Kiabi

Learn How Kiabi Reduced Time-to-Release from Months to Days

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Key Facts

Industry: e-commerce

Company: Kiabi.com

Leading clothing company with one of the most successful e-commerce websites in Europe in its sector.

Objective: Increase the deployment frequency and reduce deployment time at Kiabi.com

Environment: Kiabi has about 50 servers on Linux OS, along with Java, Tomcat 7, Apache ServiceMix, and Oracle DB. They use Jenkins linked to XL Deploy, along with the Jenkins and Maven plugins for Continuous Integration. Kiabi uses a scripts declared infrastructure.


Background

For more than 30 years, Kiabi has been a big player in the textile market. A pioneer in its domain, in 2000 the company launched its e-commerce website. Currently, it’s the first French e-commerce website in the fashion business.

Kiabi.com Deployment Issues

“Although Agile methods had been in place for a while, the deployment was still a blocking step of the process used,” explains Johan Blondeau, web architect at Kiabi. “Also, the deployment methods used were not the same for everyone: the developers and the production team were using their own tools, which did not work the same way. This system was also hard to maintain because nobody was responsible for general deployment, and the configurations and other less important components were managed by hand."

Challenges

  • Deployment as a blocking step 
  • Homemade scripts to deploy, difficult to maintain and unreliable
  • Responsibility conflicts between the teams 
  • No rollbacks allowed and inconvenient configuration file management

Results

  • Decreased delay between releases, from 6 weeks to1 week 
  • Decreased deployment time,from 2 hours to 45 minutes 
  • XL Deploy as the configuration reference
  • Increased deploymentprocess reliability

XL Deploy Selection Process 

Kiabi.com started to look at the automation solutions in order to fix its issues. After a two-month trial period with a proof of concept, XL Deploy was chosen over Capistrano and Ansible. “When you try it for real, you can only love it,” says Johan.

Benefits

As the primary benefit, XL Deploy brought reliability into the Continuous Delivery process. Now there is no more risk in deploying an application, and the team is more comfortable with the deployment. The time between starting production for each release has dropped from 6 weeks to 1 week.

The configuration management through XL Deploy also allowed the team to better secure data; for example, in case of server failure. The software now acts as the configuration repository for the organization.

Beyond the Deployment

Johan Blondeau also emphasizes that XL Deploy has allowed the teams to reflect on their own architectures and ways of building in order to to improve the Kiabi.com process. The changes have also helped the team identify obsolete, outdated and unmaintained elements so they can fix these issues.

Accessible and Efficient

Today, the production and development teams have fully adopted the software, since it’s “really easy to use.” Deployments no longer last 2 hours; they now happen in less than 45 minutes