With almost 30 million customers, and more than 620 stores on the high street, BT is the largest provider of consumer mobile and fixed broadband communications services in the UK. It also sells communications and IT services to around 1.2 million businesses and public sector organisations in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Additionally, BT provides network products and services to more than 1,400 communication providers (CPs) operating in Great Britain and serving enterprise customers in 180 countries.
BT faced the huge challenge of implementing a massive DevOps transformation at scale, while adopting automation testing and delivery across multiple teams and multiple business units. While the transformation initially focused on continuous integration processes, it was being done on a component level (e.g. using Jenkins and GitLab with some automated unit testing) and not at scale across the organisation. Test cases and test data were being created manually (and with low coverage), and were not able to orchestrate multiple changes outside of long, bulky releases. This resulted in testing being a bottleneck in the devops transformation. Performance and load were not part of the test automation process at all, and testing occurred at the end of the SDLC rather than continuously throughout it. BT was using legacy solutions that limited testing to only certain departments, and made continuous testing a problem.
By partnering with Broadcom, BT have moved from manually tracked releases, components, deployments and test orchestration, to fully visual and automated (tracked) ones using Continuous Delivery Director (CDD). They are shifting left performance/load testing throughout the development process, utilizing BlazeMeter (both on-prem and cloud), incorporating requirements gathering and model-based testing (including generation of automated BDD & functional test cases, with fully traceable test coverage) with Agile Requirement Designer (ARD).
They are also utilizing Service Virtualization (SV) to create commonly used BT applications virtual services templates (SVs) that can be utilized and used by various teams for their performance and functional testing (via BlazeMeter – SV integration)
BT plans to continue their DevOps transformation journey, by adding even closer integration between BT/Broadcom and 3rd party tools, provisioning required platforms needed for deployments (CDD), implementing infrastructure, network and application monitoring (APM), and have fully implement process of data subsetting/masking as well as synthetic data generation via Test Data Manager (TDM).
BT Group are now able to plan, manage, test and optimize the continuous delivery pipeline.
BDD/unit testing is not done in isolation anymore and is becoming part of every build. Shift left performance/load testing will be done for every release, and is done early in the application lifecycle. By embracing Broadcom tools (that by nature are open-source friendly), it has become much easier to onboard new teams, and with the newly implemented train-the trainer program their own internal team are taking a major role in the adoption and transformation process.
Having the right tools, partner and ecosystem was a game changer in BT’s journey of fully automated CI/CD/CT pipelines.
“Broadcom DevOps Solutions are key for BT to unlock the potential of Agile and DevOps. We’ve increased speed to market and quality of products delivered through different, and often dependent, delivery streams and methodologies. “You can only get so far with automated tests and using Jenkins. You are only as strong as your weakest link and using cutting edge techniques to automate all aspects of the software delivery cycle, and all those aspects working together is the way to achieve this.
“It's also important for me to note that the continuous testing and DevOps tools used are enterprise-grade and scalable - BT is a hugely complex environment. It's also key to have a partner that is working hand in glove with a desire to deliver our business outcomes and values. “In a competitive market place these are the ingredients that will help differentiate us from our competitors and truly enable our digital ambitions.”
Glyn Martin, Senior Manager, Test, Transformation QA, BT