Container Love in Times of Regulation: Higher stability, security and scalability through microservice architecture

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In the first half of 2019, figo will restructure its technical operation environment. In addition to a further data centre – from currently two to three German data centres in the future, operated by the known subcontractors of iNNOVO Cloud – the infrastructure will be converted to a container-based environment. Accordingly, the figo Banking as a Service API will be evolved into a microservice architecture. To orchestrate the overall solution, Kubernetes will be used.

These measures ensure figo API’s future-readiness with regard to requirements for stability, security, scalability and performance, while at the same time, enabling greater flexibility with increasing use of the service. The conversion has no effect on the continued reliable guarantee, that figo can meet BaFin’s Minimum Requirements for Risk Management (MaRisk) for hosted SaaS setups both as a service provider and as a payment institution.

figo’s Kubernetes team (Christian Hüning, Niklas Voss, Lutz Behnke) provides further information on the benefits of the switch and how the new architecture works:

figo's Kubernetes Team

figo’s Kubernetes Team

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes (in short: K8s) is an open source software solution, which is used to ensure the fail-safe and efficient software operation. The operating system infrastructure is based on independent, modular applications – so-called containers. Kubernetes orchestrates these containers, establishes the necessary links and takes over the monitoring and scaling.

Why Kubernetes?

Kubernetes enables the modern abstraction of the technical operation environment, with considerably better resource efficiency – this paves the way for the growing number of users of figo’s partners.

What does the switch to Kubernetes mean for figo?

Speed and less complexity: With Kubernetes, rolling out a new customer environment takes about 30 minutes instead of two months. The result is an end-to-end traceable process in which every change to the infrastructure is safeguarded by a dual control principle. We thus achieve increased security at all levels, dramatically higher resilience of the infrastructure to hardware failures and dynamic scalability of the software platform. This enables us to offer our customers an even more reliable service.

How established is Kubernetes?

Since its release in 2014, more and more companies are recognising the advantages and becoming so-called “cloud natives”. The conversion to Kubernetes is so promising that the framework has already developed into a new quality standard worldwide within a very short time – Kubernetes is the new way to operate infrastructure.

Among the early adopters are IBM, ING, Monzo, Soundcloud and Zalando. More than half of all Fortune 100 companies already use Kubernetes.

Since when are you dealing with Kubernetes?

Today’s team already met before figo and has been working together on this topic for more than two years. At the HAW Hamburg we have established a Kubernetes cluster for over 1000 concurrent users and talked about our experiences at the KubeCon 2017 in Copenhagen and the ContainerDays 2018 in Hamburg. The team started building Kubernetes at figo in spring 2018.

Kubernetes is an open source project – what exactly does that mean and how does exchange take place?

Open source project means: Worldwide participation, networking and exchange about general Kubernetes experiences as well as mutual learning. Knowledge exchange takes place via regional Meetup groups (e.g. in Hamburg) or social media. The community also meets annually at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon events in Europe, USA and Asia – with up to 8.000 participants each.

The next European KubeCon will take place from 20 to 23 May in Barcelona. We have submitted a proposal for a talk on “Container Love in Times of Regulation” and hope to be included in the narrow circle of speakers. But even if we don’t make it on the stage, we will of course be in Barcelona and are looking forward to the exchange on the topic.

 

You can find more Kubernetes Case Studies here.

An illustrated Children’s Guide to Kubernetes needed? Here you go.

 

 

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