A leading retail bank from the Netherlands, De Volksbank, has decided to put Kubernetes containers – and Rancher orchestration – at the heart of its strategy to utilize cloud and microservices – to ensure customer safety and usability.
Headquartered in Utrecht, with 3.2 million customers and nearly 3,000 employees, De Volksbank is one of five government-appointed banks leading the Dutch financial infrastructure. The bank has put Kubernetes, and Rancher, at the heart of their business strategies.
The migration to the Rancher platform would accelerate the bank’s move away from traditional, monolithic computing to a “modern” microservices architecture. It would also support de Volksbank’s goal to create a “safe and resilient environment through rapid service innovation.”
De Volksbank is already running all its software and development projects in production in Rancher. The team plans to migrate larger sections of core infrastructure in the next 12 months, with the long-term goal to run its portfolio of financial services in production, as microservices, on Rancher.
Containerized Applications in Production
By 2022, more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, according to Gartner – a significant increase from fewer than 30% today. Currently, 86 percent of enterprise container users are using Kubernetes containers.
Whilst de Volksbank has managed some software delivery and integration processes in containers over the last two years, developers have been required to manage a host of processes (security, network management, load-balancing, etc.) themselves. Previously a drain on resources and a barrier to innovation, these fundamental processes, and many others, are automated in Rancher (Role-based access control (RBAC), Namespace-as-a-Service (NaaS), authentication, Application Catalog etc.), allowing development teams to focus on more strategic projects.
“Containers are now at the heart of our growth and innovation strategy,” said Erik van der Meijde, Platform Delivery Manager at De Volksbank. “In order to be competitive, we need to increase the velocity of development through automation, whilst maintaining reliability and security. Rancher represents ‘next level’ containerization which allows us to become more agile and innovative.”
Rancher would provide a more agile environment for the development of “innovative” new financial services. Such as building AI into predictive voice and text services to resolve customer enquiries faster and more accurately. Rancher would also galvanize De Volksbank’s cloud migration strategy – the bank already has projects running in AWS Cloud, on Rancher, with aspirations scale cloud migration in the coming months.
“Most of all, Rancher allows us the freedom to experiment,” added Van der Meijde. “It is easy to set-up and regulate – we can trial new ideas in minutes, spinning up new instances, and tearing them down at a moment’s notice. Importantly, automation means developers are free to be creative around new financial services, which will hugely benefit our customers in the long-term.”
Rancher not only deploys Kubernetes clusters anywhere, on any provider. It would also unite them under centralized authentication and access control. Since Rancher is agnostic about where resources run, De Volksbank can “easily” bring up clusters in a different provider and migrate resources between them. Instead of having several independent Kubernetes deployments, Rancher would unify them as a single, managed Kubernetes Cloud.
“Companies of all kinds, and in all sectors are under pressure to innovate more quickly and efficiently to remain competitive,” said Jeroen Overmaat, Regional Director at Rancher. “Traditional development methods are time and resource-intensive, Rancher provides a container platform that automates many of the processes that, traditionally, delay development and slow ongoing management.”