A global financial institution uses CloudBees Jenkins solutions to give time back to developers
Centralise and secure the build process for a large, decentralised Jenkins deployment and gain the assurance of formal technical support
Implement CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise™ for secure sharing of Jenkins build assets and expert technical support
» Additional functionality gained for security, version control
» Half-day of development time saved per application, per day
» Build assets and best practices centralised
» Access to formal technical support
» CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise
The institution, one of the top four retail banks, globally, centralised the application build and integration process using CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise™, provided to them by UK-based Cachet Software. The institution offers private banking, corporate and investment banking, investment management and credit card services. It has a substantial international presence.
Prior to the Jenkins CI open source implementation, applications were being developed and maintained by the corporate branch of the bank, but there was no centralised management of the process and developers couldn’t always access build assets. This all caused problems, reengineering and wasted time.
“There was no central control, and developers in the organisation felt they were constantly reinventing the wheel. We knew there had to be a better way,” said the bank’s development manager.
In addition to centralising, standardisation was needed. The team wanted to gain an automated process for application build services—one that was secure, able to be backed-up, offered audit capabilities to facilitate best practices and would eliminate local reengineering.
Implementing Jenkins meant the bank gained the desired standardisation, along with other benefits of a centralised system that were needed—such as the sharing of assets between developers.
The development organisation chose Jenkins because of its robustness and the availability of useful plugins to match their requirements. The team had used Jenkins before and they knew it was the right fit.
Having installed Jenkins to support continuous integration (CI) and monitor the build management process, the financial institution needed additional features and functionality that the standard open source solution didn’t offer. For example, when building new applications, there was a need to ensure that only approved software versions were used. Additionally, the applications needed to be secure, backed up and able to be audited.
Finally, since the Jenkins software is open source, no formal technical support is available from the Jenkins community. An inherent requirement for the bank for any application they use is that they be able to get technical support. Without such support, they would be dependent on the Jenkins community to address any issues raised. The community always has a backlog of issues and there is no guarantee that any given issue will ever be resolved. The bank felt it could not run the risk of having no SLA in place for issue resolution.
SOLUTION: GAINING ADDITIONAL NECESSARY FUNCTIONALITY AND FORMAL TECHNICAL SUPPORT
To overcome these challenges, the bank evaluated and ultimately selected CloudBees Jenkins Platform. They had two primary reasons: the additional plugins that provide necessary functionality for large enterprises in the areas of backup, security, high availability and job organization and the ability to obtain formal technical support for open source Jenkins and all 600+ open source Jenkins plugins.
CloudBees Jenkins Platform has enabled the financial institution to offer Jenkins as a centralised enterprise-grade service; one that is secure and backed up. Its Role-based Access Control plugin ensures that each developer has access to the specific assets they need, as determined by their role and project responsibilities. Moreover, CloudBees Jenkins Platform has eliminated monitoring local instances of builds that previously took a large amount of resources. CloudBees Jenkins Platform has thus freed up the developers’ time so they can now focus on what they do well: develop applications.
The bank used technical support from CloudBees, initially, when setting up CloudBees Jenkins Platform. “The service and response times were excellent. But once the system was implemented, we haven’t had to raise any trouble tickets. The software just works. It doesn’t go wrong. However, we needed to have the on-going support for reassurance and risk compliance,” explained the development manager.
Plugins provide security and additional enterprise-level functionality.
The plugin that was most important for the bank was the Rolebased Access Control (RBAC) plugin. The role-based functionality enables partitioning the job into secure folders. This means that developers can access specific folders with the reassurance that these are the appropriate ones for their role. “Role-based Access Control was, for us, the main selling point,” clarified the bank development manager. “It was an absolute must. Other plugins are also used by the bank, but Role-based Access Control, alone, was enough to justify our investment.” The team also wanted to offer version control and the functionality available from the Folders plugin within CloudBees Jenkins Platform ensures that only approved software versions are shared between teams, so project folders have the correct, approved project assets.
A half-day of development time saved, per application.
“We’ve used the Templates plugin to make our builds much more consistent. That standardization has enabled our development tools team to focus on increasing reliability and efficiency instead of the quirks of every team’s unique build,” says the bank development manager. “Similarly, automated testing has freed our testers to focus on higher-value exploratory testing, instead of rote manual tests.”
Ability to share assets and best practices among the development team.
Previously, all the developers in the bank worked in isolation, not sharing best practices or solutions. Now, with a centralised build process, they can collaborate more effectively, gain from each other’s experience and access available assets based on their role and responsibilities, thanks to offering Jenkins as a centralised service via CloudBees Jenkins Platform.