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Case study: How Google-specific Kubernetes helped one company validate its development direction

How Kubernetes helped one company validate its development direction

Case study: Humanitec

Berlin-based Humanitec, wanted to explore Kubernetes on Google. With the Otter Networks design sprint as a compass, the enterprise software company began charting a new path.

When Humanitec CTO Greg Lind approached Otter Networks in July 2018, he had a hunch that Google-specific Kubernetes implementation would help steer his company in the right direction.

Lind, who heads up the development team behind Humanitec’s platform-as-a-service for enterprise, had been facing obstacles with an existing infrastructure built on Mesosphere. While that setup gave plenty of flexibility, the configuration and maintenance required significant DevOps capacity. This eventually became an obstacle for growth.

The team then turned to Kubernetes. With the help of a DevOps specialist, Lind and co. migrated to a cloud-based solution: Kubernetes on Hetzner. The result was a step in the right direction, but it still left a lot to be desired. The team faced problems with stability and management. The biggest issue, however, was that the team no longer had the same degree of control while using Hetzner’s cloud solution.

It was then that Lind turned to Google as a possible solution. His belief was that Kubernetes, with the right implementation, would work for his team. Lind approached Otter Networks under these circumstances, and with the desire for an introduction to Kubernetes on Google.

In a one week design sprint, Otter and two of Humanitec’s engineers completed a deep dive into the company’s CI/CD pipeline, kickstarted the implementation of Kubernetes on Google and began utilizing the infrastructure’s specific features. This collaboration with Otter brought Google cloud into the Humanitec development experience in both a practical and sustainable manner.

Moreover, the engineers’ initial expectations were surpassed after they gained new skills through the sprint. The two who participated in the sprint noted the action-oriented, engaging nature of the program, after which they felt better equipped to act on necessary changes.

Ultimately, the exploration of Google-specific Kubernetes with Otter validated Lind’s proposed concept. With the experience gathered in just a week’s time, Humanitec’s engineers are forging ahead with lean infrastructure and optimized foundations for development.