This is a blog with a purpose - I'm going to make notes on the various components of a fully scalable, highly available and secure system for deploying web content as well as a back-end API service using Amazon Web Services (AWS), Rundeck and Ansible. OK, GitHub and CircleCI come into this as well, and if you want to keep track of what you are doing, Pivotal helps too!
Yes, there are other tech stacks out there - no one stack is 'right' for all circumstances, and no one stack is 'right' for even a specific scenario like using AWS. I'm not here to debate what is best, I'm just going to show what works...
So it turns out that while there are a bunch of great techs out there for people to use for full continuous integration and deployment with a minimum amount of people needed to be successful, there is also a lack of good detail on how to go about doing exactly that in an end to end fashion with anything complicated like a S3/CloudFront website backed up with a Java based API engine.
Most large enterprises (both that I've worked at as well as come into contact with) have very large teams bridging the gap between pure development (the engineers) and pure operations (the system administrators).
In-between these two groups is usually some sort of large team running the build process. Also somewhere in the mix is usually an internal IT team that most people forget exist, but are usually the glue that holds it all together.
Where am I going with this? Well, you don't need (as I've seen in some cases) 40+ people to bridge the gap between engineering and the people using the system they are developing for. If you do it right, you can get the team size down to 1 person (although 2 or 3 is of course best in that situation due to holidays, sick time and the like).
A lot of this comes down to choosing the right technologies, and mixing them together the right way. And if you really want to do this and keep your accountant happy, you can also keep costs down to the bare minimum whilst still providing the best in breed of scalability and availability.
You pretty much have to read this from the oldest post to the newest to get the most benefit out of it - at some point I'll do that automagically and compile it into a book.... Also, because I'm that kind of person, I'll randomly throw bits of information out of sync in the blog as I remember to type them up - you have been warned!