Fanatics is the global leader in licensed sports merchandise and is changing the way fans purchase their favorite team apparel and jerseys through an innovative, tech-infused approach to making and selling fan gear in today’s on-demand culture.
Fanatics operates more than 300 online and offline partner stores, including the e-commerce business for all major professional sports leagues, major media brands and more than 200 collegiate and professional team properties.
With an infrastructure that deploys tens of thousands of virtual machines across multiple operating systems in multiple datacenters and fulfilment centers, the company is building cutting-edge products, not only taking advantage of an on-premise infrastructure to provide low-latency applications, but also using public cloud services where appropriate.
Before the introduction of Embotics vCommander, it would typically take up to three days to provision a virtual machine. Once system requirements, such as type and placement of the systems, were determined, coordination was required between multiple teams to allocate storage, deploy firewall rules, and assign network addresses.
With a development team that was tasked with bringing products to market faster, it soon became apparent that the company needed to embrace a DevOps model to provision systems in a timely manner, and to automate a lot of processes that were being performed manually.
By implementing vCommander, repetitive manual tasks that were previously used to configure virtual machines (VMs) have now been scripted using the built-in workflows and standardized templates. This, along with the introduction of a self-service model brings the provisioning time for a virtual machine from three days to under 10 minutes and frees up IT resources from managing and configuring the VMs to more strategic tasks.
To ensure that the virtual machines were deployed with the correct applications and configured to their needs, vCommander’s workflow capabilities were leveraged, along with the integrations of configuration management systems, and tools such as Jenkins, Chef, and other continuous delivery toolchains.
“vCommander also provides us with a great API interface ” said Aashish Naik, Senior Manager DevOps & Release Engineering at Fanatics. “We are building a lot of infrastructure-as-code, and by utilizing the vCommander APIs to perform integrations we can be faster and more flexible in delivering that code.”
vCommander also helps from an administrative point of view by providing the company with complete single-pane-of-glass visibility into the inventory of all the systems deployed whether on-premise or in the public cloud, a task that previously involved collecting the data from multiple systems, and then manually consolidating it.
This reporting and auditing capability allows the infrastructure team to see, at a glance, the net IT spend within the virtual infrastructure, and along with vCommander’s extensive tagging capabilities provides the ability to show "spend-by-department" data across the infrastructure.
“Automation has been the key strategy to scale our infrastructure on demand,” continued Naik. “Embotics vCommander has allowed us to automate and orchestrate the processes involved in creating virtual machines and deploying new applications, saving us not only time in getting systems deployed, but also freeing up resources to focus on more strategic tasks, rather than repetitive, manual ones.”
You can read the complete Fanatics case study here, or if you'd like to take vCommander for a test drive, to see how easy cloud management and visibility can be across your public and private cloud infrastructures, download the vCommander trial today.