They key is training devs to make the most of a self-service model, says Steven Armstrong, principal DevOps automation engineer.


Superuser caught up with Steven Armstrong, principal DevOps automation engineer, Paddy Power Betfair. Paddy Power Betfair is a recent winner of the Superuser Award — they tied with UKCloud at the Boston Summit.

One of the reasons the community and judges were so impressed was the eye-popping number of 1,000 deployments a day using OpenStack APIs. (Here’s the full nomination for details.) Armstrong says they manage that feat by bringing teams in for a sprint so they can on board micro-service applications. “We try and create a self-service model so we teach them how to use the OpenStack infrastructure…” He says that he first time they takes a bit longer, because they’re learning how to manage the infrastructure themselves, but after awhile they deploy on their own. “That’s really the key here, training them so it’s a full-service model.” The system removes obstacles for developers to get new products to market, he adds.

His team of just eight engineers look after the main OpenStack platform, networking with Nuage and upgrades. They’ve also got on boarding teams in each location — London, Cluj, Dublin and Porto offices. “They’re small teams and because everything that we do is automated, so it’s really just an educational piece to get them to use the platform.”

What’s next at Paddy Power Betfair? Armstrong says they’re now in the middle of a migration project — moving all customer-facing applications to OpenStack — and they’re at about 25 percent of the total. They expect to complete the migration by the middle of 2018.

You can catch the entire 4:30 interview below.