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Automating Platform Management for Kubernetes Deployments

Information technology
CI/CD
Kubernetes
Microservices
VMware

A provider of language interpretation services turned to Altoros to automate platform deployment, including monitoring, logging, ingress, and storage management.

Automating Platform Management for Kubernetes Deployments

About the project

Brief results of the collaboration:

  • By automating platform management, the company freed up engineering hours and resources for other technical tasks.
  • The company secured its platform and microservices with Kubernetes best practices.
  • With logging and monitoring, the language interpretation service provider gained transparency into resource usage, performance, etc.
  • The customer facilitated in-depth Kubernetes knowledge transfer, enabling its platform and application teams to efficiently operate and build on the platform.

The customer

The customer is a provider of language interpretation services. For over 25 years, the company has served thousands of clients in the United States, including Fortune 500 healthcare providers. Supporting hundreds of languages, the customer translates all forms of communications (audio, video, and text).

The need

The customer had been using Rancher, an open-source distribution of Kubernetes, to manage its internal workloads, such as authentication microservices. These workloads were contained on NSX-T data centers. The interpretation service provider lacked the necessary expertise to automate platform management for smooth deployments.

Already using VMware services at the infrastructure level, the company decided to migrate to Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition (TKGI) for improved scalability, performance, availability, and security. The customer turned to VMware to gain in-depth understanding of container orchestration and initiate the transition. The vendor recommended Altoros, a certified VMware Tanzu solutions provider, to lead the platform migration and deployment effort.

The challenges

Under the project, the team at Altoros had to address the following issues:

  • Platform management was done manually, so errors during deployments were common. This resulted in days spent on configuring deployments, troubleshooting errors, and provisioning resources.
  • The lack of security auditing tools made it difficult to identify security issues that affected the platform and the microservices.
  • With no transparency into the platform, it was impossible to monitor resource utilization.

The solution

Stage 1. Together with the customer, engineers at Altoros evaluated the existing architecture on NSX-T and outlined a strategy for migrating to TKGI.

Stage 2. Our team assisted in laying the groundwork necessary for the transition, including the creation of prerequisite NSX-T objects for TKGI integration. Developers at Altoros also worked closely with the customer's in-house teams to configure the platform's network. During this process, our experts created a logical switch for the management and service network, set up an IP pool for load balancing, assigned IP blocks to pods through the container network interface, etc. Engineers at Altoros also created a Teleporter process to streamline the migration of apps, users, service instances, and routes on TGKI instances.

Stage 3. To add platform automation and streamline management, our team created CI/CD pipelines using Concourse, improving the operator cycle. Additionally, engineers at Altoros enabled the platform to scale effectively, allowing clusters to provision resources as needed.

Our developers implemented logging with Elastic Stack on ECK and monitoring through Healthwatch with Grafana and Prometheus.

Using Polaris, experts at Altoros ensured Kubernetes best practices, such as using Namespaces for resource management, configuring requests and limits, etc. To improve security, our team configured clusters to prevent the creation of privileged containers. Engineers at Altoros also secured nodes from any unauthorized access with Contour.

Stage 4. Our developers facilitated knowledge transfer by pairing with the in-house teams right from the beginning. This ensured that the customer could operate the platform efficiently and also led to the migration of 14 microservices.

The outcome

The move to TKGI provided the customer with increased performance, scalability, availability, and security. With automated platform management, the company saved hundreds of engineering hours spent on manual deployment processes. By adhering to Kubernetes best practices, the customer secured its platform and microservices from unauthorized access and operations. The company increased transparency, making it easier to perform troubleshooting by adopting logging and monitoring tools. With ongoing support from Altoros, the customer gained the expertise required to optimize the platform and migrate 14 microservices, laying the foundation for migrating the rest of their operations.

Technology stack

Platforms

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition

Programming language

.NET

Frameworks and tools

Node.js, Concourse, Healthwatch, Grafana, Prometheus, Polaris, vsphereVolume, Elastic Cloud on Kubernetes (ECK), Elastic Stack, Contour

Data storage

VMware vSphere Virtual Machine File System

1,000+

healthcare
clients

14

microservices
migrated

2

NSX-T
data centers

Want to develop something similar?

Ryan Meharg

Ryan Meharg

Cloud Solutions Architect

ryan.m@altoros.com650 265-2266

4900 Hopyard Rd. Suite 100 Pleasanton, CA 94588