IDC Frontier Logo
Industry: MSPs
Location: Japan
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IDC Frontier launches Kubernetes service with Rancher


  • Delivers managed container services.
  • Cuts time to develop new digital services by over 50%.
  • Automates Kubernetes upgrades, freeing time for value-added activities.


IDC Frontier is the SoftBank Group's corporate digital infrastructure business company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Operating large-scale data centers in the Tokyo metropolitan area, eastern Japan and western Japan, IDC Frontier delivers high-quality solutions to organizations across the country. 

IDC Frontier’s comprehensive service offering spans network security and operational monitoring, as well as cloud computing and storage services. The company aims to create a future in which all customers can gain maximum business benefit from innovative digital services, all while making the underlying infrastructure seamless.


As an innovative cloud services provider (CSP) in Japan, IDC Frontier wanted to cut time-to-market for new offerings and enable its customers to benefit from the latest technologies. By combining Kubernetes with Rancher Prime and SUSE Technical Support, IDC Frontier has launched a managed container service for multi-cloud and multi-infrastructure in the Japanese market. What’s more, the company successfully accelerated its own internal development processes and minimized the additional management overhead of running Kubernetes, thanks to the powerful automation capabilities of Rancher Prime.

Journey to containers

Always aiming for industry leadership, IDC Frontier offers customers early access to new technologies for first-mover, fast-mover advantage. As the popularity of containerization grew, the company wanted to bring the benefits to clients across Japan. Such benefits include lower system resource requirements and costs, faster application deployment and increased portability when shifting applications between cloud platforms.

IDC Frontier selected Kubernetes — designed to help organizations deploy, scale and manage containerized applications — as the foundational technology for a new offering called IDCF Cloud Container. Recognizing that it would be costly and complex to manage a large multitenant landscape with vanilla Kubernetes, IDC Frontier looked for a way to simplify and automate operations.

“In SUSE, we have found a partner that is as committed to open source software as we are, and we’re looking forward to many years of successful collaboration.”

Why SUSE Solutions?

Rancher Prime

IDC Frontier set out a clear roadmap for IDCF Cloud Container. Initially, the service would focus on internal users. Subsequently, the company would open the solution up to its entire customer base in Japan. While there was extensive in-house expertise in public and private cloud deployments on virtual and bare metal servers, IDC Frontier had yet to gain experience with Kubernetes. 

To simplify, automate and accelerate Kubernetes management, IDC Frontier decided to use Rancher Prime from SUSE. This enabled the internal team to acquire valuable skills around Kubernetes without the burden of manually managing and maintaining containers. 

SUSE Technical Support 

IDC Frontier has used SUSE Technical Support throughout its adoption and subsequent usage of Rancher Prime. Offering rapid access to expert advice and fixes, the service helps IDC Frontier keep moving forward with new business applications without getting bogged down in technical issues.

Impact of Rancher Prime

Making a fast start

Using Rancher Prime enabled IDC Frontier to get started quickly with its Kubernetes-based containerization solution. The highly intuitive user interface for Rancher Prime made it relatively easy for the internal team to get up to speed with building and managing Kubernetes environments.

Mr. Takuya Fujishiro from IDC Frontier says, “We were extremely impressed with the one-push deployment capability in Rancher Prime, which makes it fast and easy for us to deploy new containerized builds to production.”

Powering new offerings

Through its collaboration with SUSE, IDC Frontier successfully brought its new managed container services offering to market in Japan. Today, the company uses Rancher Prime to deliver a reliable Kubernetes platform to clients as well as internal users.

“One of the key benefits of Rancher Prime is that it makes it easy to manage even complex Kubernetes environments,” says Mr. Haruhiko Kajikawa from IDC Frontier. “We lacked the in-house resources to develop a solution like Rancher Prime internally, and there’s no way we could offer our Kubernetes service to end users without such a management platform.”

Slashing time to market

By providing containerized environments to its own development teams on demand, IDC Frontier is accelerating the development of new products and offerings dramatically.

In the past, developing an internal-facing database service might have taken around two years to complete. Mr. Fujishiro says, “With Kubernetes and Rancher Prime, we can complete the same work in less than a year — more than 50% faster. In our industry, continuous innovation is vital for success, and through our partnership with SUSE we’re staying one step ahead of the market.”

Minimizing management complexity

To maintain high levels of security and performance, IDC Frontier must ensure that it patches and upgrades its Kubernetes platform in a timely manner. If the company relied on manual tools to manage the environment, this work would consume significant internal resources. But with Rancher Prime, the entire process happens seamlessly and automatically.

“SUSE is a cloud computing company, and pushing out new Kubernetes builds is all part of its core business,” explains Mr. Kajikawa. “With Rancher Prime, we get the latest Kubernetes version updates without the need to spend hours typing in commands.”


Impact of SUSE Technical Support 


SUSE’s Technical Support had a significant impact on the company’s success. Mr. Fujishiro says: “From pre-development to production, the support we’ve received from SUSE has been excellent. The SUSE team is always willing to escalate tickets to their engineers, and we’ve found them to be highly responsive to our requests.”


What’s next for IDC Frontier?


As it steadily onboards new clients to the IDCF Cloud Container service, IDC Frontier is excited to continue its collaboration with SUSE. The company plans to augment its governance and compliance capabilities with the next-generation Kubernetes distribution RKE2, to add new cloud native distributed storage options for clients with Longhorn and to strengthen container security with NeuVector.

“In SUSE, we have found a partner that is as committed to open source software as we are, and we’re looking forward to many years of successful collaboration,” concludes Mr. Kajikawa.