SpotOn’s DevOps team was looking for a tool to help it simplify its provisioning infrastructure. They chose Spacelift based on a recommendation and haven’t looked back, significantly reducing the number of pull requests required to promote changes across environments. And Spacelift’s accessible interface means the whole team can get involved.
DevOps engineering manager Alex Siegman runs SpotOn’s DevOps team, ensuring the company’s developers have the tools they need to push products from commit to customer. He spoke to us about his experience of integrating Spacelift into his team’s workflow.
SpotOn’s infrastructure code was too segregated due to the use of individual repositories for each of its AWS accounts. They ran Atlantis within those repositories for pull request automation, which worked well in isolation, but the downside was it required at least seven pull requests to make any change and promote it across all the relevant environments.
This had become an operational burden, and the company didn’t have drift detection, which made it frustrating to stay on top of the process. “We wanted to put everything into one repository and promote it using a third-party tool,” explains DevOps engineering manager Alex Siegman. “Atlantis didn’t give us a good way of doing that, so we began to look at alternatives.”
SpotOn initially considered hacking something together themselves, but then their cloud infrastructure contractor suggested trying Spacelift, which did precisely what was required within budget.
“Considering the development time and maintenance resources we would have needed to commit if we had built our own tool, Spacelift was the logical solution,” says Alex.
The Spacelift platform integrates seamlessly with the SpotOn workflow. “The great thing about Spacelift is it does what we need it to without getting in the way. Once we had it installed and configured, it faded into the background of our workflow, letting us operate more efficiently with no hassle,” says Alex.
The interface is easy to understand for developers with limited infrastructure experience. Even team members who have never touched Terraform or similar tools have no problem using Spacelift, and it has exposed config drift in an easy-to-consume way. “It’s good to have that exposure working in the same way as our typical workflow.”
Spacelift has enabled SpotOn to get down to a single pull request per change across all environments. They have drift detection, and they can easily see when changes are pending across all components when they have failed, so visibility has improved enormously.
“It has reduced churn in getting our infrastructure changes out into the wild, keeping everything stable. And the ease of use has made our infrastructure far more accessible to the whole team,” Alex points out. They don’t have to worry about the tooling or how to make it run. They simply follow the conventions in their Git repository, and Spacelift handles the rest with an excellent interface that delivers full visibility of what they’re doing.
“Spacelift has greatly reduced the amount of time we spend dealing with CI/CD for Terraform, fitting neatly into our workflows. And not a single person who has worked on my team in the past two years would say otherwise,” Alex concludes.