Allan Gray accelerates DevOps strategy and cuts time to market with SUSE Rancher

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 “We now have the ability to click a button and double our scale. It now takes us a few minutes to load new applications whereas before it took at least a day. That’s 99.8% faster!” IT Delivery Team Lead, Allan Gray. 

 

Allan Gray, Africa’s largest privately-owned and independent investment management company, has long understood that in order to stay relevant in the digital age, it would need to deliver new and better digital services faster.  

The IT department previously ran a traditional server-based architecture. Feature teams would work on the development side, then send their output to the operations team for production. This worked well for many years until the monolithic nature of legacy processes slowed the company’s ability to innovate.  

Container technology promised to provide a consistent, common environment for project teams to collaborate, along with the kind of granularity needed to accelerate new service innovation.  

Allan Gray favored open source due to better features, reliability and flexibility than propriety solutions. An initial experiment with Docker was curtailed when the team suffered periods of costly downtime, which led them towards Kubernetes. The team’s primary consideration when selecting a container management solution was the ability to automate, whilst ensuring regulatory compliance. Ensuring security, reliability and scalability were also high priorities for Allan Gray.  

Based on this criteria SUSE Rancher became the obvious choice. 

Maximizing DevOps efficiencies with Kubernetes and SUSE Rancher 

SUSE Rancher immediately delivered granular security controls and provided a single pane of glass, through which an entire Kubernetes ecosystem could easily be viewed and managed.  

SUSE Rancher has also meant zero downtime while applying updates, faster time to market, and automated regulatory controls. System stability has improved, along with employee morale — no more all-nighters to make sure everything works. Teams are now able to iterate faster — up to 20 new deployments are launched each day, versus the previous cadence of once per month. 

Facilitating this new, microservices-centric architecture, SUSE Rancher has also driven the ability to scale at speed. It now takes just a few minutes to load new applications, whereas before it took at least a day. A 99.8% improvement. 

Teams developing business functionality are now less concerned with infrastructure which doesn’t move the business forward. They can now deploy client-servicing functionality with greater confidence and reliability. 

Because of SUSE Rancher’s ability to support high availability and roles-based access controls (RBAC) for thousands of clusters and nodes, teams can also deliver services faster, while remaining compliant. 

SUSE Support has also been instrumental in helping Allan Gray navigate its digital transformation journey. The IT team has called it out as the best support offered out of all of its third party vendors, due to fantastic turnaround times and staff having excellent technical knowledge. 

Testimony to the success of the implementation is the growing adoption of SUSE Rancher within Allan Gray, including the retail and latterly the institutional side of the business. 

The new infrastructure has also helped the company attract talent at a faster pace, no longer having to hire individuals with knowledge of legacy systems, which had become increasingly difficult. 

Allan Gray is planning further innovation, including moving its containerized Kubernetes environments to the cloud, beginning in 2022. SUSE’s commitment to open source philosophy will enable Allan Gray to select its hyperscaler of choice. 

Click here to find out more about how Allan Gray accelerates DevOps strategy and cuts time to market with SUSE Rancher. 

 

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Imran Khan
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