UWM Deploys in Minutes Instead of Hours

UWM leverages Harness for self-service Kubernetes deployments and infrastructure creation, reducing deployment time from hours to minutes!

By
Dan Lamm
Last updated
July 12, 2022

About

UWM is dedicated to making dreams come true for their team members, their broker partners, and homeowners nationwide. Everything they do is designed to support their partners’ businesses and grow the broker channel as a whole. They’re a winning team working together to deliver the fastest turn times in the industry, develop groundbreaking technology, and wowing their brokers with friendly, personal service. Relationships come first. That’s why they’re one of the fastest-growing companies in metro Detroit and why more brokers choose UWM than any other lender.

From Scratch: Containers and Kubernetes

UWM’s executives wanted to bring more new features to customers with less downtime risk. On paper, this was a great decision. In reality, the company’s DevOps team had to figure out how to go from legacy monolithic applications to containers and Kubernetes. Containerizing UWM’s applications was the only way they’d be able to create a scalable and repeatable deployment process, but containerizing applications and deploying to Kubernetes was complex.

The team had two options. They could either build everything from scratch using Jenkins and custom groovy scripts, or they could purchase a solution.

The DevOps team estimated it would take several months to code the pipelines in Jenkins and would require dedicated hours every week to maintain the tool.

“In a past position I tried to set up a simple-to-use integration in Jenkins and it took months. We needed a tool that would take minutes.”

Bill Reynolds, DevOps Engineer

After scoping the build, executives decided it was infeasible to custom script a Jenkins deployment solution. Instead, UWM turned to Harness for modern software delivery.

Faster, Safer, and Scalable

UWM took roughly one day to set up the necessary integrations in Harness. The new deployment methodology is repeatable, takes a couple of minutes, and occurs on demand.

After an image is built and published to Artifactory, a Harness pipeline is triggered to deploy the application to the first integration environment. Harness then creates a card in Jira representing the new build. A Jira user can then go into their Kanban board and move the build card to different stages, each time the card is moved a Harness workflow is triggered for that environment. The entire process is self-service for developers. 

This has sparked a shift left revolution at UWM. Developers are buying into a new deployment methodology that gives them more control over releases.

“Kubernetes is a complex tool that can be intimidating for developers to dive into. Harness abstracts away that complexity to allow anyone to deploy to Kubernetes.”

Bill Reynolds, DevOps Engineer

The UWM team also found a unique way to leverage Harness to automate application setup.

Whenever a dev team wanted a new microservice, they had to submit a request for the DevOps team to spin up pipelines, environments, and repos. This platform configuration took 2-3 hours per microservice with roughly 14 requests coming in every week. To tackle this issue, the DevOps team created an application that leverages Harness to automatically spin up all the application configurations for a development team. The entire process happens instantaneously as soon as a developer submits a request.

Harness has ensured UWM will be able to scale as they continue deploying more microservices.

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