Configuration & Change Management in Agile DevOps – Part 2

In the second part of this series on configuration and change management in the TfL hybrid Agile, DevOps & ITIL world, I’ll take a look at infrastructure as code and the CMDB. 

Configuration & Change management in Agile DevOps – Part 2
Infrastructure as code – CloudFormation script for a virtual TfL server in the cloud

Continue reading Configuration & Change Management in Agile DevOps – Part 2

Configuration & Change Management in Agile DevOps – Part 1

We have successfully adopted and transitioned into DevOps, Agile and continuous integration with weekly deployments of code, new features and functionality to the TfL website. This is the first in a series of posts looking at how we manage these processes behind the scenes. 

Change, release, configuration & service transition is moving from gatekeeping to devolved, trusted & collaborative safe continuous delivery
Change, release, configuration & service transition is moving from gatekeeping to devolved, trusted & collaborative safe continuous delivery

Continue reading Configuration & Change Management in Agile DevOps – Part 1

AWS User Group UK event – Wed May 25

The latest AWS User Group UK event takes place this week, on Wed 25th May from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM. The first session will be presented by expert speakers from TfL, with a discussion of our open data journey.

You can see full details of the evening’s agenda, including the sessions following ours, and register to attend by following this link (if there are still places available).

Following last month's traffic data hack day hosted by AWS , we'll be presenting at their user group event this week
Following last month’s traffic data hack day hosted by AWS, we’ll be presenting our open data journey at the AWS user group event this week

Continue reading AWS User Group UK event – Wed May 25

TfL Online 2015 Review – How “Every Journey Matters”

I get the honour of the final blog post of 2015, and it’s a pleasing one to be able to write as we look back on what the team in TfL Online have achieved during this year.

We started off the year accomplishing one deployment of new code to the website every two weeks, and that’s increased to the point where we’ve now managed our 57th release to the site in 2015. There are a lot of variables and moving parts that we monitor and co-ordinate simultaneously to deliver a safe, quality assured, zero defect, zero outage deployment to the website every single week.

For more detail, see my posts on Blue/Green deployments and Agile continuous delivery in the cloud (in 3 parts).

While we’ve successfully made these 57 separate releases of code, optimisations, reference data refresh, bug fixes, enhancements and new features to tfl.gov.uk, we’ve managed to do all this seamlessly without a single planned maintenance window, so our customers haven’t experienced any down-time at all while we’ve been making these improvements.

So, here’s how we believe we’ve fed into the ‘Every Journey Matters’ ethos:

It matters that you have access to new features and enhancements on the website quickly, so we do this, e.g. WebCat, Roads VMS/disruptions Unified API, Live Bus Arrivals, Integration of TfL Rail & West Anglia, …. to name but a few,
It matters that you have access to new features and enhancements on the website quickly – WebCAT, Roads VMS, Unified API, Live Bus Arrivals, Integration of TfL Rail & West Anglia, to name but a few

Continue reading TfL Online 2015 Review – How “Every Journey Matters”

TfL website in the cloud – why and how

This post is designed to build on the previous posts within this blog that discuss TfL’s choice of cloud hosting for the website. Below are videos of Phil Young, the head of TfL Online, and Solution Architect Dan Mewett speaking about the TfL website and the cloud at events hosted by Amazon Web Services.

These videos provide a good overview of TfL’s choice and implementation of solution, offering insights into why we decided to switch to the cloud and how we’ve made it work.

Speaking at the AWS Government, Education, and Nonprofits UK Symposium 2014, Phil offers a brief intro to TfL and its online services, why we chose the cloud for hosting our new website, how the site was built and what our experiences were in the first 6 months or so after launch.


 
 
Dan was speaking at the 2015 AWS Summit London, focusing on issues such as how the cloud powers our services, auto scaling, security and disaster recovery in the cloud as well as other key aspects of our platform implementation.

 

Agile deployments to tfl.gov.uk – a visual summary

Building on the recent ‘Agile continuous delivery in the cloud’ 4-part series on this blog, this post summarises our approach to agile deployments to tfl.gov.uk.

I was recently in a meeting explaining our release and deployment process to some internal stake-holders and found that sometimes a picture really can say a thousand words, and a visual representation can describe the topic nicely. So this post will be short and sweet, and I’ll let the image below do the talking.

Let’s quickly consider getting products to market; in our context this means new features, enhancements, and updates to the website – doing the right thing, in the right way, over and over, continuously improving tfl.gov.uk.

Our ethos of 'doing the right thing, in the right way, over and over, continuously improving tfl.gov.uk' explained
Our ethos of ‘doing the right thing, in the right way, over and over, continuously improving tfl.gov.uk’ explained

If you have any questions, queries or feedback on this or any of our 4-part series on Agile continuous delivery in the cloud, please do leave a comment below. Thanks.

Agile continuous delivery in the cloud – Part 4

In this, the final blog of the series, I’ll discuss some of the advantages of adopting agile continuous integration & delivery.

So far in this series of posts, I’ve talked about continuous integration, the practice in software engineering of merging all developer working copies with a shared trunk frequently. This enables fast feed-back loops and resolution of bugs at source, quickly and early, to prevent issues being introduced into the live system later down-stream.

We discussed that developing software involves teams of people working together and the synergies of adopting a DevOps model. Automating testing, integration and provisioning of environments saves a lot of time, so that “we work smarter, not harder”. Cloud hosted environments enable us to spin up, and automatically provision, pay-as-you-go, on-demand project development environments with a just a few mouse clicks.

The stages involved in agile continuous delivery, from planning through to monitoring live updates.
The stages involved in agile continuous delivery, from planning through to monitoring live updates.

Continue reading Agile continuous delivery in the cloud – Part 4