- Achieved parity between development and production systems.
- Supported 50 repositories for 10-15 services.
- Meta data aggregation benchmarks for failure management.
As the research and development branch of a 110-year old steel company, Kloeckner.i provides digitization services for the steel industry. These services usher in changes that are sorely needed in a market where the majority of communications are still done by phone and fax. Supply chain bottlenecks and inventory inefficiencies happen because of outdated methods - Kloeckner.i was created to solve these problems.
In helping to change business processes for the underlying steel business, Kloeckner.i pursued speed and automation to support internal workflows and deployment strategies. This involves key tasks like checking code styles, testing code, creating QA environments and deploying code, while also running integration tests, deploying code to production systems, and scaling all systems when needed.
Kloeckner.i teams needed consistent, user-friendly container management software to migrate data and enhance existing protocols, in order to make the steel business flow and streamline inventory handling. One of the first challenges was designing a project management process for their team’s productivity. The department also had to develop its own repository server, install GitLab and answer complex questions about how to accomplish CI.
Then there was an ambitious plan to supercharge the container implementation processes. The company had to move fast to seek full automation across the board. A lean inventory strategy was a major goal; however, it required specific fixes supported by a container setup geared toward agility and repeatable architectures.
Kloeckner.i selected Rancher as a way to manage container migrations and deployments with a user-friendly, open source model. The company’s eventual containerization plan allowed teams to achieve parity between development systems and production systems. It also made on-boarding easy, streamlining the process by which new workers learn how container processes contribute to operations.
Using Rancher with the GitLab pipeline became a convenient way for Kloeckner.i employees to move through a project quickly and easily.
The company used Rancher’s environment template feature to pursue containerization in a unique way, and to create a streamlined, robust CI/CD pipeline. The development pipeline from the ground up was redesigned substantially. This helped the firm move toward a DevOps model that, in this case, allows them to deliver functionality to both developers and customers.
In addition, Rancher had a big effect on how the company does QA. Now, teams can seed data efficiently and run full stack integration tests in QA environments.
“It’s a lot easier for us to sell change internally with the great tools that Rancher provides with its UI.”
- Florian Kraft, Lead Developer