At this year's CoreOS Fest, Tectonic customers joined our CEO Alex Polvi onstage to share their experiences at different stages of container adoption. Four leaders from innovative teams at premier companies shared their experiences and results modernizing infrastructure with Tectonic, the enterprise-ready Kubernetes platform.
Each customer's story was different. Each is running unique applications at distinct stages of implementation within organizations of varying size. Still, it was fascinating to see the overlap in the problems each solved with Tectonic, as well as some of the cultural changes each seeks to facilitate with container infrastructure.
A key takeaway from the conversation: Containers aren't just about technology. They're also about improving the developer experience, while simultaneously easing microservices deployments. This sets up a virtuous cycle where more productive developers can get constantly improving application versions into production faster, rapidly delivering fixes, new features, and increasing value to users.
Evolving to container infrastructure
Of the customers onstage at Fest, Ticketmaster had the most mature Tectonic deployment, with multiple applications in production across a set of clusters. Growing from pilot projects begun in 2016, Ticketmaster employed a rollout strategy that’s common among Tectonic customers, who typically migrate applications into containers and deploy them on automated infrastructure as they are refactored and modernized, eventually replacing legacy versions.
Ticketmaster accelerated its container migration by first focusing on applications that were designed for and first deployed to the public cloud, but which lacked automated management and scaling, leaving pain points in their administration, monitoring, and updating. Before Tectonic, updating these applications was slow, tedious, and prone to human error. As Justin Dean, Ticketmaster's Senior VP of Platform and Technical Operations, explained, deployments are now a "non-issue" for teams using Tectonic.
With Tectonic, Dean said, Ticketmaster’s teams "are able to talk about features and the software that they are delivering and moving the business forward," where once they were bogged down with deployment issues.
Improving developer experience
Ilya Borisov, VP of Cloud Services at Concur, noted that Tectonic has engendered a cultural shift that "energized the teams" working on its hundreds of microservices. "From GitHub to production, simplifying that experience as much as possible" means Concur engineers are more productive and enjoy working with infrastructure that automates so much of deployment and reliability for their applications. Starbucks DevOps engineer Scott Ames agreed, adding that Tectonic "gives [engineers] the freedom" to ship frequently.
Nike is already seeing the same developer experience improvements, even though its Tectonic deployment is not yet supporting production workloads. The gains are visible to executives as well. "Management can see that this is a lot better than what we previously had," explained Matt Palensky, Senior Architect at the athletic gear giant.
Getting to enterprise-ready Kubernetes
Dean said Ticketmaster chose to partner with CoreOS because Tectonic "instantly gives us enterprise level confidence."
Many roles within an organization are involved in any large project, from product and management to security teams and Site Reliability Engineers (SREs). Ticketmaster is using its migration to containers as an opportunity to tackle such organizational issues as decoupling dependencies and modernizing application architectures. By introducing container infrastructure with Tectonic, Ticketmaster reduced its technical debt, and according to Dean, the "biggest gain [will be] when everyone runs containers."
Concur's Borisov shared a similar experience regarding the magnitude of the applications that power its business. For Concur, he said, "containers are not the end." Rather, container infrastructure is just one step toward the broader goal of efficiently deploying and managing hundreds or even thousands of microservices. With the help of Tectonic, Concur is able to focus on things like organizational changes and optimization, rather than the day to day maintenance of its systems.
Partnering with CoreOS
Ticketmaster's Dean explained that his company recognized early that it was unsustainable to keep building homegrown infrastructure software, as everything it created only increased its technical debt with bespoke components that Ticketmaster would need to own and operate forever. "We don't want to build 'Ticketmasternetes,'" he quipped, adding that partnering with an organization like CoreOS that is focused on Kubernetes is a force-multiplier for Ticketmaster's team.
Tectonic's integration with the Quay container registry was an additional standout feature for Concur. Having one team to turn to for all of their container infrastructure needs helps keep their team focused, Borisov said.
Tectonic powers faster delivery
A theme emerged throughout the discussion: Container infrastructure can both prompt and facilitate healthy changes in how an organization builds and delivers software. The increased facility of management and the reduced friction of deployment enables teams to get better software to users more quickly and more reliably.
Check out the video to gather all the insights from the customer panel with pioneering enterprises Concur, Nike, Starbucks, and Ticketmaster. Tectonic automates and streamlines container clusters from square one with repeatable, streamlined installation; cluster authentication integrated with enterprise systems like LDAP and SAML; and built-in monitoring and management tools in the graphical Tectonic Console. It's easy to investigate enterprise-ready Kubernetes on AWS and bare metal with a free license to use Tectonic on clusters of up to 10 nodes.