Black Friday is notorious for pushing business platforms to their limits, with some retailers trading as much in one day as all other calendar days combined. In other cases, businesses spend thousands on marketing campaigns to launch new products, just to have their website fail due to the load placed on it. When that happens, they lose money and damage their reputation with customers.
Over the last three years, we have helped many retailers to get ready for the biggest e-commerce day by introducing Kubernetes. One such customer is a well-known clothing retailer that was able to process tens of thousands of transactions a minute across its apps, websites and over a thousand brick-and-mortar stores because it was able to scale.
Enter Kubernetes and cloud native for scale
When preparing to scale, the priority is always at the frontend: the website and mobile app. However, a scalable frontend is only as good as the backends’ capability to keep up with the demand. Having data processing architecture that can handle IO spikes, interconnects that can keep up with traffic, and payment systems that can handle large volumes of credit card transactions are crucial to creating an enjoyable customer experience.
How is this solved? I mentioned above the different components that need to be scaled for demand. It’s pointless preparing one component while leaving the others as is. The process, the application and all other components need to be scrutinised from the ground up for it to be successful. Many of our customers are hesitant about application modernisation at first, because of the time and cost involved with refactoring an application for the cloud. Sometimes the idea of microservices is far removed from how they currently work. However, the advantages that they gain far outweigh those concerns.
I need to clarify that containers don’t exclusively run microservices and it is common for a fairly monolithic application (or at least parts of it) to run in containers, with limited microservices filling the gaps. Though they won’t scale as fast and aren’t completely cloud native, these businesses already see the benefits. This is usually where many container-based projects start off, but the best approach for this situation is still a completely refactored cloud native application.
Moving your applications into containers that run on Kubernetes opens up many new possibilities. Most crucial is the ability to scale up in seconds. How long does it take your business platforms to scale up right now? Hours? Days? More? I’ve seen companies with IT systems that are so difficult to navigate that getting a virtual machine takes weeks, and adding it to the load balancer or getting it an IP address takes even longer. With Kubernetes, your application scales horizontally in seconds, with a fully functioning network, storage and load balancer.
Faster time to market and security
Another important benefit is the ability to roll out new versions, features or whole applications during office hours. There is no more need for weekend maintenance windows, overtime or late nights. The application gets launched to a small group of users first and gets tested in production. If it breaks, it is simply rolled back as if nothing happened. If your application inside the container crashes for any reason, it self-heals automatically and restarts.
Getting to the cloud
Cloud migration is famously difficult and easy to get wrong. Mistakes can cost millions and cause severe anxiety to everyone involved. By starting your migration with Kubernetes in your data centre, applications can be architected for the cloud without having to make significant infrastructure changes when you ultimately do move over.
Kubernetes brings with it the ability for robust unified platforms that combine developers’ laptops, data centres and the public cloud (for example, AWS) into a true hybrid-cloud experience. Developers can rest easy knowing that the application will work in the exact same way across all the different environments, saving both money and the time of the development, test and support teams. That means no more failing roll-outs or fighting with new features.
Cloud migration is famously difficult and easy to get wrong. Mistakes can cost millions and cause severe anxiety to everyone involved
Kubernetes is a step in the right direction and the adoption thereof is growing, with the CNCF revealing in their most recent 2021 cloud native survey that 96% of organisations are either using or evaluating the technology.
A phrase that we regularly encounter is, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” LSD has worked on this since the very beginning of Kubernetes, is a Silver member of the CNCF and is a Kubernetes Certified Service Provider. We have put together incredibly robust managed platform solutions and love solving customer problems. If anything from this article is on your horizon, please reach out and I’ll happily talk about your plans and give my input.
LSD was founded in 2001 and wants to inspire the world by embracing OPEN philosophy and technology. LSD is your cloud-native acceleration partner that provides managed platforms, leveraging a foundation of containerisation, Kubernetes and open-source technologies. We deliver modern platforms for modern applications. For more, visit www.lsdopen.io, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or GitHub.
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