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Axis Security Case Study

Learn how the team at AxisSecurity solved long hiring cycles and cultural fit issues by working with DevOps experts introduced by Opsfleet.

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Axis: a case study

The Client

Axis Security is the leading secure workplace connectivity solution. In addition to the challenges of a growing SaaS startup, Axis architecture mixes cloud and on-prem components delivered to customers, which contributes to a growing need for DevOps expertise.

Region
Israel
Industry
Cyber Security
Main Technologies
Azure, AWS, Lambda, Kubernetes, ChatOps
Services
DevOps-As-A-Service
Date of Project
Problem

The Challenge

The Axis engineering organization grew fast and needed to hire experienced DevOps engineers within a short time frame to support the team’s development efforts.

The team tried to hire in-house but had problems finding good candidates within a reasonable time frame.

Axis architecture mixes on-prem and cloud-enabled components, and requires candidates to have both deep DevOps and networking expertise, as well as great communication skills and the ability to work with many stakeholders within the organization.

The team decided to speed up the hiring process by working with an outsourcing provider. However, they had many concerns based on past unsuccessful experiences.

“I had a bad experience working with remote outstaffing teams in my previous job. We had many delays and the communication was lacking. I was afraid working with Opsfleet will repeat the same problems.”

Nokky Goren, Director of Cloud

What we’ve done

The Solution

The Axis team asked for recommendations from their peers and were referred to Opsfleet by one of their existing customers.

The Opsfleet team worked with Axis management to define the technical profile of the required engineer, then assigned a dedicated team lead to work on a detailed DevOps roadmap and onboarding plan.

“Although we had our concerns about remote work, we very quickly felt the professionalism of both Alex and Sergey. As a team lead, Alex was very involved at the initial steps of the project, and we also kept good and open communication with him along the way.”

Nokky Goren, Director of Cloud

After the initial roadmapping and onboarding, Opsfleet engineers became a natural extension of the DevOps team and were able to work on important issues autonomously.

Results

The Outcome

During the different phases of work, the Opsfleet team completed a number of important infrastructure projects.

One important milestone was improving the installation process of Axis components on customer sites.

The Opsfleet team developed a specialized installation method suitable for common customer environments. For Azure users, the components were published in an Azure Compute Gallery. AWS users could use a private AMI developed by the team, and customers willing to install the components on-prem had an OVA/OVF image ready for them.

All the installation aspects were orchestrated using a custom installer developed by the team.

“Before Sergey’s work, I was personally involved in any installation we did for our clients. The installation process required a lot of back-and-forth communication and had many manual steps which were error-prone. Sergey automated most of the steps and brought the installation from a chaotic experience to a few minutes our clients could run themselves.”

Nokky Goren, Director of Cloud

Another important project was related to addressing the scalability of aspects of Axis cloud components in cases of sudden spikes in usage.

The team tried to implement a scaling solution using AWS Lambda but hit networking limitations. ECS was also tried but didn’t fit the scaling requirements due to the long startup times of the containers.

To address the issues, the Opsfleet team developed a robust Kubernetes infrastructure that was able to respond quickly to spikes in demand and keep cloud costs under control.

The team used a mix of lazy loading of container images and overprovisioning of cluster nodes as an initial solution. They also later introduced another optimization in Cluster Autoscaler configurations related to AWS warm pool support, which allowed the cluster scale to respond to spikes 10x faster.

The DevOps team was involved in many additional projects, such as dynamic dev environment controls using ChatOps and improvements in secret management and security. However, the Axis team also recognizes the long-term contribution that working with the Opsfleet team has brought to the Axis DevOps organization.

“During our work together both Alex and Sergey provided a lot of guidance and advice. Many of their ideas and advice are still used by the team and allowed us to build solid DevOps foundations in our company.”

Nokky Goren
Director of Cloud
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