"We needed greater agility to enable our own productivity internally," he says. "We decided it was right for us to move everything to the public cloud [Amazon Web Services] to help with that process and be able to access many of the native tools that allows us to move faster by not needing to build everything."
The NAIC also wanted to be cloud-agnostic, "and Kubernetes helps with this for our compute layer," Barker says. "Compute is pretty standard across the clouds, and now we can take advantage of any of them while getting all of the other features Kubernetes offers."
The NAIC currently hosts internal systems and development systems on Kubernetes, and has already seen how impactful it can be. "Our development teams can create rapid prototypes in minutes instead of weeks," Barker says. "This recently happened with an internal tool that had no measurable wait time on the infrastructure. It was solely development bound. There is now a central shared resource that lives in AWS, which means it can grow as needed."
The native integrations into Kubernetes at NAIC has made it easy to write code and have it running in minutes instead of weeks. Applications running on Kubernetes have also proven to be more resilient than those running in other environments. "We even have teams using this to create more internal tools to help with communication or automating some of their current tasks," Barker says.
"We knew that Kubernetes had become the de facto standard for container orchestration," he says. "Two major factors for selecting this were the three major cloud vendors hosting their own versions and having it hosted in a neutral party as fully open source."
As for other CNCF projects, NAIC is using Prometheus on a small scale and hopes to continue using it moving forward because of the seamless integration with Kubernetes. The Association also is considering gRPC
as its internal communications standard, Envoy
in conjunction with Istio for service mesh, OpenTracing
for tracing aggregation, and Fluentd
with its Elasticsearch cluster.