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IT Infrastructure - Catching up with the future

26.08.2021.

NSoft IT Infrastructure department

A wise man said that behind every successful, scaled company is an excellent infrastructure team doing remarkable things.

By Marin Marincic, Head of Infrastructure

It is usually hard to explain what we at the IT Infrastructure departments do, even to a technical person, so when they are close enough in assumptions, we just say “yes, yes - that’s it”.

The way we do IT

By widely accepted definition, IT infrastructure is the software and systems we use to create, evolve and operate our businesses. Countless tangible and intangible elements and tools create the technology backbone of our organization, our platforms and our products in general. It includes a bunch of servers, lots of networking, a pile of tools and technologies, a lot of knowledge and expertise, and a pinch of security and respect on every single step.

We are on a duty 24/7/365, follow up monitoring and alerting so that NSoft’s state of the art SaaS platform for betting business can operate smoothly, securely and with minimal downtimes.

New tooling implementations, new clusters implementations, data migrations, incidents solving, version upgrades are our routine. Still, there is one more important aspect of the job - an urge to upgrade, to modernize mindsets, relations, and at the end of the day, the way we do IT in general.

“Since 2015 we rely on the container technology for improved application consistency, portability and easier operations.”

Fast-forward

A fast-evolving company is usually going through several stages in its development that are led by the technical advancement on one side and the aspiration of the sales and clients requests on the other side. We have also gone through them, together with our development teams. It goes from building deploy issues to fully automated CICD pipelines, from monolith to microservices, from silos to DevOps, from on-premise to cloud-first, and back if required and requested...

The fact is that the life cycle of IT technology is becoming shorter every day. This put us under constant need to support cutting-edge capabilities such as cloud-native, data streaming, change data capture, cybersecurity automation and others.

Given the broad range of products in NSoft’s portfolio, available delivery channels, and worldwide market presence, it is obvious that NSoft cannot be in the mindset of “one to rule them all” in terms of technology in use, as the business and technical requirements are just way too broad.

And if we add different legal requirements for various markets and territorial dispersion of our clients to the list above, the “one to rule them all” rule doesn't work even on a hosting level. That is why we are present in more than 20 data centres in multiple countries.

“With the increase in the number of microservices, especially through the last years, and as the only logical follow-up of a successful container story, we went via Kubernetes road for greater development acceleration, improved security and better standardisation company-wide.”

As an Infrastructure team, we support various tech stacks and development processes to accommodate all the teams and projects. At the moment of writing this text, we are supporting more than 20 technical teams. A significant number of projects have been completed in recent years. A variety of coding languages, data structures, integration requirements, and a complex network of technologies was impressive, as one can imagine.

Two faces of our work

The bright side of the job is that it is never boring. No day is the same when supporting billions of transactions per year in 24/7 operations mode. Every day is a challenge and we never lack motivation as the job is the combination of supporting multiple generations of platforms and products while trying and implementing a new shiny technology stack.

Of course, there is the dark side. Well, not that dark really, but still the one that is the pain point for any IT professional working within the infrastructure team. It is called legacy IT systems. What seemed so right and capable a few years ago, is rapidly becoming obsolete. As a result, constant migrations start to be the new normal. And finally, there are incidents on the subcontractor’s side, where our hands are tied and we just have to wait and hope for the best.

Truth to be told, no one knows we are here, in the office next door, when everything functions perfectly. But. as soon as a problem occurs, we are the first to blame. Not very glamorous, right?!

Yet, we manage to get everything done. We always put our clients first, and we have more clients than any other team in the company because our clients are all of our staff together with the NSoft’s clients.

Catching up with the future

Our current efforts are focused on greater standardisation and enabling modern application development technologies and trends aimed to simplify microservices management, boost developer productivity and minimise operational costs by eliminating manual work - automating everything. Introducing new promising technologies for faster and easier product delivery, accelerating our path towards the future.

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