08.07.19

sportsYou

By

Company Introduction

Founded in 2016, sportsYou is an app that improves communication between coaches, players, and parents in athletics. The platform provides a unified team and group management solution for everything from game and training schedules to messaging, photos, videos, and more.

Project Dates

May 2018 – Present

Challenge

sportsYou’s mobile application was originally running in AWS on individual EC2 instances, but lacked any autoscaling capabilities. Additionally, sportsYou was attempting to containerize their application and enlisted our help get them running in production using Kubernetes. SportsYou was also having difficulty extricating themselves from a bad relationship with a managed service provider (MSP) that had taken control of their AWS root keys and were inflating AWS spend.

From Dan Dubinsky, Lead Architect at sportsYou, “We needed help migrating to EKS, securing our infrastructure, and generally streamlining our DevOps processes.”

Solution

Caylent responded to these challenges by offering sportsYou a partnership driven approach, with Caylent acting as an internal DevOps and platform team. This was supported by a small team of Caylent DevOps engineers working directly with the SportsYou engineering team in a proactive, hands-on environment, made possible through our unique DevOps-as-a-Service offering. Rather than continue experiencing delays waiting for responses to break/fix tickets and minimum rules of engagement governed by slow ticket-driven responses, Caylent engineers were available via shared Slack channels just like a normal SportsYou team member. As core DevOps principles, feedback loops and shared learning became top priorities. To help facilitate that, Caylent engineers joined the SportsYou team in stand up calls, planned and implemented new tasks using an Agile methodology, facilitated by a Kanban board.

Initially, Caylent’s focus was to assist sportsYou in securing its AWS account and regaining the root keys. Once sportsYou had regained control of their accounts and environments, Caylent helped implement IAM role permissions and cross-account IAM role switching for both parties according to the principle of least privilege.

The next step involved setting up appropriate environments (e.g., development, staging, production, etc.) in segregated accounts and linked via consolidated billing, while rearchitecting sportsYou’s AWS infrastructure consistent with best practices. The sportsYou application was containerized and EKS environments were deployed to manage the container workloads. Infrastructure was designed with HA and autoscaling in mind, continuous delivery was introduced, and resources were streamlined to drastically improve cost-efficiency. 

Results

Within the first month of working with Caylent, sportsYou saw a 40% reduction in their monthly AWS bill. Additionally, sportsYou’s infrastructure is now handling 300% more load due to traffic growth and supporting millions of service requests per day. With Caylent’s assistance, sportsYou is now running Kubernetes in production on AWS using Amazon EKS, and application deployments are facilitated through Helm Charts. These are just a few of the new technologies Caylent has introduced to the sportsYou development team for improving productivity and automation. SportsYou also intend to realize the DevOps practice of Infrastructure-as-Code (IAC) through templates that Caylent are building for them on the code software tool Terraform

Caylent’s partnership with sportsYou, time-to-value was decreased dramatically and we eliminated all single points of failure and reduced risk. In addition, Caylent helped improve the team’s development workflow by introducing DevOps best practices. Furthermore, we advanced sportsYou’s security posture—something they’d been thinking about for the last 12 months. Caylent is now supporting sportsYou to actively tackle cloud security in part by implementing Twistlock which provides runtime alerts, image vulnerability scanning, forensics, and intrusion prevention.

Client Testimonial

“We have a small development team at sportsYou and we need to focus our energy on adding product features to grow our user base. Spending a lot of time on DevOps is a luxury we just can’t afford. Thinking we could outsource, we contracted with a traditional MSP and AWS partner for that work. It was a disaster. Navigating their bureaucracy (creating tickets, filling out request forms, explaining tasks to randomly assigned reps, etc.) took us longer and created more work than just doing it ourselves. We found that even though we were spending a lot of money for DevOps help we were still doing most of the work directly.

Switching to Caylent was a great move. They understand and can keep up with the fast pace of a startup. We work with dedicated Caylent developers that already know our environment and our business, and use our tools for communication and project management. They can be reached immediately with a ping on Slack. Tickets are entered into our JIRA system, are integrated into our sprints, and require minimal explanation because our Caylent engineers already understand what needs to be done. Problems get solved in minutes or hours instead of days and weeks. Our core dev team is back to focusing on our product and not the servers that host it.

In addition, by collaborating with, learning from, and leveraging Caylent’s expertise with containers we were able to replace our EC2 instances with an autoscaling Kubernetes cluster that is largely self-maintaining. Our server load has more than tripled in the last year as our business has grown and at the same time the amount of effort to maintain our environment and our AWS bill has gone down dramatically. We couldn’t be happier with the way this has worked out.”

  • Dan Dubinsky, sportsYou Lead Architect 

About Caylent

Caylent provides DevOps-as-a-Service to high growth companies looking for expert support with Kubernetes, cloud security, cloud infrastructure, and CI/CD pipelines. Our managed and consulting services offer better alternatives to hiring in-house, and scales as you grow. Learn more about  Kubernetes’ use cases, how we work with clients, and check out our case studies for our DevOps-as-a-Service offering.