iHerb Saves 350+ Engineering Hours Per Week with Harness Continuous Delivery

With up to 20 dev team deployments per day, iHerb saves over 350 hours of engineering time a week with Harness.

By Steve Burton
June 19, 2018

About iHerb

iHerb has been in business since 1996 and is run from two distribution centers in California and Kentucky, USA. iHerb is a global eCommerce leader in bringing the best overall value in natural products to customers all over the world.

CI/CD Before Harness

iHerb performs up to 20 dev team deployments per day.

Development team leads in the past would often spend up to 6 hours per deployment using Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Kubectl to manually update and verify deployed images for each service across their 18 data centers.

The iHerb DevOps team would also spend approximately two days a week troubleshooting deployment fires and alert storms.

iHerb’s CI/CD process also lacked visibility into who was publishing when, and what the actual outcome or result was from each deployment.

The Compelling Event

iHerb decided to transition from monolithic on-premises .NET windows applications to hybrid-cloud .NET core microservices using Kubernetes.

Evaluating Harness

Harness was evaluated within iHerb’s production environment across 4 applications, 10 Kubernetes clusters, and 6 data centers. Harness successfully integrated with iHerb’s technology and tools consisting of:

  • Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) for Continuous Integration
  • .NET core, Docker artifacts and Kubernetes container orchestration
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for Cloud compute
  • Dynatrace APM and Datadog for Infrastructure monitoring
  • Elastic/ELK Stack for application log analytics
  • Slack for notifications

Harness came on-site for free and walked the iHerb team through the process of creating and automating deployment pipelines. “Harness allows us to offers CD-as-a-Service to our developers, instead of needing DevOps to babysit deployments,” said Kodiak Jensen, Team Lead, DevOps Engineering at iHerb. He added, “Harness is our safety net when production deployments fail.”

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Key Harness Benefits

Harness provided the following benefits for iHerb:

  • Automation of deployments across 18 data centers and 32 Kubernetes clusters
  • Out-of-the-box canary deployment support
  • Out-of-the-box integration with Dynatrace and ELK
  • Auto-verification of deployments using ML
  • Auto-rollback for failed deployments
  • DevOps team define Harness pipeline templates as standard
  • Developers deploy using Harness pipeline templates
  • True CD-as-a-Service for developers
  • iHerb know who is publishing when—system of record for entire environment of 750 services

The Harness ROI

iHerb has been able to reduce deployment time from 6 hours to 30 minutes per team per day.

That’s worth around 330 hours of engineering saved time per week automating deployments and another 32 hours of DevOps time saved per week firefighting deployments.

The combined savings total 8-10 engineers per week. In addition, iHerb has seen reduced downtime and revenue risk from implementing canary deployments and automatic rollback with Harness when deployment verifications fail.

The Harness Customer Success team ensured iHerb was fully onboarded and saw value after just one week. The Harness engineering team has also built several integrations for iHerb to complete their deployment pipelines.

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