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Bennetts and Octopus Deploy


"Octopus has always been really easy to use and we don’t need to go through any sort of onboarding or hand over when new members join the team as we did previously."

- Ryan Hird, DevOps Engineer

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Their Story

Bennetts is a bike insurance specialist and insures over 230,000 motorcyclists in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Established in 1930, Bennetts has over 85 years’ experience in the insurance industry and over the last decade has become one of the fastest growing insurance providers in the United Kingdom. Approximately 200 staff, based in Coventry and Peterborough, provide competitive quotes to over 350,000 riders a year. With a panel of top UK insurers, Bennetts continues to work closely with them to ensure customers receive the best possible price for their insurance requirements.

What was it like before Octopus?

In a word, painful. We were using Release Management (which I think was still called InRelease at that point)

How was Octopus able to help?

Before switching to Octopus we were using Microsoft’s Release Management. We had a lot of issues with RM from maintainability / usability to a lack of customisation (email templates), auditability, or lack thereof and even fundamentals like knowing what was deployed where. Octopus has always been really easy to use and we don’t need to go through any sort of onboarding or hand over when new members join the team as we did previously. We had written all of our deployments as PowerShell scripts and run them via Release Management. When we moved to Octopus it was as simple as renaming the deployment script and setting a deployment process step to run it. It’s safe to say initial setup was really quick. Being a financially regulated company audit trails are really important to us. Octopus has really clear easy to find records of everything and if it came to producing data for an audit our deployment details would probably be the easiest information to get out of the whole lifecycle. Another big win for us when we moved to Octopus was the use of agent based deployments. We find this model works far better for us. It has also given us the ability to do things outside of just deployments that we weren’t really expecting. A few examples of this are; using health checks to alert on disk space usage and certificate expiry dates, copying log files from machines rather than remoting on to them, recycling app pools when one of our apps had a memory leak and resetting the system time via PowerShell when the time on the server changed and prevented us from logging on to the server.

Shout out to @OctopusDeploy for making their software so easy to work with. Just upgraded a 2 year out of date instance and migrated it to a new server and it worked with no effort beyond what their documentation said to do.

Twitter user Alex Dent Alex Dent

We've been overhauling our internal infrastructure and back-end systems over the past month, including a move back to full @OctopusDeploy deployments; rediscovering how nice it is to have a platform-agnostic orchestrator that can deploy practically anything, anywhere ❤

Twitter user Nicholas Blumhardt Nicholas Blumhardt

Tools like @OctopusDeploy can be great in enabling culture change, we've been able to scale and improve our configuration story since we started using it.

Twitter user Niel Chalk Niel Chalk