Case Study - AstroFarm

AstroFarm helps 42Gears streamline DevOps operations and slash app testing costs by 50%

Business Overview

42Gears is a leading MDM solution provider. The company offers advanced cloud-based solutions that enable businesses to efficiently manage digital workspace technologies. With 42Gears offerings, organizations can remotely manage and support their digital infrastructure, secure company data, and control access to company resources. Currently, more than 18,000 customers across 115 countries benefit from the company’s products.

Background and CHALLENGES

During the pandemic, like many other offices, 42Gears adopted the remote working model. This meant that all devices had to be made remotely accessible to geographically-distributed teams to ensure business continuity. However, there was no cost-effective solution in the market that could help employees access devices remotely for testing and development.

Potential concerns that needed addressing:

  1. Although 42Gears had all kinds of devices across different offices, developers and testers in other locations couldn’t access them. This slowed down operations. 
  2. Transporting devices from one location to another was time-consuming and costly. 
  3. Often, faulty devices that required troubleshooting led to delays, forcing engineers to rerun the entire test suite. 
  4. The time required to replace faulty devices impacted the overall team productivity.
  5. The risks and costs involved in shipping the device to user locations was often equivalent to the device cost.

Thus, 42Gears came up with an innovative solution - a private device farm platform called AstroFarm, to address these problems.

The Solution

42Gears solved its device availability challenges by inventing a private device farm platform, AstroFarm. In particular, AstroFarm helped the DevOps teams to bring together the devices that they needed for testing and development.

  1. AstroFarm allows teams to connect devices from anywhere by providing a single platform to enroll all the available devices. This improved device availability.
  2. Any employee can connect multiple devices to AstroFarm from anywhere, so the company doesn’t have to ship devices anymore.
  3. IT teams are able to track the devices in the inventory so the company doesn’t have to purchase the same device model for each location.
  4. The private device farm made Android and iOS devices remotely accessible to DevOps teams for development and testing from the cloud. Now, teams can run tests on real devices from anywhere at any time.
  5. By allowing teams to run automated testing and remote source-level debugging, AstroFarm improved the DevOps processes.

Industry: DevOps tool, Remote app testing

Location: India and global

Products: AstroFarm by 42Gears

Operating System:  Android and iOS

Challenges: The engineering teams at 42Gears needed a solution that could help them access devices remotely for the purpose of testing and development.

Solutions: With AstroFarm, 42Gears’ IT teams could enroll Android and iOS-based devices remotely, thereby increasing device availability. Soon, the company experienced multiple other benefits.

Results

  1. 42Gears reduced the number of hardware purchases which reduced the cost from USD 5980 and USD 7442 in 2019 and 2020 respectively to USD 3660 only in 2021. 
  2. The company improved device availability by utilizing the unused devices in the offices. This, in turn, helped them achieve a 62% ROI on the devices purchases already made. 
  3. Additionally, the company reduced 51% costs incurred in the procurement of new devices.
  4. By implementing AstroFarm, the company reduced spending on third-party test labs/public device farms, 42Gears was able to save significantly more costs. 
  5. With AstroFarm, the DevOps team at 42Gears has been able to improve both the test coverage and overall processes. This has not only helped them to scale the number of tests, but also increased the ability to prevent new and recurring bugs.

Benefits

  1. By enrolling all the devices under a single platform, AstroFarm, 42Gears was able to make those devices accessible to various teams across geographies.
  2. As teams could remotely access the devices at any time, it eliminated the need for the company to procure the same set of devices for multiple locations. Thus by optimizing device utilization, the company didn't have to rent devices, which saved hardware spending costs. 
  3. By having a private device farm, teams got a better view of device availability at any time. So, this way they could plan their work, which ultimately saved production time. 
  4. Teams gained better visibility into all the devices, which improved productivity.
  5. Testing teams can now handle the surge in the number of tests and also prevent new and recurring bugs.