Dispatch uses Rancher to deliver a highly-available, real-time communications and tracking platform for home service professionals.
Dispatch is a workforce management tool for real-time communication and tracking between home service providers and homeowners. Businesses rely on Dispatch to facilitate a smooth experience for their customers from start to finish – the Dispatch platform incorporates everything from on-demand service requests, to real-time location tracking of field operators, to payment for services.
Everything needed for microservices
To ensure that the Dispatch platform could scale and evolve to keep pace with growing demand, the company made the decision early on to implement microservices. “It allows us to scale independently, and if we want to swap something out, we can do it, “ explains Jason Raede, Director of Engineering. “We don’t have to have a massive deployment.”
The team started using containers during summer of 2015, but ran into some early challenges with networking and communication between services on different servers. That’s when they stumbled upon Rancher. “Rancher gives us all the stuff we need for a microservice architecture,” explains Raede. “It handles everything from service discovery to scaling to rolling deployments to configuration management.”
Frequent and highly automated deployments with confidence
Today, Raede and his team are responsible for over three dozen services in production, and on average, they deploy a new version of one of those services each day. The company uses Rancher with a diverse set of tools and infrastructure, including Datadog, New Relic, and a number of AWS products to automate these deployments.
“I feel very confident about deploying stuff during the day,” says Raede. “Worst case scenario, we end up having to roll back. If one of our services goes down, we just roll it back in Rancher, spin it back up, and everyone’s happy.”
A lean and fast-moving team
There are about a dozen engineers at Dispatch, and the company uses Rancher to keep the entire team lean but quick-moving. “Rancher took the work of five or six guys and put it into the hands of one guy,” says Raede. That ‘one guy’ is DevOps engineer Leo Bautista, and with Rancher, he says “everything moves a lot quicker.” The ability to roll back deployments with a few clicks has also eased the workload on QA engineers.
Additionally, Raede and Bautista use Rancher to give members of the engineering team varying levels of access to the company’s infrastructure; Bautista and Raede can manage these permissions through Rancher’s role-based access control capabilities. A front-end engineer is able to work in a sandbox environment during development, while other members of the product team are able to access logs for troubleshooting.
Delivering a highly available, always-on service platform
"Rancher is like magic."
Ultimately, Rancher helps Dispatch deliver a highly available platform, designed to handle tens of thousands of requests a minute, touching every person involved in a field service business.
“People’s livelihoods are going into doing these service jobs,” explains Jason Raede, Director of Engineering. “We need to make sure they’re able to receive their jobs, and keep everyone updated on their status.”
“We really feel for our customers, and our customers’ customers – if our product breaks, that mean’s somebody’s refrigerator or AC is not working,” says Bautista. “With Rancher,” he adds, “everything works.”