Germany’s Federal Employment Agency partners with SUSE to drive digital innovation in the new world of work


“Even though the migration has only just been completed, it is already clear that we have chosen the right platform for the future. SUSE Rancher and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server are the perfect combination for our requirements.” Frank Bayer Senior Architect for Operating Systems and Container Services IT System House, Federal Employment Agency.

Bundesagentur für Arbeit (BA) – Germany’s Federal Employment Agency – consists of 95,000 employees who facilitate jobs and training across Germany via 800 offices. At the height of the global pandemic BA was able to withstand intense pressure and deliver vital services that preserved jobs and secured livelihoods, dealing with upwards of 1 million telephone calls a day.

As BA’s IT goals shifted from efficiency to agility, the team’s focus turned to container technologies. Monolithic applications were to be replaced by flexibly deployable microservices and new application architecture intended to drastically shorten update cycles.

BA decided to make a strategic switch from its previous container solution to Kubernetes and a suitable management platform. Six platforms were assessed in detail, evaluating functionality, cost, market relevance, data protection, security and complexity.

The final choice was SUSE Rancher, which triumphed based on it being the most advanced and comprehensive tool for managing multiple Kubernetes clusters, especially in an environment with high security requirements. BA’s decision was sealed by the positive experience they’d had to date with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, which had been a vital part of their digital transformation efforts to date.

Managing a multicluster architecture securely and efficiently

In BA’s large and complex container landscape, SUSE Rancher was able to play to its strengths right from the start with a quick and easy deployment phase. The solution presented entirely new possibilities for BA in terms of setting up and managing a multicluster architecture.

BA is now able to centrally monitor and manage all clusters. This minimizes the operational effort by up to 70% and patches can be applied automatically to all clusters in the environment.

Trouble shooting is also simplified as is user authentication and access control which can be managed centrally across all clusters with SUSE Rancher.

The new environment also met BA’s increased security requirements, allowing the IT team to control access to sensitive systems.

Time to market for updates and new services has improved by a factor of 8. This includes new applications, such as chatbot tools that help website users search for information and apply for benefits.

All of this comes with 60% lower costs of ownership and the added benefit of a single source of enterprise grade support.

Click here to find out more about how BA has delivered business critical digital transformation at scale, with a strategic operating system, highly available IT services and agile microservices.

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