TNO, the Largest Public Research Organization in The Netherlands Uses Rancher to Manage Containers and Accelerate CI/CD

TNO, the Largest Public Research Organization in The Netherlands Uses Rancher to Manage Containers and Accelerate CI/CD

Location: Netherlands

Industry: nonprofit

Company Size: 2,600+

The Highlights

  • Moved timeline for pushing codes to a central git repository, ability to go live in less time.
  • Sped up allocation of VMs, changing project time from minutes to seconds.
  • Enabled better CI/CD for agile processes, utilizing sensor processing and sensor storage for big data projects.
  • Made it easy to scale microservices container environments to build new types of app and codebase setups.

The Customer

As an independent organization that connects people and knowledge, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) helps to provide research results in many sectors, such as energy, education, and biotechnology.

As the company and the technology grew, TNO saw a need to improve on their strategy of using virtual machines to handle diverse code content. For example, to support their legacy code in Windows, TNO needed a solution to combine their Linux and Windows container. By moving to a container methodology, TNO has improved internal workflows and given developers better tools to handle a whole spectrum of challenges that come along with the company’s ambitious research goals.

The Challenge

Eventually, TNO found virtual machines to be somewhat inefficient and resource-heavy, and difficult to allocate or apportion. Teams often had challenges moving projects from a build environment to a production environment, or between different hardware settings. Developers got error messages or other quirks or glitches showed up in transition.

That, plus challenges with scalability and navigating a heterogeneous environment led TNO to evaluate making container orchestration a part of their toolset. A lack of readily available orchestration tools compelled leaders to research vendor and open source solutions.

“Rancher greatly helped us with the continuous integration bits of development.”

Mark Bastiaans, Technical Innovator

The Results

TNO has been able to use Rancher as an orchestration tool to speed up CICD significantly, working with hosts and pushing container images and generally provisioning projects with a modular services approach.

With a user-friendly UI, Rancher is providing TNO with an environment where the API is available inside of the GUI, and accessible. TNO engineers describe how they use the upgrade API call to operate a certain service, and how that is useful in development or in continuous integration. Automating code pushes, they say, allow developers to quickly look at integration and see how the new code assimilates into the existing structure.

“What’s great about Rancher is that the API is available wherever you are in Rancher. Whenever you are in a service or a host, there’s a nice convenient button. It’s all very easy and efficient.”

Johan van der Geest, Research Scientist

See Also

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