The Packet story

Reducing build time by over 70%

About Packet

What goes around comes around, and a New York City-based infrastructure company is banking on the idea that many companies want dedicated physical hardware to run all or part of their IT systems and web applications. Packet offers on demand bare-metal servers from its data centers in New Jersey, San Jose, and Amsterdam. The company’s bare-metal cloud was built with developers in mind, and provides fully-dedicated servers by the hour, backed by a fast IPv6 global network and an integration-friendly platform. Customers include SaaS and technology providers (Hashicorp, Rancher), gaming companies (InPvP), financial services providers (Tiingo) and “any company with a strong interest in network performance,” says Welch.

The challenge: Building DevOps from the ground up

“We had the luxury of a green field environment when architecting our platform,” Welch says. “We took advantage of the latest best practices in everything from programming languages and frameworks to containers and workflow, incorporating unit testing and continuous integration from the start.” That mindset led the company to seek an automation provider with a full-featured DevOps build and test platform.

After surveying the top tools in the market, Packet chose Shippable, convinced by its leading support for Docker containers and its unique “on premises” option.

More productive DevOps practice

Shippable helps the team at Packet operate more efficiently when it comes to developing, upgrading and maintaining its platform. Packet is built on a micro-services architecture and runs entirely on Docker, which allows the company to innovate quickly. This means that the company tests and releases features to its platform many times each day, with Shippable at the heart of each improvement or bug fix. They also use feature branching workflows, which are easy to set up on Shippable since the platform identifies which branch contains the code changes and they can configure custom commands depending on branch. Shippable works natively with the other tools and platforms that are used in the development lifecycle, such as Slack and GitHub. This is critical in daily operations but also significantly reduces the time and effort required to integrate Shippable into the workflow. “In our fast-moving, Docker-based platform, Shippable is a core part of our development lifecycle, from lab testing to production,” Welch says.

Faster builds all the time

Given customer demand for rapid feature development and steady platform improvement, it’s imperative that Packet’s build cycle operates efficiently. When builds are slow, wait times add up quickly, frustrating developers as they switch gears waiting for a process to complete. In December, Packet tapped into Shippable’s on-premises feature, which allows the company to leverage Shippable’s SaaS control plane but run builds on its own servers. This change, coupled with Shippable’s commitment to improving performance in every new release, reduced build times for its API to just seven minutes, a 69% decrease. “It makes a big difference to customers when you can deploy a new feature in a matter of days or weeks, versus months,” Welch says. “Faster builds mean that our developers can more quickly test and deploy their code and that is a clear win at every level of our company.”

A commitment to constant improvement

Today, with Shippable and the addition of its new self-hosted plan, Packet is maximizing the time of its small team of software and network engineers. “We love that Shippable is part of the startup ecosystem and is as focused as we are on improving the speed and robustness of its product,” says Welch. “Every time we turn around, Shippable gets better, and that helps us deliver more value to our users.”

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