Case Study: Benefit Cosmetics

Cascadeo implemented a DevOps/Agile-driven, AWS-native solution architecture to achieve Benefit Cosmetics’ business agility and engineering velocity strategic objectives.
Pink graphic that reads "Laughter is the best cosmetic."

About Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Cosmetics (a subsidiary of Louis Vuitton) is a prominent cosmetic brand based in San Francisco, CA. They sell at over 3,000 counters in more than 40 countries. Benefit Cosmetics’ vision is to continue to grow their footprint globally. A key marketing channel is digital, including a highly engaging web platform for learning about its products and services. As an industry leader, Benefit Cosmetics emphasizes the importance of giving back and is involved in many charities across the globe.

The Challenge

Benefit Cosmetics has made both business agility and engineering velocity strategic objectives. To enable rapid, parallel development, the company sought to refactor its conventionally hosted site infrastructure around core AWS platform technologies. This included content management systems for the company and their production e-commerce website. The company was committed to a cloud-first implementation and wisely invested in extensive automation from the beginning of the engagement. The company selected Cascadeo, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, to design and implement an AWS-native solution.

The AWS Solution

Cascadeo and Benefit agreed to a DevOps/Agile-driven, AWS-native solution architecture. Because of the criticality of the system, and the company’s commitment to innovation in online sales, the system was designed for Agile-style iterative development and frequent redeployment to multiple environments. This meant fully repeatable deployments and end-to-end configuration management implemented using Jenkins, CloudFormation, and Chef. Containerized application workloads run on Kubernetes and operational telemetry is managed with Grafana and InfluxDB. Benefit Cosmetics developers can deploy and redeploy the entire system at will. Code check-ins automatically trigger deployments and live demos of new features can be shared internally or promoted to the production environment within minutes of their implementation.

AWS Services Used

  • AWS RDS with AuroraDB
  • AWS ElastiCache with Redis
  • AWS EFS for shared storage
  • AWS CloudFormation
  • AWS S3
  • AWS Route53
  • AWS EC2
  • AWS Lambda
  • AWS Simple AD
  • AWS CloudWatch

The Success Story

Cascadeo was initially engaged to improve existing Chef cookbooks and recipes around best current practices. During the initial engagement, Cascadeo engineers proposed a containerized/microservices approach, and the relationship expanded to include application layer refactoring around AWS platform technologies. By taking a strategic, business-value-first approach to the project, Cascadeo has dramatically improved Benefit Cosmetics’ time to market and business agility.

More benefits:

Engineering velocity, time to market, and business agility were all dramatically improved through frequent, full-stack deployment automation. Benefit Cosmetics can take an idea from inception to live demo to production in days, rather than weeks or months.

As additional developers join the growing team, each adopts the same development environment and DevOps-style deployment automation, eliminating the risk of subtle differences in environments that can cause downstream problems as code is promoted to production.
We reduced instance deployment from hours to minutes for Benefit’s development teams.

By implementing a blue/green deployment strategy, we dramatically reduced errors in the production deployment cycle.
All code releases are aligned with container image version for easy management

Production deployment is done with a one-click approach, using Jenkins and Development instances integrated with Slack alongside a simple slash command.