failed deployments could be re-started with a single step, rather than re-starting the whole deployment, which was a great improvement. Auror focuses on the developer experience. Developers are able to emulate the entire platform on their laptops, accelerating their process.
Before merging a change into the main branch, another developer or a QA engineer pairs with the developer, and verifies if they’ve met Auror’s high quality bar and made the appropriate changes.
After they merge a change into the main branch, Octopus triggers an immediate deployment to test. Automated tests then start, and after they pass, Octopus pushes changes to all production environments (including a customer-facing sandbox environment that Auror uses for sales demos, and for customers to test integrations).
Auror’s DORA metrics reflect its advanced automation process and deployment maturity. Auror metrics are in DORA’s ‘elite’ category, which the team says wouldn’t be possible without Octopus.
Octopus delivered many improvements for Auror:
Deployment automation: Auror now deploys from code to production with thorough testing and without intervention. Their developers are happier as well. If there’s a bug, they can get a fix released in an hour.
Deployment frequency: Auror deploys to production up to 18 times per day. Octopus provides speed and stability, which is paramount for their operations.
Mature CI/CD pipeline: Octopus streamlined Auror’s deployment process while integrating seamlessly with other end-to-end tools, and facilitating complex deployments for their GitHub Actions workflow.
Faster delivery of product improvements and happy customers: When the pandemic hit, one of the world’s biggest retailers asked for the capability to report when a customer threatened to spit on an employee. Auror impressed them by adding the report and pushing it to production in 3 hours. Auror regularly receives praise for quickly responding to change requests and delivering value.
We've been overhauling our internal infrastructure and back-end systems over the past month, including a move back to full @OctopusDeploy deployments; rediscovering how nice it is to have a platform-agnostic orchestrator that can deploy practically anything, anywhere ❤Nicholas Blumhardt