The Cloud Native Stack - Docker & Kubernetes
A major US logistics firm pursuing a mobile-first digital strategy needed a modern and scalable back-end to support its microservices based-architecture to be developed on a public cloud subscription and be deployable to both test and production on that cloud.
Among the challenges that needed to be addressed were:
- Automated deployment of cloud network resources, security controls, load balancing, compute and database resources that minimized costs upfront then would quickly scale to meet production workload and security requirements.
- A CI/CD pipeline integration into existing Jenkins and Bitbucket toolsets to support rapid-cycle, test-driven, application development.
- The development team needed high cost efficiency during early development without reworking the deployment when the application was ready to move to production.
After careful analysis, a solution was designed that consisted of:
- Infrastructure as Code deployed with Terraform to stand up Kubernetes with a small number of compute nodes for early development and a PaaS PostgreSQL database service.
- Kubernetes deployment files that define the application containers, load balancer configuration, and quantity making it simple for developers to control application response times — and balance performance against cost.
- All source code and configuration settings for the entire system are version-controlled; stored in a Git-compatible source-code repository and integrated into the company’s CI/CD toolset.
- A common container management process enabled Developers to use Docker Compose for local development.
- Deployed and operated the development environment at 1/10th the cost of production with no additional investment required to scale to production workload.
- Reuse of deployment code to construct environments that were not originally planned.
- Production containers on workstations sped up development and decreased production defects by enabling functional tests prior to code commit.