Better productivity, deployment, and maintenance through post-merger integration of banking IT systems under Mirantis, an enterprise-ready Kubernetes solution

Our client, a large nordic bank, had successfully acquired another bank along with its loan management system. System integration was necessary - ideally under a uniform, efficient, and automated platform. Among a myriad of options, Clurgo managed to identify and implement the best available solution for the client.

Hubert International Expansion Unit

3 February 2022

With great size comes great fragmentability

Many corporations start as small companies. In the beginning, things are easy. There aren’t a lot of people to manage, everybody knows each other, workflows are spontaneous, there may not even be a clear division into departments. But as the company grows, it tends to get fragmented. Departments crop up, each developing a unique working style, potentially out of sync with the others.

A similar dynamic applies to information systems. While initially one might be enough, over time, inevitably, more will appear. Whether down to personal preference or technical considerations, large enterprises may end up hosting and maintaining several distinct IT infrastructures all at once – one based on Tomcat, another on Jboss, yet another on WebLogic. This leads to extra costs because of the need to, for example, manage communication between the systems and hire people to oversee them.

Containerization was supposed to solve this problem, but it fell victim to the same process of differentiation. As of this writing, there are over 100 container orchestration platforms on the market. Often, there is more than one container management platform in operation within a single company.

But imagine an even worse situation: not only do you have to handle several container management systems in your own enterprise, but you inherit more as you absorb another business.

That was the case with our client. Let’s recap: the client was a large nordic bank whose recent acquisition was another bank and its loan management system. Both banks were using containerization, but each employed various orchestration tools to manage their containers. The challenge was to find another system that would be capable of uniting all these diverse tools, driving down the costs and easing maintenance.

Container management systems: too many to choose from

When thinking about container orchestration platforms, one name that instantly comes to mind is Kubernetes. After all, statistics say that 88% of enterprises adopt it. So how hard, you might be inclined to ask, can it be to find the right solution? Why are there so many orchestration platforms out there? Isn’t Kubernetes a one-size-fits-all solution? Not exactly.

The fact of the matter is that most of the many available container management systems are based on Kubernetes. But because Kubernetes is open-source, anybody can tinker with it, spawning numerous iterations that differ between one another in subtle but important ways. Some of these iterations are also open-source, others are proprietary. Some are free of charge, others are paid. It’s not easy to know which version to pick; which one suits your business and technical needs; which one is worth your money. You can’t expect to be versatile enough to navigate your way through the hundreds of options.

Fortunately, we are.

The devil is in the details

Kubernetes-based orchestration platforms may appear similar on the surface. It may be confusing to sift through them and pick the best. Luckily, there are experts that can guide you and help make an informed decision. They know all the options inside out. They have read the fine print.

At Clurgo, we have the expertise on board. We have cut our teeth on Kubernetes and it’s our job to be up to speed with all the recent developments. So after careful consideration, it turned out that the best option for our client was Mirantis, an enterprise-ready, commercial Kubernetes platform.

Why is Mirantis better than the rest? For starters, let’s look at who’s using it. Mirantis has been adopted and is successfully being used by banks, insurance, and telecommunication companies, as well as financial institutions, including the likes of Citizens Bank, PayPal, Ericsson, or Liberty Mutual Insurance. What did these companies find so appealing in Mirantis? Business results. Mirantis enables them to deploy up to tens of thousands of services and containers, reduce storage and server costs by two-digit numbers, go from idea to production in mere hours, move applications to the cloud, cut their use of physical resources in half, centralize their operations, increase hardware efficiency by three quarters, ramp up productivity, and simplify their maintenance processes. With Mirantis, a credit card company went from one hundred thousand to one million transactions a day. These are all tangible and proven results stemming from using Mirantis in enterprise environments.

What are the advantages of Mirantis over “vanilla” Kubernetes? It is a commercial solution augmented with functionalities that you would have to otherwise handle yourself in an open-source Kubernetes installation. Mirantis relieves you of the need to install, configure, and supervise the following: networking; ingress; identity management; monitoring; logging; and alerting. It comes with deployment, onboarding, and – that’s the cherry on top – continuous support. All those features make it a perfect fit for large enterprises that want everything to run out-of-the-box, without getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty of open-source maintenance. That’s what we mean in the title when we call Mirantis an “enterprise-ready” solution.

Two banks under one roof

Today, our client enjoys all the benefits of Mirantis we have talked about: improved efficiency and productivity, easier maintenance and management, as well as continuous support in an all-in-one bundle. After the merger, the two banks now work seamlessly together under the umbrella of Mirantis. Are you tackling a similar challenge? Is your IT system also fragmented and relying on too many container management systems? Let us help.

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