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Leveraging Blue-Green Deployments to Reduce Downtime and Risk

Launching new applications or major updates can be a daunting task. Even with extensive testing, errors can still arise after deployment. Blue-green deployment offers an easy way to avoid errors, or quickly address them.

What is blue-green deployment? It’s a risk-reducing method for launching applications that involves working with two identical environments, production (publicly facing) and non-production (on the backend). This process allows for seamless switching between versions, without affecting users. On the backend, the environments are connected to the same database and are configured almost identically.

Once internal testing has checked for and fixed bugs in the non-production environment, a switch is made to launch it publicly without downtime or risk. Here are a few considerations to help ensure your next application is launched or updated smoothly.

Rolling updates

Moving applications from an old version to a new one at one time can result in downtime. To
avoid this, a rolling update can be used, in which portions of a major update are launched separately. With blue-green deployment, you get an integrated environment, preventing downtime and improving accuracy.

Automate when possible
Developing an automated system to transition between old and new applications can have a number of benefits:

  • Quicker – Faster transitions are possible when steps are automated
  • Easier –Transitions can be made with the push of a button
  • Safer – Reduced potential for manual errors
  • Self-service enabled – Automation simplifies the transition, allowing anyone with the right permissions to perform the process.

Bonus for cloud users!

A variation of the blue-green method on the cloud allows an environment to be created from scratch, rather than swapping back and forth between two static environments. (This process is possible with strong automation and configuration scripts). After the swap, the old environment can be terminated altogether and recreated it when the next release comes.

Interested in learning more about blue-green deployments? Reliable can provide tools, counsel and so much more, to help you take advantage of all of these benefits. Contact us today to learn more.


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