Changing tyres on a moving car: the journey to zero-downtime deployments

“Applications built over the years carry historical design assumptions, such as: it is acceptable to take a system out for upgrade maintenance for a few hours every 6 months.

In today’s world, embracing continuous delivery practices means more frequent releases, which means more downtime. Besides, finding a good maintenance window becomes a struggle with worldwide users, as well as for the operators managing the upgrade out of business hours.

In this talk, I demonstrate that by mapping out complex deployments processes, it becomes possible to prioritise work and progressively reduce the deployment impact. I will also give practical advice on how to tackle blockers to zero-downtime deployments, such as:

Migrating database schemas while keeping an application running Ensuring backward compatibility of messages and APIs Dealing with long-running background jobs Mitigating user session loss Deploying without the comfort of a maintenance window also means that stability during the upgrade is a critical concern. I will go through how it can be achieved through systematic pipeline automation and good system visibility to help operators during the upgrade.

The trick is: zero-downtime doesn’t mean everything is up or running the latest version, it only means nobody notices!”




Pierre Vincent



Pierre is originally from a Software Development background and the rise of DevOps drove him to become more involved in how systems actually run in the real-world, and how he could make a