How Enterprises use Azure AKS — A Serverless Kubernetes Service

Azure AKS is a fully managed Kubernetes service for deploying and managing containerized applications. AKS provides serverless Kubernetes, an integrated CI/CD experience, and enterprise-grade security and governance.
AKS offers elastic provisioning without the need to manage the infrastructure. It also has the features of autoscaling.
AKS provides an end-to-end development experience where we only need to deploy our applications without thinking about the management of the infrastructure. AKS is also available in more regions than any other cloud provider.

Let’s discuss some of the common uses of the AKS:

1. Migrate applications to the containers
Migrate existing applications to containers and run with the managed Kubernetes services provided by Azure that is AKS.

2. Microservices with Azure AKS
Create the microservices architecture easily using the features provided by AKS like horizontal scaling, self-healing, load-balancing, secret management, and a lot more.

3. Achieve DevSecOps with Azure
Implementing DevOps with Security is made easier using AKS. This will help to balance between speed and security along with delivering the code faster at scale.

4. Machine Learning with AKS
The data is growing every day and we generally refer to it as big data. Training an ML model using a large dataset is a complex, time-consuming, and resource-intensive task. We can simplify the training of Machine Learning models using tools like Tensorflow and Kubeflow. Here, the ML model will run in AKS clusters backed by GPU-enabled VMs.

As you had understood how enterprises use AKS for their use cases, let’s take look at one of the customers of Azure AKS and understand how they are using AKS.

Customer story of Azure AKS:

FINASTRA

Finastra is an established leader in financial software and cloud solutions. Its first platform offering, FusionFabric.cloud, launched to public cloud in June 2018.

FusionFabrid.cloud is Finastra’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) development ecosystem. Using its collaborative, open-source environment banks, financial-technology (fintech) providers and developers are creating new applications for retails, corporate banking, payment processing, etc. As a result of this banks and financial services can quickly implement new product innovations on top of the existing systems.

How FINASTRA is using the AKS service?

Kubernetes is the core of the FusionFabric.cloud platform that allows orchestrating the containers. AKS services like scaling, security are beneficial in securely running and scaling the applications on Azure Kubernetes Services.
According to Felix Grevy, Global Head of Product Management, FINASTRA, AKS had given them a pure Kubernetes and Docker imaging environment that they don’t need to manage themselves. Their team has regained the resources to accelerate deployment and maximize their PaaS offering.
To simplify the container development, the team uses Azure Container Registry (ACR). For disaster recovery across different locations, they are using the feature of geo-replication. The ACR can also audit whether data residency is running in the same jurisdiction as the banks. Also, the application autoscaling feature allows meeting the spiked demand of the services and this helps in managing the cost burden.

Tim Sutherland, Global Head of Cloud Enablement and Architecture at Finastra says that AKS has provided the capability to create a self-service platform for their developers to consume, build, and deliver applications within that framework without requiring traditional downstream intervention from other teams.

AKS had significantly improved the velocity and productivity of the developers and reducing lead times for new deployments and subsequent iterations. Before shifting to Azure DevOps and AKS, teams at Finastra used to do a single deployment every few months. But now, teams are deploying on-demand, multiple times during a single sprint. This enables them to make rapid adjustments in live conditions.

Hope this article had given you a high-level idea of how Kubernetes is used in enterprise application development.

Tech blogger, researcher and integrator