Welcome to part three of our Application Updates blog series. In case you’ve missed them, this post proceeds Unlock the Power of Truly Seamless Application Updates with Cloudpager and Expedited Updates Without Capable Tools Fracture Teams. These posts highlight how Cloudpager enables you to adopt a modern approach to application updates, as well as my unfortunate experience at a former job where a lack of capable tooling ultimately led to the breakdown of relations between management and IT (and how Cloudpager could have prevented those issues).
This blog will dive into my time in an enterprise IT organization where weekend application updates could turn into full working days and how Cloudpager’s container management capabilities could have alleviated a lot of stress and time created by our approach to application updates.
Don’t Wait Two Decades to Modernize Desktop IT Operations
I worked at one of the largest IT organizations in the world. Without giving away too much, we had hundreds of thousands of employees and were in the Fortune Top 10 at the time. As you might expect, in such a large environment we had application updates or net-new deployments every week. This included our highest impact systems, which were updated every other weekend during a scheduled outage. When things went well, it was a 2-hour job on a Saturday followed by a tense weekend anticipating a call to say something broke. Luckily, that call rarely came.
However, when things did go wrong it could turn into a 6+ hour ordeal with Packagers updating and testing packages in real-time while dozens of employees were on a conference call waiting. This could stem from instructions being incorrect, such as the wrong ODBC setting (database connection setting) being input to a package. In this scenario, we had the deployment team waiting on the line for the package update to be finished. Once updated, the rest of us waited for the applications in question to be deployed so we could begin testing. This led to a lot of waiting around and nail biting. The pressure to do your part quickly and correctly to salvage everyone else’s weekends is enough to induce a migraine.
As a packager who worked in the case of that incorrect ODBC setting, Cloudpager could have made my job so much quicker and easier. Our process required updating an MSI package with the ODBC setting, testing the package on a development instance from the command line, testing the deployment from SCCM, then waiting upward of an hour for the package to get to the Distribution Points and eventually the device.
With Cloudpager you simply drag and drop the updated container to the management console, assign it to a test group, and push the update to the production group – taking less than five minutes. If we need to revert the changes on the database and server side, you can execute an instant rollback of the client package container.
This not only would have kept us within our planned outage window but saved hours of effort from a large team of people. All of us would have been able to live much more comfortably over the weekend knowing if called upon Cloudpager would be there to make any further updates quick, easy, and seamless; with the ability to execute an instant rollback of relevant applications if needed.
There is clearly room for improvement when it comes to how client-side applications are packaged and deployed in an enterprise. Our friends on the infrastructure and server-side have been able to use modern orchestration tools like Kubernetes for quick updates, instant rollbacks and reduced risk through automatic fault tolerance and other great features. It’s disheartening to work on changes involving several IT teams and realizing other departments have modernized and improved their processes and tooling over the years, while those of us in EUC are still deploying applications and updates using methods more than twenty years old!
There is pressure when everyone else can complete their part of the process quickly, but EUC is hindered by dated technology. Everyone on the call I mentioned would have benefited from rapid deployments of application updates and Kubernetes-style features for the desktops. Most importantly, our customers would have benefitted from shorter outages.
Continue our deep dive into the world of application updates and how Cloudpager can help with the rest of the blogs in our Application Updates series!
- Blog 1: How to Achieve Truly Seamless Application Updates with Cloudpager
- Blog 2: Expedited Updates without Capable Tools Fracture Teams
- Blog 3: Weekend Updates Don’t Have to Take All Weekend
- Blog 4: A Poorly Timed Application Update Cost a Financial Services Organization Millions in Revenue
- Blog 5: Slow Application Updates Can Negatively Affect Patient Care
See Cloudpager in Action!
Schedule a demonstration with our Solutions Architects to see how Cloudpager enables you to dynamically provision applications and updates within seconds in a friction-free manner.