Why Esper is THE Platform for Android DevOps

Behind every digital customer experience is an infrastructure. Brands who successfully compete on digital transformation invest in an operating environment that supports faster, iterative innovation, per Deloitte. A mature DevOps infrastructure enables brands to be agile and resilient, even during times of rapidly changing customer behaviors and uncertainty. 

My years at Microsoft and Amazon taught me the importance of infrastructure as I built out mature cloud infrastructures and platforms. I saw the value of a DevOps infrastructure and associated mindset in countless use cases and witnessed the beginning of DevOps for edge devices at AmazonGo. I founded Esper in 2018 as the industry’s first Android DevOps platform because I believe brands need a mature infrastructure for innovation.

Esper is a single pane of glass solution for Android edges devices, adaptable to the  customer’s evolving hardware choices and product roadmap. It’s the industry’s first-ever solution for the entire Android DevOps lifecycle, including hardware, OS, firmware, configurations, and applications. Esper is the reliable, repeatable, and robust platform for managing fleets of Android edge devices, so our customers can compete on end-user experience.

The Value of a Self-Service Delivery Platform

Within the DevOps realm, a digital platform is a self-service platform for product teams. It’s defined by Evan Bottcher as a set of solutions, such as self-service APIs, tools, and services that enable teams to ship features faster. Typically, a DevOps delivery platform is comprised of:

  • A Delivery Infrastructure
  • APIs
  • Architectural Remediation
  • Experimental Infrastructure
  • Customer Touchpoint Technologies

Without a self-service platform, product teams can become constrained by infrastructure and interdependencies, causing slowdown in the pace of development. In contrast, the most highly-evolved DevOps firms report a high use of internal adoption of DevOps practices, per Puppet. Flexible platforms enable teams to be autonomous and customer-obsessed.

The rise of the Android edge introduces new challenges to creating an effective DevOps platform. Android edge device fleets are remarkably heterogeneous. End users are always isolated from product support, and there’s rarely failovers for customer devices. The Android edge ecosystem demands a unique type of DevOps platform for product teams to focus on innovation.

Recommended Read: “Why DevOps for Android Edge Devices.”

Esper is the industry’s first platform for Android DevOps, purpose-built to create a flexible and mature infrastructure for the entire lifecycle.

A Flexible, Mature Infrastructure for Android

An effective DevOps platform is flexible to add value to emerging use cases without unnecessary constraints on product teams. A compelling DevOps platform has low barriers to self-service adoption and the flexibility to meet emerging product use cases. 

The Esper platform was built on the philosophy that every customer deployment is unique, with flexible enterprise tooling to meet business, technical, and operational requirements.

The industry needs a platform sufficiently flexible to enable reuse when business or operational requirements change. Enterprises need to control how they deploy, update, and manage their Android devices, and they need to control when changes are made. Esper is a reliable, repeatable and robust platform that’s purpose-built to scale to emerging business requirements.

Total Life Cycle Monitoring

Esper is the industry’s first platform designed to provide monitoring of total device health, including system, hardware, and apps. This enables tighter feedback loops throughout the entire device lifecycle, and a single pane of glass to configure, deploy, and monitor devices. 

Richer and intelligent visibility into the entire Android DevOps lifecycle enables teams to achieve predictive maintenance before a failure occurs. Lifecycle visibility helps product teams learn continuously and apply this data to solve business and operational problems.

Snowflakes at Scale

DevOps practitioners define a snowflake as a resource that requires special configurations outside the automated deployment pipeline. Snowflakes were remarkably common when infrastructure teams dealt with bare-metal hardware and diverse, premises-based fleets of servers. The idea nearly disappeared in the cloud when DevOps teams were able to create uniform functional requirements for virtual servers without variation in hardware or OS.

 Android edge devices are heterogeneous, especially compared to virtualized environments. Successful deployments require the ability to isolate deployments from snowflakes to minimize blast radius. Scale is an enormously important factor in an Android DevOps platform, but the ability to isolate, manage, and learn from snowflakes is equally important.

Esper is built to accommodate the requirements of efficiently deploying and managing millions of devices without overlooking snowflakes. In today’s heterogeneous Android edge fleets, enterprises need a scalable way to deploy, configure, and manage snowflakes.

Controlling Drift

Android edge fleets are a mosaic of hundreds of thousands of lifecycle components that interact in unique ways at the edge and with the cloud. As a result, it’s become harder for DevOps teams to predict the impact of configuration drift on Android edge devices and how deviations from provisioning could impact the customer experience. 

Esper offers the ability to create purposeful drift and drift management at every stage of the life cycle for better insight into what happens when configurations change. Managed drift is valuable and often essential for continuous improvement within an Android DevOps model. Esper is built to offer managed drift so brands can snap configurations back and learn from these experiments.

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