Luma Ditches Jenkins Monstrosity, Expends 98% Less Maintenance Effort with Harness

Luma replaced Jenkins with Harness CI and Harness CD, and saved a ton of time and effort by doing so.

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Luma Financial Technologies provides the leading, independent, multi-issue platform for structured products and annuities. Luma is an award-winning platform that has been used by broker-dealers and their advisors nationwide for nearly a decade to more efficiently source, configure, compare, and price structured products and annuities that meet their customer’s specific investment needs. Luma's advisor-centric design, renowned education and training capabilities, fully customizable deployment, and complete product lifecycle support help drive the further adoption and growth of the structured products and annuities market.

When a Knowledge Silo Leaves

Luma deployed software using a custom-built Jenkins solution borne from the ingenious mind of a single DevOps engineer. Their Jenkins pipelines were used for both CI and CD. In order to keep the solution up and running, three DevOps engineers spent 50% of their time updating Jenkins plugins and performing overall pipeline maintenance.

“Our Jenkins pipelines were plugin monsters.”

Chris Hall, Head of Business Technology

Josh Warrick, Kris Downs, and Zach Brown were all members of the DevOps team responsible for keeping the Jenkins lights on. If the team needed to onboard a new application, it would take an entire week. But this team of three also had to rely heavily on the original Jenkins architect to troubleshoot reoccurring issues. 

The developers actually doing the deployments weren’t in love with the solution. 

On the CI front, each stage of the build pipeline required a complete rebuild of the artifact. This extra time, compounded into a roughly 20-minute build cycle, frustrated developers who just wanted to move on to the next piece of work. 

The frustration didn’t stop there. 

The actual deployment occurred once a month and required 10 engineers to spend 4 hours on a Saturday to reach production. 

“Developers didn’t trust Jenkins for CI/CD. It had developed a bad reputation internally.”

Chris Hall, Head of Business Technology

Then the original architect left. 

Chris Hall, The Head of Technology at Luma, had the seemingly impossible task of fixing this mess. His options were to either hire two more DevOps engineers and throw all his remaining resources at fixing Jenkins… or he could go with a true software delivery platform.

More Than Just a Deployment Tool: A Culture Shift

Chris Hall and the Luma DevOps team turned to Harness for software delivery. Harness proved to be easy to set up and scale. Onboarding a new service to Harness only took a day. The maintenance of Harness is also simple and only requires half an engineer’s time over the course of year. This reduction in administration effort has allowed the DevOps team to focus on catching up with tech debt. 

“Harness has let us focus on more pressing technical debt issues. We aren’t just stuck doing CI/CD.”

Chris Hall, Head of Business Technology

For CI, Harness has decreased the number of redundant pipeline steps. Artifacts only have to be built once and environment variables and injections are used to make sure they are being built in the correct environment. This has reduced build time by 19 minutes per build. 

For CD, production deployment time has been reduced from 4 hours to 30 minutes, and hotfixes can be deployed in less than 1 minute. Developers have more confidence in Harness than they did with Jenkins. This trust will help the company drastically increase deployment velocity. 

“Harness is helping us create a culture shift that will allow us to deploy more frequently.”

Chris Hall, Head of Business Technology

With the help of Harness, Luma is operating with an elite software deployment strategy. 

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