Burst SMS Removes Outage Risk for Their Customers

Harness delivers better DevOps practices to all our customers. Find out how Burst SMS used Harness to reduce outages.

By
Dan Lamm
Last updated
July 6, 2021
Burst SMS Removes Outage Risk for Their Customers

About

Burst SMS is a global online messaging platform, delivering messages since 2008. They specialise in helping businesses communicate with their customers via SMS with simple yet highly intuitive messaging tools. Innovation is what they strive for by building new features with their clients in mind. Their products are developed in house but refined by their customers.

Deployments Shouldn’t Be a “Big Bang”

Burst SMS struggled to deploy software. Deployments were extremely manual, infrequent, and risky. These factors compounded on top of each other to create what Burst SMS refers to as “Big Bang” deployments. The manual nature of the deployments meant deployments only occurred once every 3-4 months. Because deployments only occurred every 3-4 months, releases were large with a ton of new features in each batch. Because releases were large, something would often break in production. Because deployments were manual, rolling back was extremely difficult. This resulted in roughly 6 days of downtime a year.

“We avoided deploying to production because there was too much risk for our customers.” - Lead SRE | Burst SMS

Burst SMS began evaluating new delivery solutions. The company quickly ruled out Jenkins and Jenkins X because of the large time and resource commitment needed to stand the tools up. Their search was further complicated by an organizational shift to a hybrid cloud hosting solution. Burst SMS would need to find a tool to help with both AWS and GCP deployments.

“We didn’t want to be locked into a single cloud provider. We wanted to leverage multiple clouds.” - Lead SRE | Burst SMS

Kicking Off a New DevOps Journey With Harness

Harness brought accessible DevOps practices to Burst SMS. Developers now have access to advanced deployment strategies without having an advanced knowledge of Kubernetes or detailed knowledge of a specific cloud provider.

“Harness helped prove the value of DevOps to our organization.” - Lead SRE | Burst SMS

Now that Burst SMS deploys using Harness, deployment velocity has increased 8x to once every two weeks. This has reduced the size of each deployment, which has reduced deployment time to 5 minutes and inherently reduced the risk of failure for each deployment. If something does fail in production, Harness allows Burst SMS to roll back in seconds. This decreased annual downtime to minutes.

“We now face minimal customer impact when we deploy. We have embraced a culture of failing fast without breaking things.” - Lead SRE | Burst SMS

Harness also allows Burst SMS to run a hybrid cloud model by providing a layer of abstraction on top of each cloud. Users just have to learn how to use Harness – they don’t have to learn the ins and outs of AWS and GCP.

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