Perkbox

Perkbox is a cloud-based employee perks and engagement platform serving business of all sizes. The platform is based on the full spectrum of employee wellbeing; financial, physical and emotional providing tailored employee benefit packages to customers. Users of the platform receive unlimited access to discounts and freebies from hundreds of big name brands across 17 different categories, from food and drink to travel.

With plans of achieving £100m turnover in the next three years, alongside significant investment from the likes of Draper Esprit and Andy Murray through crowdfunding platform Seedrs, the future is looking incredibly bright for Perkbox.

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The Brief

Perkbox were in the process of moving their existing production monolithic application from a managed hosting provider to AWS.

Alongside this, they were embarking on building the next generation of their product, using more modern-day software development practices including a micro-service architecture and containerised environments.

Perkbox had selected DC/OS as the container deployment & orchestration tool, and had begun to deploy this to AWS, however, their key DevOps lead left the business mid-way through the project. This left Perkbox with limited in-house support and a tight release deadline to meet.

Perkbox came to us after finding us on AWS’ partner portal. We were brought in to analyse what had been done, audit the work, and help Perkbox make a decision as to where to go next and how to move the project forward. We were also tasked with providing assistance, expertise & resource to ensure the on-going migration project was completed successfully, whilst ensuring zero downtime to Perkbox’s end users.

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The Solution

We determined that multiple days of DevOps consultancy would be the best way to move forward with Perkbox. The first few days were spent on site at Perkbox’s London offices, where we met with their development team and discussed the most effective ways we would integrate with them. We performed an analysis of what they were doing at the time, the infrastructure they were using, and what they were looking to achieve.

Built in resilience at every level, with resources spread between multiple availability zones and correctly set up for replication and failover.

  • Autoscaling in line with demand, meaning Perkbox never pay for more resources than they need, but also have additional capacity available when they need it – and all automated.
  • Application level monitoring using Prometheus, to provide detailed metrics about bottlenecks within the application.

Upon investigation, the DC/OS platform wouldn’t provide the features & flexibility Perkbox required. Because of this, we recommended replacing DC/OS with Kubernetes and committed to spending the remaining days building a highly available Kubernetes platform on AWS.

The platform is fully automated using Terraform orchestration, meaning that they can use the same platform on different regions, or different AWS accounts.

We worked with Perkbox to help them design and deploy their services into Kubernetes, alongside deploying and managing a number of important supporting components. This included Vault for secret management and Prometheus for monitoring.

We worked alongside Perkbox to develop the orchestration code for surrounding AWS services in-line with industry best practices. This included cloud services such as Aurora, ElastiCache, Route53, CloudFront, & API Gateway.

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The Results

We worked alongside Perkbox’s developers to help them architect their applications into a microservice based architecture—resulting in the platform increasing in efficiency.

After delivering the platform we assisted the team in deploying their new microservices architecture onto the platform.

After this successful project, we’re now working with them on an ongoing basis. We provide Perkbox with AWS and Kubernetes/container/microservices architecture expertise when required, and are going to carry on working alongside Perkbox in the future.

"Since the very beginning, we realised that we were working with very professional and talented people that are aware of the latest trends and the good practices to implement solutions on the cloud.

"The flexibility offered by Steamhaus is simply great; they can adapt to your workflow seamlessly and add value to your processes like if they would be part of your team"