How Container Orchestration is Used by UPS, Vanguard, Pearson, KOHLER, Bandwidth, and Complevo: Case Studies

Managing containerized workloads and services requires a series of management tasks that orchestrate services, including storage, security, and networking. Container orchestration automates these workloads, simplifying container deployment, management, scaling, and networking.

The following six case studies offer different perspectives on container orchestration implementations across a variety of industries:

1. Pearson

Serving over 75 million learners, with a goal to increase that population to 200 million learners by 2025, Pearson needed IT infrastructure capable of scaling quickly without sacrificing speed or availability.

“We realized we had to build a platform that would allow Pearson developers to build, manage, and deploy applications in a completely different way,” says Chris Jackson, director for cloud platforms & SRE, Pearson.

To achieve this goal, Jackson and his team chose Docker container technology and Kubernetes orchestration. Citing flexibility and ease of management, Pearson was hoping to improve their engineers’ productivity.

Industry: Education

Container orchestration solution: Docker container technology with Kubernetes orchestration

Outcomes:

  • Substantial improvements in productivity and speed of delivery. In some cases, provisioning activities that previously took nine months are completed in a few minutes.
  • 15%–20% developer productivity savings
  • Meeting customer SLAs without experiencing outages during peak times of the year
  • Teams with one to two releases per academic year are capable of shipping code multiple times per day

2. UPS

The supply chain management and logistics company UPS delivers over 20 million packages each day. Looking to give facility operators mobile, real-time data access, with better data insight and scheduling, UPS decided container technology was the best approach.

After evaluating a variety of solutions, UPS settled on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat Fuse. Of particular value was the guidance UPS received working closely with Red Hat Consulting.

“Historically, we were reactive. We would collect information, then do analysis,” says Stacie Morgan, senior application development manager, UPS. “Now, we can see how packages flow through our network to help center supervisors predict volume and staffing needs, based on weather or other factors. Data helps us optimize our operations to increase customer satisfaction and profitability.”

Industry: Supply chain management and logistics

Container orchestration solution: Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat Fuse

Outcomes:

  • Cut development cycle time from over a year down to months or weeks
  • Able to support peak holiday shipping demand with automatic scalability and high availability
  • Collaboration between internal teams and external partners has improved

3. Vanguard

As a financial services company, Vanguard’s need for IT security made containerization an ideal choice. Managing an immense 1,000-title application library made it necessary for the company to look for ways to affordably expand its infrastructure with considerations for scalability and disaster recovery.

Vanguard chose to use Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS). By isolating, specifying, and paying for resources for each application separately, security is assured, and Vanguard is now comfortable storing their data in the cloud.

“By using AWS services, Vanguard seamlessly architected a system based on a consumption model that enhanced transparency, increased deployment frequency, and reduced costs, thus enabling the migration path for Vanguard microservices to run using Amazon ECS on AWS Fargate,” says Brian Kiefer, head of the Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate solutions, Vanguard.

Industry: Financial services

Container orchestration solution: Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS)

Outcomes:

  • Vanguard’s IT department isn’t needed to manage servers
  • Reduced costs by 50%, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per month
  • Speed to market decreased from three months to 24 hours
  • 275% growth since May 2020 using AWS Fargate and Amazon ECS solutions
  • Improved disaster recovery, scalability, and resiliency

4. Complevo

Complevo is a software development company with a focus on automotive, public transport, and construction industries. Powering the smart car systems of the second-largest automotive company in Germany has given Complevo a reputation for being innovative. Maintaining that reputation means building an IT infrastructure that can support rapid development and deployment without sacrificing availability and scaling as needed.

After looking for a reliable, on-premises cloud solution, Complevo partnered with Mirantis to use their Kubernetes Engine. Mirantis provides a flexible and full-featured private cloud, which was a critical requirement when many of Complevo’s clients wouldn’t allow the use of public cloud resources.

Industry: Software development

Container orchestration solution: Mirantis Kubernetes Engine

Outcomes:

  • Rapid cluster deployment reduced from a month to a single week
  • Secure and compliant on-premises cloud

5. KOHLER

KOHLER is a maker of kitchen and bath products for homes and offices, including the smart home market.

Smart homes are filled with personal information and configurations, so before deciding on a cloud solution partner, KOHLER submitted Microsoft Azure to a comprehensive security audit. Once they were satisfied their security needs would be met, they adopted the Azure suite of products and services, including the container orchestration solution, Azure Service Fabric.

“Getting into smart products has forced us to move faster, and we couldn’t move this fast without Azure,” says Fei Shen, associate director of IoT engineering, KOHLER.

Industry: Consumer goods

Container orchestration solution: Azure Service Fabric

Outcomes:

  • KOHLER’s considerable apps are choreographed as microservices
  • Enabling smart home functionality on connected products is quick, reliable, and responsive

6. Bandwidth

Millions of people take advantage of the voice, messaging, and 911 services provided by API platform provider Bandwidth. Using a small team of infrastructure engineers, Bandwidth supports a much larger team of developers and application owners. When workflows became overly time consuming, it became necessary to implement a container orchestration platform.

By choosing the container platform Red Hat OpenShift, Bandwidth was able to deploy containerized applications consistently, quickly, and securely.

“Our goal was to get out of the provisioning world, so we could focus on more interesting problems and prevent our internal customers from having to sit around waiting for resources,” says Jeff Spahr, systems infrastructure architect, Bandwidth.

Industry: Telecommunications

Container orchestration solution: Red Hat OpenShift container platform for Kubernetes

Outcomes:

  • Enabled on-demand self-service for developers
  • Cut time to provision resources from days to seconds
Jillian Koskie
Jillian Koskie
Jillian Koskie is an experienced software developer, writer, business analyst, and usability design expert. With over 24 years in these roles, she has enjoyed applying her considerable skill set to assist clients and users across a wide variety of sectors, including legal, health, and financial services. Combining these professional opportunities with a love of technology, Koskie is pleased to act as a trusted advisor, contribute articles, voice opinions, and offer advice to numerous organizations, news outlets, websites, and publications.

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