By Pankaj Purwar, Director, IT Applications, VMware; Moin Tavargere, Senior Manager, IT Applications, VMware
When VMware IT initially launched the My VMware portal, they used the latest technologies available to build this portal. Over time the VMware IT team recognized opportunities for employing modern technologies to optimize the VMware customer experience. They embarked upon a journey to transform the portal.
The portal provides an integrated, self-service interface that millions of VMware customers and prospects access each month to evaluate VMware products, download software binaries, request support, and manage software licenses.
Customers are reliant on this portal for its comprehensive account management and support capabilities. Prospects access and download VMware technology to assess and evaluate.
There were three main objectives for upgrading the My VMware portal:
- Modernize the user interface
- Optimize resiliency, performance and scalability
- Strengthen portal security
Given the number of users and module functionality, VMware IT decided to take a phased approach and implement new technologies and services gradually—to minimize disruptions to the portal’s performance.
Refresh Requires a Range of Technologies
Many technologies and services were adopted and implemented to complete the portal transformation. One of the first steps was to make a move to a lightweight, microservices architecture that was cloud-native and host it on VMware Tanzu Application Service. This architecture makes it possible to separate functions into modules that get deployed and maintained separately. Function-specific modules that are interdependent, such as licensing and support, use messaging capabilities to communicate. The result is increased resiliency and performance for VMware customers. We also introduced multi-factor authentication to strengthen security, which requires two or more pieces of evidence before the system grants new users access to the portal.
To further modernize the portal for an improved customer experience and increased security, VMware IT leveraged VMware products and tools:
- Clarity, with its user-based standards, was used to build all single page applications, which helped create a faster and more responsive portal for customers. Instead of entire page refreshes every time there was a click, only the specific section on a page that the user is interacting with refreshes, which increases responsiveness.
- Spring, with its a lightweight application development framework, was used to develop the microservices, which helped to optimize overall performance and ensure the availability of services. Spring also enables faster delivery of new features.
- VMware Tanzu Application Service is a modern application platform used to deploy, run and manage custom software. It reduces the amount of time developers spend on managing dependencies and waiting for infrastructure and backing services. Instead, developers maintain their focus on feature development. Tanzu Application Service also features autoscaling that improved portal availability and uptime under variable load.
- VMware vRealize® Log Insight™ delivers scalable log management to provide deep operational visibility and enable faster troubleshooting as issues arise during Day-2 operations.
- VMware vRealize® Code StreamTM automates deployment pipelines to deliver features faster for our customers to use.
The team adopted an agile delivery model to accelerate the delivery of the refresh and completed the project in less than nine months.
A noticeable difference immediately – for customers
The benefits of this technological shift and upgrade to a modern look and feel were apparent to customers. They reported their impressions of the portal refresh to their account managers. Overall, there was a significant improvement in performance across all domains—from login services, registration, dashboard page, license management, support flows, and more.
Improved operations – for VMware IT
With the new architecture, we moved from a legacy monolith framework to decoupled lightweight services across data centers, which pushed the availability significantly. Deployed services operate independently, which enables improved agility. Other advantages include improved end-to-end monitoring, seamless feature rollouts, and a solid foundation for adding new capabilities.
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