Automating infrastructure at SA Home Loans with Python (and friends)

Speaker: Kim van Wyk

Track: Infrastructure / DevOps

Type: Talk

SA Home Loans develops most of its business software in-house, with 5 agile teams of developers, database specialists and testers. Each team is provided with an isolated virtualised clone of the production environment, comprising more than 20 Windows servers, 5 Linux servers and various databases and supporting infrastructure. A combination of Python, Node.js, bash and Powershell is used to glue a variety of open-source apps together and spin up new labs in as automated a fashion as possible. One of the main focuses of this talk is an illustration of some of the tools and methods SAHL uses or has written to do this work, as opposed to previously creating each lab manually over a week of error-prone manual effort per lab.

This talk will aim to show that this kind of automation need not be complex or require a large team. The easy-to-learn nature of Python has allowed SAHL's existing developers and devops engineers to work on the above systems after about 2 days of internally-developed Python training and a bit of at-desk assistance when needed.

The talk will also discuss some of the lessons learned while moving away from manual methods to an automated approach.