Fintech

Brace

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Company description
Brace breathes fresh air into the mortgage servicing industry, with a product designed to support the sector’s complex needs and make life easier for homeowners. Based in Culver City, California, Brace employs 40 people.
Company size
40
Engineering team size
25
Stack
Stack AWS, Terraform

Fast-growing Brace wanted to streamline its infrastructure processes as its needs evolved. They chose Spacelift for its powerful and growing feature set. As a result, the company has accelerated its deployment processes, while auditing–critically important in the financial services world–is now much more straightforward. Spacelift has helped Brace achieve a level of simplicity that makes life much easier for DevOps and developer teams alike.

Eric Berg is Brace’s Lead DevOps Engineer, managing the company’s entire infrastructure and empowering its developers to do their best work in the most efficient way. Here he explains Spacelift’s impact.

The challenge

As Brace has grown, so have the demands on our infrastructure. We needed to wrap all the complexities of Terraform and the vagaries of multiple different environments and many kinds of stack into something simpler that suited our workflow and gave our developers full visibility and control over the situation. 

We needed a way to create consistent run environments and provide auditing. And we increasingly needed to be able to hand off approvals for runs to developers and security staff.

Why we chose Spacelift

When we compared the competition, we found that Spacelift did the best job of meeting our needs, with a fast-developing product that is regularly adding features in response to its users’ needs.

The Spacelift experience

Using Spacelift has been a really positive experience, making it really easy to do tasks that would otherwise be very complex. 

For example, I’ve set up individual stacks for things like DNS, and multi-stacks for deploying to all eight environments. Based on similar configs in our Spacelift Terraform module, I was able to copy that YAML, and boom – I had three more stacks for access, infrastructure, and the databases I was about to implement. And each one of those was eight or 10 stacks that all behave the right way, that are all connected and triggered at the right times, with the right permissions, just by editing a YAML file. It’s a default with overrides for each environment, and it gives me all the flexibility I need. 

The developers also really like Spacelift. The GitHub plugin allows them to see exactly what has changed, and everything gets reported to Slack and Datadog, so everyone knows what has happened, as it happens. I have Datadog events and Slack notifications configured into after-apply hooks or all my stacks, so developers know when their applications deploy and the Terraform at large deploys.  

Spacelift is a tremendous time saver for me, and that in turn makes our entire development and deployment process smoother and simpler.

Impact

Recently I saw a Slack notification telling me there had been a production release, and for the first time I was the last to know about it. That’s the simplicity we’ve been working towards from the very beginning, and Spacelift has been key to achieving it.

Developers always used to have to ask me to do sandbox, but now we have Terraform in continuous integration so this stuff just happens. And it’s very good for users who are contributing to my Terraform repositories, because they can get immediate feedback on the plans, which they can see in GitHub or Spacelift, without the need to set up to run potentially-complex terraform.

Spacelift has also given me peace of mind in terms of auditing. Auditing is a requirement in this highly-regulated environment. Spacelift has made that simple, so it’s had a positive impact on the company as a whole. 

Spacelift is like the final stitching on a football; it neatly ties together all of our infrastructure in a way that makes life really simple for our developers – and for me.

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