In a world where connected devices have outnumbered people, Minim’s self-learning IoT platform employs proprietary fingerprinting and behavioral models to detect performance and security threats before they become major problems. The company provides mobile and web applications for consumers and their service providers to protect connected devices and optimize connectivity. As a fast-growing startup, Minim decided to adopt Kubernetes to streamline their application deployment process.
- Clouds: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, On-Prem
- CI/CD: CircleCI
- Container Registry: Amazon AWS ECR™
- Secrets Management: Kubernetes Secrets
“Rafay gives me the ability to manage my globally distributed clusters in one place. With their platform and support, we were able to re-evaluate our Kubernetes approach and do everything much more easily and quickly.”— Alec Rooney, CTO & co-founder, Minim
Explosive Customer Growth Meant a New Strategy
Initially, Minim hosted their applications for service provider customers in AWS™, using Amazon ECS™. This approach worked well at the time, but, as Minim quickly expanded their customer base to include larger ISPs and now distributed businesses, they encountered a new set of requirements, including the need for more stringent operational and data flow requirements within their own data centers and at regionally located data centers. Thus, they needed the ability to rapidly deploy Kubernetes clusters across on-premises and multi-cloud environments and integrate with their existing technologies including CI/CD, monitoring, and security vendors. Furthermore, they needed to easily migrate services between cloud providers such as Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure™, depending on the customer’s requirements, so avoiding vendor lock-in was a must.
Minim’s Kubernetes journey started with a small team that attempted to build their own in-house Kubernetes platform. The team trained themselves on Kubernetes but ran into many challenges and delays. Alec Rooney, Minim’s CTO and co-founder, described their experience, “Deploying Kubernetes from the ground up was slowing us down. Our core expertise lies in battling emerging smart home threats and building new Wi-Fi technologies for our customers. But we were spending too much time on running Kubernetes and attempting to learn it at the same time.” So the team changed course. Minim decided to invest in a Kubernetes operations solution. Given their limited experience, they also desired a vendor that provided expert operational support as their customer base, and Kubernetes requirements, grew.
“Rafay’s support is excellent. Whenever we had an issue with Rafay’s platform or a question about Kubernetes, Rafay has been super responsive. Whether I’m working late at night or early in the morning I get a response right away, which is just awesome.”— Alec Rooney, CTO & co-founder, Minim
A Kubernetes Partner, Not just a Kubernetes Product
Minim’s new strategy required the evaluation of several open source and vendor-based solutions, including Rancher Labs™. But since Minim had tried a DIY approach already, they looked for a company with more than just an SDK with community-based support. They were looking for a true Kubernetes partner.
Enter Rafay Systems.
Minim discovered that Rafay was the perfect partner because Rafay delivered both a turnkey product – called the Kubernetes Operations Platform (KOP) – as well as access to a team of certified Kubernetes experts that provided operational support, 24×7.
Rafay was also the vendor that best met all of their requirements for Kubernetes operations, including deep integration with Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). With Rafay’s KOP, Minim could quickly bring up, configure and transfer clusters with their standard set of services across on-premises, AWS and Azure – all from a single console. With dozens of out-of-the-box integrations that can be enabled with a single click, Rafay fully supported (and quickly connected to) Minim’s CircleCITM, Amazon AWS ECR container registry and Kubernetes Secrets solutions. An increasing number of demanding, global customers meant that Minim required an expert – and superresponsive – global support organization and Rafay’s globally distributed team with deep Kubernetes experience provided great support and advice anytime day or night, even over their dedicated Slack™ channel.
According to Rooney, “Rafay’s support is excellent. Whenever we had an issue with Rafay’s platform or a question about Kubernetes, Rafay has been super responsive. Whether I’m working late at night or early in the morning I get a response right away, which is just awesome.”
Kubernetes Operations, The Rafay Way The results of the Minim-Rafay partnership have been nothing less than outstanding.
In contrast to the eight-month timeframe for Minim’s DIY approach, Rafay was up and running within one week. And two of their three-person internal Kubernetes team have moved to higher-value work, leaving a single, very-capable administrator to manage all of their Kubernetes needs. Minim can now deploy Kubernetes and launch new applications in minutes, not days, and almost immediately transfer clusters and applications from one-cloud to another or to on-premises.
Today, Rafay supports dozens of Minim’s applications that process approximately 5 billion transactions each month and, as the workload increases, are not seeing a corresponding increase in the cost of their IT operations. When asked to sum up Minim’s experience with Rafay, Rooney said, “I can put it into three buckets. First, Rafay has made it easy to stand up and set up a Kubernetes cluster with good security and all the basic services present. Next, Rafay delivers great support and advice. Third, Rafay gives me the ability to manage my globally distributed clusters in one place. With their platform and support, we were able to re-evaluate our Kubernetes approach and do everything much more easily and quickly.”