Case Studies

Fortune 50 Consulting Firm Replaces Rancher with Rafay

A Fortune 50 global consulting firm needed to modernize its Rancher Kubernetes stack that had become too costly and complex to operate

Key Features & Benefits
  • Single SaaS Controller: Eliminate the installation, configuration, and ongoing maintenance of Rancher servers with a single SaaS controller.
  • Single Pane of Glass: Unified monitoring, alerting, and visualization with automated collection of health and user metrics.
  • Zero-Trust Architecture with SSO & RBAC: RBAC management across clusters with a centralized interface, SSO integration, and Kube API server network isolation.
  • Cluster Blueprints: K8s lifecycle management enabling consistent and secure creation, provisioning, and upgrade for clusters and add-ons.
  • Policy Management: Centralized policy definition and enforcement to strengthen governance of K8s environments.
  • 24/7 Support: Experts available for architecture and design guidance.

A Fortune 50 global consulting firm needed to modernize its Kubernetes solution stack to continue to support its business transformation goals and attract new customers. The hidden costs and operational overhead of their existing Kubernetes solution from Rancher became too costly and onerous to manage. After researching several solutions, they switched to Rafay for their next generation Kubernetes solution.

Environment

  • Clouds: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, On-Prem
  • CI/CD: CircleCI
  • Container Registry: Amazon AWS ECR
  • Secrets Management: Kubernetes Secrets

By switching to Rafay, the firm eliminated overhead required to manage their Kubernetes infrastructure and, as a result, their ops team was able to easily scale to hundreds of clusters.

Accelerated Growth Led to an Ever-Increasing Number of Rancher Servers to Manage and Support

Rapid customer growth and demand for Kubernetes clusters brought new challenges for the cloud operations (ops) team. As the number of teams adopting Kubernetes increased, it became clear that the ops team needed to re-evaluate their Kubernetes technology stack. The number of Rancher Servers needed to manage their current solution kept increasing because each was required to control only a small segment of clusters. And, the growing installation, configuration, and ongoing maintenance of these dedicated servers led to project delays and complexity when managing isolation boundaries.

Maintaining cluster configuration consistency was also a challenge because security and software add-on policies had to be managed cluster by cluster. And to capture and later audit who made what changes, the company had to develop, support, and maintain custom code. As the company moved to the cloud, they also discovered that their current solution didn’t allow them to take advantage of important features from managed Kubernetes services such as Amazon EKS and Microsoft AKS. Management of a fleet at the cluster- and namespace-level required additional expertise that was increasingly hard to find and Rancher support was not meeting the required SLAs for their mission critical applications.

With an increasing number of incoming projects and customers stressing the limits of their current solution, improving operational and resource efficiency and reducing risks were critical success metrics for the firm’s global initiative to move to a SaaS K8s operations solution.

Rafay Made the Decision to Switch Kubernetes Solutions Easy

Switching to Rafay’s SaaS platform with a single controller for streamlined visibility and management allowed the firm to unify operations across on-premises and the cloud and eliminate time spent supporting multiple Rancher servers. Moreover, Rafay’s Projects feature provided flexible and secure isolation boundaries for customers and the ops team across their entire fleet of clusters. Taking advantage of Rafay’s Cluster Blueprints and built-in Drift Detection and remediation allowed for the provisioning of standardized clusters with centralized security policies and software add-on configurations via Git. This allowed the firm to enforce cluster standards and concentrate more on their applications instead of managing individual K8s clusters.

With Rafay, they were able to remove their reliance on custom code and chronologically catalog activities with a centralized, immutable audit trail of all user actions including kubectl operations performed on clusters.

Rafay’s deeper integration with Amazon EKS and Microsoft AKS enabled comprehensive lifecycle management and integration with native public cloud services provided by AWS and Azure without compromising the use of important EKS and AKS capabilities and services.

Leveraging Rafay’s best practices, 24×7 support, and white glove onboarding experience has eliminated the firm’s Kubernetes skills gap. Further, turnkey integrations with the firm’s existing, custom SSO, Hashicorp Vault, and backup and restore technologies allowed the firm to quickly migrate environments from Rancher to Rafay.

Rafay Removed the Overhead Required to Manage K8s and Allowed for Focus on Higher-Value Initiatives

With Rafay, the firm expanded services to Amazon quickly and took advantage of a comprehensive visibility and management across their fleet of heterogeneous clusters for hundreds of customers. The ops team automated provisioning and lifecycle management for both clusters and applications which reduced lead time to build infrastructure and deploy applications. Furthermore, Cluster Blueprints helped ensure consistency and enforced standards for security policies and software add-ons via Git. This eliminated snowflake clusters which, in turn, reduced the MTTR and the cost of support of said clusters.

Centralized, immutable auditing of kubectl operations and user actions saved countless hours that the ops team had spent troubleshooting and reviewing cluster problems and policy violations. And Rafay’s deeper integration with Amazon EKS and Microsoft AKS allowed both developers and operations to explore native cloud services that weren’t previously available to them.

Rafay’s Kubernetes Operations Platform helped the firm to reduce operational costs, optimize time-to-market, streamline processes, and helped the firm better serve its customers. Having 24×7 support from a team of Kubernetes experts helped exceed SLAs and reduce the administrative resources required for day-to-day operations.

By switching to Rafay, the firm eliminated overhead required to manage their Kubernetes infrastructure and, as a result, their ops team was able to easily scale to hundreds of clusters.

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