Absa drives scale and innovation into banking with Kubernetes

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“At Absa, we strive to develop services that make a real difference to the lives of our customers and the African banking industry as a whole. Being able to innovate at speed and scale is critical for us.” Zak Anderson, Head of Bison Kubernetes Service, Absa.

Absa’s mission is to push the boundaries of digital banking and continually innovate to create the banking landscape of the future. This mission led the African banking pioneer to Kubernetes, which it deployed in 2016.

In 2018, prompted by the limitations of its early solution, which had become difficult to manage and costly, the Absa team reviewed its options. They explored the market, looking to free themselves from the complexities and scaling issues associated with an inflexible mono-cluster methodology.

SUSE Rancher emerged as the obvious solution — from a cost, usability and, most importantly, an innovation point of view. Within just three months, Absa had its first application running in production on SUSE Rancher.

Driving scale: the move to multi-cluster computing

Absa knew it must become more agile and that its technology infrastructure needed to scale to hasten development velocity. With a desire to get new services to market quickly, the technology team realized scaling its legacy, mono-cluster architecture would get more expensive as projects proliferated. The best way to scale cost effectively would be to create a multi-cluster, microservices-based environment running in SUSE Rancher.

SUSE Rancher’s innovative licencing model allowed Absa’s Cloud team to have as many clusters as they needed and to scale them rapidly without amassing additional costs, freeing the team to innovate. The efficiencies and reduction in costs that Absa realized were significant and occurred quickly.

Absa has benefited from a 75% reduction in overhead costs using SUSE Rancher compared to other vendors, with management time reduced by 80% and stability improved by 80%.

The future looks bright for Absa which now has 130 clusters running under 12 management servers and has migrated its entire container estate to SUSE Rancher. Absa’s on-premises footprint will also be extended into the cloud, using the same best practice and multi-cluster management techniques that are only achievable with SUSE Rancher.

Click here to find out more about how Absa is working with SUSE Rancher to drive agility, flexibility as well as cost and operational efficiencies that other market players cannot compete with.

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Paul Fox
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