Why Web Companies Need to Think Harder About IT Infrastructure

    November 14, 2016

    By Luis Colon

    As your business adjusts to new development processes like DevOps, you may be tempted to upgrade your infrastructure. But is it really necessary?

    Large web companies can be expected to be on the forefront of IT infrastructure, so when those companies all start to shift their IT investments at once, it pays to take notice.

    As TechTarget’s Beth Pariseau recently reported, Meetup, Netflix, and Dropbox have all revamped their IT infrastructure to better suit the demands of rapid deployment. Each of these companies shares a common motive: as they sped up deployment and development to foster growth, they found their infrastructure to be lagging behind and dragging their operations down with it. We’ve looked further into their experience so that you can implement their hard-earned lessons within your IT infrastructure.

    Growing Pains

    Meetup, Netflix, and Dropbox began their infrastructure renovation process from different starting points. 

    Netflix, ever the innovator, had a cloud computing setup that would be the envy of many web-based companies. Still, they found that their development and delivery speeds would improve if they utilized containers. As a result, they began Project Titus to implement containers and bolster batch processing.

    On the other side of the spectrum, Meetup found themselves with genuinely outdated, mainframe infrastructure. They utilized two distinct data center with metal servers — in other words, they were far from the type of flexible setup we’ve come to expect in the age of the cloud. This all came to a head when they started to implement continuous delivery (CD) and found their infrastructure unable to keep up. Long story short, they revamped their IT infrastructure by utilizing both Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.

    Last but not least, Dropbox discovered that in order to best implement solid-state drives, they needed to match full-production rollouts with partial canary deployments — not an easy task.

    Is Infrastructure the Common Thread?

    All three of these companies shared the need to speed up deployment and delivery processes. Many business across different industries are doing the same — whether by scaling DevOps or implementing Agile methodology.   

    To accomplish their goals, Meetup, Netflix, and Dropbox all determined that they needed to upgrade their infrastructure. This path may be best for your business as well, but it is important to note that infrastructure developments like cloud aren’t always best for every business. In fact, cloud can actually increase costs and decrease efficiency for some businesses.

    And the problem isn’t always with your company’s infrastructure itself. Rather, the issue may be how your servers are allocated. If you’re wasting compute on unnecessary tasks and neglecting essential processes, your operations will suffer. Luckily, the right software can ensure that you are optimizing your computing power at minimal cost.

    The TeamQuest Solution

    The first step to allocating resources efficiently is by using a capacity planning platform such as Vityl Adviser. Adviser tracks the health and risk of every app in your infrastructure for impending slowdowns and failures, then helps you avoid them by telling you where and when to deploy the right IT resources. We’ve recently brought Adviser to mobile, so you can now track your infrastructure on the fly.

    Infrastructure monitoring software is another great way to get the most out of your existing infrastructure. With solutions like Vityl Monitor, you can view real-time and historical performance across your IT environments, and get early warnings of potential bottlenecks. In addition, it identifies the root causes of any service issues and helps you correct the problem before it affects users.

    As your business works to implement new development and deployment processes, you may decide to follow in the footsteps of Meetup, Netflix, and Dropbox and upgrade your infrastructure. But you may not need to — with capacity planning and infrastructure monitoring software, you can get more out of your existing infrastructure than you ever have before.

    Category: devops