Case Study

Modernizing HackerRank’s build release pipeline and optimizing AWS infrastructure

Client
HackerRank Logo
HackerRank
Industries
Software
Technologies
Amazon Web Services, AWS Fargate
Products & Services
DevOps Jump Start, Spot Scaling
Region
North America, USA
Country
USA

24%

decrease in EC2 expenses

50%

decrease on on-demand EC2 spend

Meet HackerRank

HackerRank, founded in California in 2012, enables more than 3,000 companies worldwide to hire skilled developers. With HackerRank’s proprietary platform, employers can screen and evaluate candidates’ programming skills through the use of coding challenges, assessments, and technical reviews. The platform enables tech recruiters and hiring managers to objectively evaluate talent at every stage of the recruiting process, from candidate screening to job offers.

HackerRank also offers a community platform where developers can share knowledge, showcase their skills, solve coding challenges, participate in coding contests, and collaborate with other developers worldwide.

The challenge

As HackerRank expanded, they saw their user base increase exponentially, leading to a need for more robust product capabilities. To evolve their product portfolio with agility, the team needed to optimize productivity without driving up expense from their AWS infrastructure. One of the biggest challenges to both productivity and expense was downtime, which caused HackerRank engineers and customers lots of frustration. HackerRank turned to DoiT to benefit from cloud consulting and infrastructure optimization.

As a DoiT customer, HackerRank benefits from having access to a team of over 200+ engineers, including Cloud Architects, Cloud Engineers, and FinOps experts. As soon as DoiT identified the issue, the team took the initiative to tackle the inefficiency in the pipeline and initiated a Pipeline Modernization Project with the customer.

The solution

After several technical deep dives, the DoiT team identified the root causes of the problem: the current Build Release pipeline was causing delays and extended release cycles, leading to inefficiencies. As a result, DoiT recommended a multi-step approach. The plan included optimizing the Docker Container startup time and supporting the HackerRank team with code samples demonstrating Proof of Concept (PoC) and documentation. Additionally, DoiT planned on running unit tests in parallel, and moving the Build Server to a new setup in Elastic Container Services (ECS) with Fargate, more elastic and requiring lower maintenance.

The FinOps team at DoiT initiated an engagement to reduce the costs of AWS infrastructure. While HackerRank had already purchased Savings Plans (SPs), they they decided to leverage DoiT’s support and Spot Scaling technologies in addition to these SPs.

Using machine learning, DoiT’s Technology continuously monitors HackerRank’s cloud usage to identify additional compute instances not already covered. This increases the savings management that HackerRank works on without the need to purchase 1-year Savings Plans or Reserved Instances, or deal with the requisite forecasting and management challenges that would accompany them.

Additionally, Spot Scaling helped HackerRank identify an opportunity to optimize the costs of the Auto-Scaling Groups (ASGs) organising their EKS worker nodes in non-production environments. Managing the instance composition of their ASGs, Spot Scaling helped HackerRank adopt Spot instances and save on on-demand compute costs while dramatically reducing downtime risk.

Spot Scaling made best practice recommendations to their ASG configuration to allow for more instance types with similar attributes to their originally-selected instance type. In addition, Spot Scaling has a “fallback to on-demand” functionality, which automatically utilizes on-demand instances when there isn’t enough Spot capacity for their designated instance types. It enabled HackerRank to confidently modify many of their non-production ASGs to utilize Spot instances as much as possible.

The result

HackerRank partners with over 2,000 organizations, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, and is expanding into other fields such as skills certification, education, and enterprise software solutions.

Thanks to the Pipeline Modernization project, HackerRank is able to streamline their Build Release cycle and reduce the overhead associated with it, allowing engineers to release small changes with more agility and frequency. By aligning more closely to the Agile development practice of incremental delivery, HackerRank now provides faster, more reliable service to their customers.

With DoiT’s Technology, HackerRank decreased on-demand EC2 expenses by 24%, saving thousands of dollars without any extra effort or risk. Furthermore, through the increased utilization of AWS Spot instances using Spot Scaling, HackerRank cut the on-demand EC2 spend of their non-production ASGs by nearly 50%. DoiT provided intelligent technology to simplify and automate cloud use, alongside focused, expert consultancy and great technical support.

Vinay Aggarwal, Senior Software Engineer
“As HackerRank’s user base grew, we faced challenges with our AWS infrastructure that resulted in additional expense and frustrating downtime. DoiT’s consulting and cost optimization technology was invaluable, quickly identifying the root causes and providing a multi-step approach to reduce our downtime, decrease EC2 expenses by 24% and cut our on-demand EC2 spend of their non-production ASGs by nearly 50%”

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