Cetera Customer Story

Location: El Segundo, CA

Industry: finance

Company Size: 14,000

The Highlights

  • Expedited the provisioning of hardware for 30-40 different services.
  • Facilitated meeting benchmark of 60% legacy migration.
  • Implemented a new application ecosystem with microservices architecture, basing the architecture on containers.
  • Made container deployment easier, paving the way for quicker innovation.

The Customer

Cetera is the leading network of independent firms empowering the delivery of professional financial advice. The company serves roughly 10,000 individual financial advisors and empowers them to help clients with their retirement planning needs.

The individual advisors rely on Cetera to set up a system that can effectively manage their ever-changing workflows. Cetera needs an enterprise environment that transforms the workflows and provides new benefits for its many users. In part, the company has to evaluate feature sets and drive functionality that makes the platform a place where financial advisors can do business well. Financial tools have to change with the times, and for Cetera, this means a lot of legacy migration to bring the company’s SOA into the twenty-first century.

The Challenge

Barriers in legacy environments made it hard for Cetera to keep the platform up 24/7 and adapt to new regulatory scenarios as federal agencies put new rules in place. Repeatability and architecture transparency were big concerns, leading Cetera to look for a vendor that could help tackle the learning curve inherent in legacy migration and a move toward container-based engineering.

At the same time, the corporate structure meant that the adoption of an orchestration tool required buy-in from various stakeholders. Cetera was able to achieve this with Rancher by impressing executives and analysts with its user-friendly GUI.

“When we started using Rancher, what really stood out was the ease of use for the developers. We could, within an hour, actually have development teams be completely independent.”

Cola Calintaru, Enterprise Architect

The Results

Cetera chose Rancher for container orchestration that led to a consistent process for growing the company’s tool set and provisioning applications with containers. Rancher orchestration helped Cetera progress from the chaos of a diverse system toward an organized environment where very different projects could all be managed in similar ways.

In addition, Cetera’s use of Rancher orchestration contributed to key security upgrades. By separating a DMZ and a LAN area of the company network, Cetera closed the doors on many kinds of hacking and malware attacks.

Another major improvement is in legacy migration. Cetera is now on a path to migrate at least 60% of all legacy apps to a new container ecosystem while phasing out some of the legacy items that are resistant to upgrades.

“The main benefit of Rancher is that it’s a repeatable immutable infrastructure service. It’s been very helpful to us.”

Cola Calintaru, Enterprise Architect