AZURE DEVOPS:
BUILDING OUT A CI/CD PLATFORM

Delta Faucet is a long-time hardware manufacturing company that produced the first single-handle faucet. They are the first to advertise a faucet in print and bring to market the first domestically produced kitchen faucet pull-out. Since introducing the pull-out faucet, Delta Faucet has continued bringing innovative products to market with the consumer in mind. Delta Faucet’s innovative products aim to transform daily life and how you interact with water, making every moment spent in the kitchen or bathroom one to remember.

Delta’s Innovation group – First Wave – is where they launch new products and innovations into the market to meet customer demands and keep pace in the digital landscape. In 2018, Delta Faucet launched its voice-activated faucet. The success of the voice-activated faucet and the accelerating trend toward digital products led Delta to re-envision the platform to scale & grow its digital products and services. Delta’s industry is shifting from mechanical only to digitally enhanced (smart faucet) to fully digital (Smart Home); to keep pace, Delta needed to expand its digital footprint.

CleanSlate enabled the modernization of the smart faucet by implementing a robust DevOps platform. We designed and implemented an enterprise-wide SDLC process with fully automated build and release management for the applications and the Azure, AWS & Google Cloud Platform infrastructure to ensure a scalable and highly available cloud foundation.

challenges

There were many challenges for CleanSlate and Delta Faucet. But, the following four were enablers to innovating their product for the future.

Lack of DevOps Processes & Standards

There were no dedicated resources for DevOps and Release Management. With large resource-heavy and custom firmware build environments, each developer struggled with the build process from their local machines, which caused poor quality and inefficient use. of time.

Multiple DevOps Tooling & Processes

The smart faucet program had many applications built or acquired without standard DevOps processes. The lack of enterprise standards and automation caused each application to have its own release cycle. The predictability of release management and quality was not consistent.

Not Built to Scale with Business Growth

The smart faucet product had many complexities ranging from managing IoT devices to integration with Alexa and Google voice skills. The initial product was built to meet the time-to-market demands, but it was not built to scale with other smart plumbing platforms.

Solutions

Designed & Built New CI/CD Processes

CleanSlate designed and implemented Azure DevOps tooling to implement a standard CI/CD process to automate software and infrastructure deployments with high quality and repeatability. The process also included custom container instances in Azure with their entire firmware environment. The pipelines made the build process quick and easy to improve quality and developer efficiency.

Automated All Infrastructure Deployments (IaC)

CleanSlate leveraged Terraform to provision and configure all infrastructure in the cloud. This automation enabled research, development, and testing environments to be spun up with minimal support needed from the infrastructure teams. This consistency in environments improved the quality and efficiency of our development team.

Implemented Product-Wide DevOps Standards

Implementing a CI/CD platform provided an easy-to-follow process that took release and production deployment time from weeks to minutes. With standard CI/CD processes and automation, the ability for all product groups to merge the latest code improved the predictability of releases. It ensured a higher quality of production releases.

Standardization of DevOps Improved Scalability

Leveraging Azure DevOps tooling and standard processes across all existing applications and a new Fleet Management System for their IoT hardware allowed the smart faucet to orchestrate, at scale, the management and delivery of firmware updates to their IoT hardware.

Results

Delta Faucet’s growth in the smart home market is very strategic to its overall company objectives. The first phase of building highly scalable and reliable technologies for their smart faucets started with building a robust and predictable DevOps platform. Delta needed to improve quality, enhance development productivity, and deploy technology to market faster to meet market demands.

By implementing a new DevOps process and Azure DevOps tooling, CleanSlate enabled:

  • Environment releases to market went from weeks and high effort to minutes through automation
  • Standard processes across all smart faucet technologies improved reliability and ensured the quality of releases to the ever-changing product demands within the growing market
  • Implementation of Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) improved consistency and scalability of development, testing, and production environments

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