KRZN drives digital transformation with SUSE Rancher

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“Our pace of innovation has accelerated considerably as a result of container technology. We cannot yet estimate what new demands this will place on infrastructure and operations in the future. But with SUSE Rancher, we are prepared for anything.” Jürgen Backes, Team Leader, System Management, Storage and Backup, Kommunales Rechenzentrum Niederrhein (KRZN).

Kommunales Rechenzentrum Niederrhein (KRZN) has been processing data for government institutions for more than 50 years. Today, the municipal IT service provider is one of the pioneers of containerized applications and operates a rapidly growing Kubernetes landscape with SUSE Rancher. This enables KRZN to deliver innovative services, such as web conferencing systems for local governments or digital learning platforms for hundreds of schools, faster, more securely and more efficiently.

KRZN had a history of using containerized applications to improve scalability and achieve higher availability through load balancing. Its container journey began with Docker Swarm, but when support was ended the IT team had to think about their future container strategy. Kubernetes became the obvious choice, given increasing requests from internal development teams to provide Kubernetes clusters for running new applications.

KRZN realized that it could only meet the increasing demand for Kubernetes implementations with a powerful container management platform. The team explored the market and evaluated two solutions in proof-of-concept installations. In the end, the decision was clearly in favor of SUSE Rancher. The decisive factor was how well SUSE Rancher could be integrated into existing infrastructure, along with added functional value, such as integrated support for Microsoft Active Directory. Ease of controlling user authentication and access permissions ensured security controls could be implemented, whilst first-class support gave the team peace of mind.

SUSE Rancher’s ability to manage Kubernetes environments in the cloud from the same interface as the clusters in the data center reassured KRZN that the decision to choose SUSE prepared them well for the future.

Efficient multi-cluster management with minimal personnel effort

The added value of Kubernetes and SUSE Rancher became apparent as early as the implementation of the first containerized application, with the rollout of new digital services for municipalities occurring in minutes instead of days.

The team were able to rapidly deploy Kubernetes clusters with integrated storage for developers.

With Longhorn, KRZN could also provide developers with an easy-to-use storage solution for each cluster. Developers can use it to quickly provision persistent storage for applications in their cluster, increasing availability and making backups easy to create.

SUSE Rancher has delivered efficient multi-cluster management with minimal personnel effort. KRZN’s Kubernetes environment has grown very quickly, but SUSE Rancher allows them to keep operational overhead under control. Administrators have a complete overview of all clusters and can perform tasks such as provisioning, backup, version management and troubleshooting, very efficiently and with a high degree of automation. The SUSE Rancher management platform means KRZN can now manage the entire Kubernetes infrastructure centrally from a single interface and with a very small team. This allows the KRZN IT team to do more with significantly less effort, giving them the capacity to tackle entirely new value-add tasks.

KRZN’s infrastructure is now able to flex and scale with system load, whilst maintaining a good security posture through uniform user authentication and access control.

Click here to find out more about how KRZN drives digital transformation and future readiness with SUSE Rancher.

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