Sean Brundle, DevOps Engineer at website development specialist Brainjocks, told us about how his team uses ParkMyCloud to manage cloud and DevOps costs.
Hi Sean! Tell us about Brainjocks and what you all do.
Sure. Brainjocks is a web design and development company that utilizes Sitecore, Episerver, and WordPress solutions to help companies build and manage websites. The Brainjocks team creates and updates websites that are most frequently hosted on public cloud servers.
We support our customers from end to end. We create and update their websites, and often support them after they go live, also. Sometimes we host their web sites on our cloud servers using Google Cloud, AWS, or Azure cloud solutions.
What’s your role at Brainjocks?
I’m a DevOps engineer, so my role is to set up and support all of the different environments for projects. I also configure automation tools and processes for developers, allowing them to deploy code changes in a seamless and automated process.
That is where ParkMyCloud comes into play for us. I make sure that we aren’t charging our clients too much for their cloud services when those services are not being actively utilized.
We have a DevOps team of five, and we support approximately 90 employees across our company.
How did you all decide to have a multi-cloud environment across all three of the major providers?
When we first started using public cloud, we opted for Google Cloud. At the time, Google Cloud was a more economically affordable option, and it was a great start for internal servers and internal projects. As of today we have 55 Google Cloud servers being managed in ParkMyCloud. These instances consist of internal servers for quality assurance sites, as well as proof of concept servers for the clients who we manage within Google Cloud.
Later we began using AWS for our continuous integration needs. One of the primary tools that we use for continuous integration and continuous deployment is TeamCity, which contains numerous AWS integration points. When Azure became a feature leader in the cloud market we began transitioning many of our clients to the Azure solution, primarily for the reliability of supporting production environments and to take advantage of the integration options for our development tools. Azure bolstered their integration offerings for servers, as well as for the continuous integration Azure Devops tool that we use for most of our projects on the Azure environment. We also use Microsoft products for our development processes. Since we use both SQL Server and Visual Studio, we utilize Azure for production environments.
What led you to search for a solution like ParkMyCloud?
We have a lot of active servers for internal testing, and keeping those online 24/7 is a significant cost when we only need them online when we are actively using them. Initially we would enable and disable the servers manually as needed, but that was a very time-consuming activity for our DevOps team. Cross-department communication became a challenge, also, as the QA team might try to do tests within a certain environment only to discover that the servers they needed were turned off, requiring them to seek out a DevOps resource and request that the server be brought back online.
Azure includes some automated options to schedule server availability, but neither Google Cloud nor AWS offers a good scheduling feature. That’s why I began researching different tools in the market that can automate server schedules. It is ideal to have one to reliably schedule server availability. ParkMyCloud does an amazing job with that.
I also like the option of configuring policies that allow me to schedule specific server availability per project. These scheduling features also greatly facilitate our processes across our US- and European-based offices since they operate in multiple time zones. With ParkMyCloud I have a schedule for each time zone, so when it’s 3:00 in the morning local time in our Atlanta office the European servers will automatically be online. They don’t have to ping us and wake us up early in the morning. So that’s one thing I was definitely looking for in a tool that we never had before.
That sounds like it was a pain to manage.
It sure was. The previous, manual process for enabling and disabling servers was not an efficient process at all, and it was a tedious task to organize all of our servers across all of our time zones.
How did you first hear about ParkMyCloud?
We looked into creating a custom application that would do something similar to ParkMyCloud, but our custom solutions didn’t have a lot of the benefits that we have found in your solution. We wanted a way that the QA team could go in and see if the servers are on or off, request to have the servers turn on, and then I was planning to create an automated process to have these servers on and off on a certain schedule. I was creating automation scripts to turn off the servers, and eventually I just realized that there’s got to be a good tool out there that will automate this process for me. That’s when I started researching, and through my research I found ParkMyCloud. I saw a demo, and determined that ParkMyCloud does everything that I want plus much, much more.
How much have you saved on your cloud bills so far with ParkMyCloud?
We just started using it a few months ago, and we’ve already saved $10,000.
Do you have ParkMyCloud integrated with any other tools you use?
Yes. We use Slack, which is the biggest communication tool that we use throughout our company. I have Slack integrated with ParkMyCloud, so any time a scheduled configuration changes or when certain critical servers are turned on or off, all applicable team members are alerted via the Slack-ParkMyCloud integration before those servers are shut down.
That’s all I have for now! Thanks for your time.