Cloud-Native DevOps at NS
High-speed information for train passengers
The InfoPlus development teams eagerly adopted containers and Kubernetes, but when the project ran out of tracks, they needed a hand - or two - to migrate their software components to our new and improved Kubernetes environments.
Migrating teams and mission-critical systems to a cloud-native and DevOps culture isn’t easy. Especially because 1.3 million train passengers consume information generated by the InfoPlus systems each day, so downtime is simply not an option.
The InfoPlus development teams eagerly adopted containers and Kubernetes, but when the project ran out of tracks, they needed a hand – or two – to migrate their software components to our new and improved Kubernetes environments.
InfoPlus was off to a good start: the microservices architecture was in place, and the team had set up CI/CD pipelines. However, as the teams quickly discovered, getting started is the easy part. The complexity increases rapidly when the number of systems grows. The on-premise hardware and many self-managed tools soon became a bottleneck to the success of InfoPlus. Fullstaq was asked to assist with setting up a new environment to solve these problems.
Beyond Blue’s engineers collaborated with the InfoPlus development teams to establish an architecture and set up a new environment. Instead of creating a new pipeline for every project, we created a universal pipeline based on Azure DevOps for each team to base their pipeline on. With only a few lines of code, a team can integrate all features a proper CI/CD pipeline needs.
We used the latest features and best practices creating the new Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) clusters. Take proper access control, for example; it’s essential for security. So the new AKS clusters use Kubernetes RBAC backed by Azure Active Directory. We installed monitoring solutions to activate alerts and implement proactive maintenance so that the teams were once again in control of their services – the effects of their changes are now immediately visible.
We also dealt with the network issues of the services running on the on-premise hardware. Or rather: we got rid of the hardware. We migrated everything to the Microsoft Azure cloud. Hardware failure or manual maintenance is not an issue for InfoPlus anymore.
And although we are pretty proud of our technical skills, our biggest accomplishment is successfully onboarding the InfoPlus teams into the newly created Microsoft Azure cloud environment. We love to share our knowledge and help teams reach their full potential, which is exactly what we did at InfoPlus. The teams enjoy all the perks and benefits Microsoft Azure and the DevOps mindset offer with their new environment.
InfoPlus is a combined project by the Dutch Railways (NS) and ProRail to improve real-time passenger information. A vital part of the project is harmonizing and integrating the many data sources into a single real-time flow. The digital signage and the recorded messages on the railway stations are just one example of this new combined flow of information.
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