Continental Innovates with Rancher and Kubernetes
“When I look at the most advanced digital organizations such as Google, Netflix, Amazon and Facebook, they’re running service-orientated architectures, with estates of microservices, completely decoupled from one another but managed centrally. We aspire to reach this point and Rancher is an important part of the journey.” Anthony Andrades, Head of Global Infrastructure Strategy, Schneider Electric
When your company is born in the first Industrial Revolution, how do you stay relevant in the digital age? For Schneider Electric, the answer is continuous innovation, driven by its heritage in the electricity market. Founded in the 1880s, Schneider Electric is a leading provider of energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. Believing access to energy and digital services is a basic human right, Schneider Electric creates integrated solutions for homes, commercial and municipal buildings, data centers and industrial infrastructure. By putting efficiency and sustainability at the heart of the portfolio, the company helps consumers and businesses make the most of their energy resources.
Today, Schneider Electric is at a turning point – embarking on a significant transformation by modernizing its legacy systems to create a cluster of cloud-native microservices to become more agile and innovative. The company started its move to the cloud in 2013, with a couple of business-driven projects running on Amazon Web Services (AWS). By 2016, their AWS footprint was global, and an infrastructure migration was underway. At the same time, they were experimenting with Kubernetes but faced some challenges with access control.
In 2018, the company carried out a successful proof of concept (PoC) with Rancher Labs and security partner Aqua. This resulted in deploying Rancher on top of Kubernetes to provide access control, identity management and globalized performance metrics. A year later, Schneider chose Rancher to underpin its container management platform, deploying it on 20 nodes.
The company has been undergoing technical evolution for 25 years, in which they built and deployed thousands of separate services and applications running on Windows Server or Red Hat. Now these services must be re-engineered or rebuilt before migrating to the cloud – a process that they expect to take five years. In 2019, the team started the painstaking process of analyzing the entire estate of applications, categorizing each one according to the most appropriate and efficient way to modernize and migrate.
Over the last year, the team has successfully migrated four applications, which are now managed in 40 nodes with Rancher. With Rancher’s intuitive interface, the team can quickly check the status of clusters without having to manually check performance, workload status or resource usage. The team appreciates that they don’t need to worry about the underlying infrastructure.
Read our case study to hear more about Schneider Electric’s technical and cultural transformation and why their relationship with Rancher is critical for success.