Lavasoft Reduces Developer Toil by 94% Using Drone and Harness

Lavasoft uses both Drone and Harness to create the ideal software delivery environment.

Dan Lamm

About Lavasoft

Lavasoft, a subsidiary of Avanquest Software, is a world-leading developer of personal and professional software, encompassing a large number of categories including Creativity and Learning software, Utilities, and Multimedia.

Identifying Delivery Issues

Mathieu Fecteau is a software delivery manager at Lavasoft and helped uncover the company’s software delivery issues.

Lavasoft’s applications were written in a variety of languages and 80% of them were hosted on-premise. Lavasoft managed this complexity using equally complex Jenkins Pipelines stitched together with custom scripts. Any change to the Jenkins CI pipelines could take hours, and Lavasoft didn’t have the engineering resources to effectively manage the system. The complexity and lack of spare resources made it difficult for Lavasoft to implement DevOps principles.

Lavasoft’s product team had little visibility into deployment schedules and metrics. Product leaders weren’t aware of deployment failures leading to miscommunication about what was actually in production. The deployment failures required intensive manual intervention and resulted in a developer spending 8 hours every week on verification. Rollbacks of a failed deployment required the manual re-deployment of local files.

More often than not we were troubleshooting why a deployment went wrong. - Mathieu Fecteau | Software Delivery Manager | Lavasoft

Mathieu needed to reduce Lavasoft’s delivery complexity and increase confidence in the deployment process.

Finding a Container Native CI Tool

After evaluating other CI vendors, Mathieu decided to evaluate Drone.

The other CI options aren’t smooth and have a difficult setup process. - Mathieu Fecteau | Software Delivery Manager | Lavasoft

Mathieu onboarded his first application in 15 minutes. As he onboarded more applications, Mathieu discovered the secret behind Drone’s success. Simplicity. Drone’s containerized plugins reduced inter-dependencies and didn’t require custom groovy scripting. Upgrading Drone took 2 minutes, a 97% decrease from the 1 hour it took Lavasoft to upgrade their Jenkins pipelines. Drone is so intuitive that a new hire can use Drone on their first day at Lavasoft.

Stop Babysitting Deployments

After solving continuous integration, Mathieu turned his attention to continuous delivery. Harness piqued his interest because of its Kubernetes focus and compatibility with on-premise applications.

In his first 15 minutes of using Harness, Mathieu connected his pipelines to Drone. In his first week using Harness, Mathieu onboarded 40 applications and reduced Kubernetes migration time to 1 hour per application.

Mathieu also gave Lavasoft’s product managers visibility into the deployment process, removing friction between PM’s and Devs. Continuous verification plugged into Datadog and ELK to reduce verification time spent by 94% from 8 hours a week to 30 minutes.

Harness helps me get more value out of the expensive tools I already use. - Mathieu Fecteau | Software Delivery Manager | Lavasoft

Mathieu found his perfect CI/CD solution using a combination of Drone CI and Harness CD.

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