- Accelerated application delivery by combining Chef with Jenkins to
create "one button" application update deployments
- Achieving highest levels of resource consistency by using Chef to
manage cloud infrastructure with simple code commands
- Reducing systems management by leveraging existing Chef Community
cookbooks to automate common tasks
Bonobos Recipe for Success
Bonobos began with a simple idea - make great fitting men's apparel and
provide a hassle-free way for men to shop. Since launching with this focus
in 2007, the online clothing brand has expanded into a full-closet menswear
solution and partnered with like-minded brands to offer a 'one-stop-shop'
for affordable, high-quality men's clothes. Executing the company's mission
meant foregoing the traditional 'brick-and-mortar' retail model and selling
wares exclusively online. Leveraging AWS, Bonobos built a cloud-based
infrastructure, providing nearly limitless compute capacity for growing its
e-commerce platform. However, using the public cloud also created
significant management challenges for the company's lean engineering staff.
Using Chef and its Knife EC2 command-line plug-in for AWS, Bonobos'
engineering team automated everything from configuration management to
application deployments across its cloud infrastructure, maximizing both
application development speed and resource consistency.
"It would have taken us much longer to build a brand if we invested in the
traditional brick and mortar retail route. The vertical e-commerce model
lets us get directly to our target consumer faster, with much less
overhead," said Jeff Hart, Senior Director of Engineering and Systems
Infrastructure, Bonobos. "Of course, managing a major cloud installation
creates a whole new set of headaches that would have been overwhelming
Bonobos' business depends on its website's ability to process, respond to,
and deliver on customer demand - from Father's Day to Christmas and back
again. The company needed to bulletproof its AWS infrastructure against
cloud outages, resource errors, and scale limitations. Using Chef for
resource configuration and management, Bonobos can leverage reusable recipes
and cookbooks of code to automate everything from spinning up a single
server to creating test, development, and disaster recovery environments.
Because Chef abstracts infrastructure management to simple code
commands, Bonobos now has a repeatable model for spinning up, moving,
adjusting, and spinning down its cloud infrastructure to align with site
demands and cloud service changes.
"Chef lets me use a simple block of Ruby code and define large
numbers of servers," Hart continued. "There's no confusion about when, why,
or what needs to happen - it just happens. This means our infrastructure is
both resilient to cloud fluctuations and highly predictable, freeing our
developers to do their thing without waiting for compute resources."
Bonobos combined Chef and Jenkins to create a 'one button'
application delivery pipeline, making its e-commerce platform more resilient
and agile to spikes in site traffic. Using Chef to orchestrate
application updates with Jenkins as the delivery mechanism, Bonobos
developers can deliver new innovations more quickly, and with less risk of
human error. In addition, Chef Community cookbooks for Java and Nginx
provide rock-solid code for executing configuration and development tasks in
minutes, further improving efficiency.
"Thanks to Chef, big management issues are now trivial and our dev
team has the resources they need to churn out new apps faster and better
than ever," Hart concluded.