ioGlobal are an Australian company that delivers applied geochemistry, resource analytics, and data system automation solutions to the resource and environmental industries. They started using Octopus Deploy in May, and Stacy Andrews was kind enough to share his experiences with it.
Tell us about yourself
Stacy Andrews, ioGlobal Pty Ltd, CTO. Career software developer (predominantly in the mining industry) who was looking to develop commercial software.
What kinds of applications are you deploying with Octopus?
We are predominantly deploying Web Applications with Octopus. Both asp.net WebForms (version 4) and MVC (version 3) and associated supporting services which are a combination of OpenRasta-based Web services (hosted in IIS) and NServiceBus-based services.
What do your environments look like?
Octopus Deploy is currently managing the deployment to the following…
We have numerous internal testing environments (at any one time we have 3+ for various uses, each environment has 3 VMs (separate app server, DB server and reporting server).
We have a staging environment, hosted with RackSpace in North America.
We have 2 production environments. One in Australia, hosted with Amcom. One in North America, hosted with RackSpace.
We have 1 Disaster Recovery/preview environment hosted with Amazon Web Services.
We have onsite hosted versions of the system; one with BHPB, the other with Anglo Platinum (these are not currently using Octopus due to firewall/security restrictions).
What was the deployment process like prior to using Octopus?
Troublesome and fiddly. We would deploy straight from powershell scripts run from our internal build server. This meant that we had deployment concerns mixed into our build scripts (for environment config, etc).
Likewise, we had to run these scripts manually for our production environments.
What do you consider to be Octopus Deploy’s strengths?
Simplicity of its setup. It stays out of the way once it's up-and-running.
It uses commonly-available technologies (NuGet, config transformation, powershell) so there's plenty of doco on these.
What do you consider to be Octopus Deploy’s weaknesses?
Some of the workflow in the UI can be confusing if you’re on the wrong page.
Can't wait for an in-built continuous deployment tools (at the moment we need to orchestrate from PS scripts).
What would you tell other people who are evaluating Octopus Deploy?
If you are going from no automated deployment to using Octopus Deploy; take your time and work slowly. Start with web apps (which Octopus makes ridiculously easy to deploy).
Read the documentation thoroughly; it’s very well written and has heaps of common-sense suggestions.
Have a look at ioGlobal’s setup if you’re having trouble!