Rijkswaterstaat, an executive agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
Rijkswaterstaat is an executive agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, responsible for the Dutch main road network, the main waterway network, the main water systems, and the environment. The agency is dedicated to promoting safety, mobility, and quality of life in the Netherlands.
Rijkswaterstaat delivers and manages applications that are vital to providing Dutch citizens with high-quality services covering public transport, protecting against flooding, access to clean water, and supporting the local environment.
The agency has been planning adoption of the Kubernetes for months. Along the process, the team responsible for cloud operations at the Rijkswaterstaat has been testing one commercial platform and its capabilities. As it came out, the platform was not reliable enough to meet the conditions required by the Dutch Ministry and its deployment was complicated. In the next stages of testing, it became clear that the tested solution is not working well with a vSphere network component - NSX-T.
Meantime, adopting Kubernetes has become a priority, since some development teams at Rijkswaterstaat were already developing container applications. Before using Cloudboostr, they were using Docker Swarm, which is maintained internally and is a little bit painful when comparing that to fully automated Kubernetes deployment.
Another challenge came to the fact that the platform team at Rijkswaterstaat, despite being fluent with cloud-native tools, was familiar only with Cloud Foundry not with Kubernetes. As a result, development teams using containers couldn’t get proper support with workload management, since even platform engineers, who possess experience regarding platform maintenance, couldn’t handle deployment and maintenance of the whole platform by themselves.
All these challenges occur in a demanding environment - keeping in mind Rijkswaterstaat’s mission, responsibilities to provide public services to the whole nation in the critical areas, the necessity to develop new solutions that meet new demand, and pressure to find financial savings in maintenance and operations.
The agency leverages cloud-native technologies to build and maintain secure, reliable, and scalable applications that affect the everyday life of millions of people in the Netherlands. This level of responsibility obligated Rijkswaterstaat to use only proven software products provided by trusted partners.
The Dutch Ministry possesses in-house teams fluent in cloud-native technologies and working with Pivotal Cloud Foundry as the main platform for building and managing applications in the organization. In the meantime, the agency was receiving reoccurring requests from the development team to equip their toolset with a Kubernetes cluster. While getting more familiar with opportunities gained when using containers to deploy applications, Rijkswaterstaat has decided to look for platforms that empower organizations to use Kubernetes and Open Source Cloud Foundry with enterprise support at the same time.
By offering these technologies along with a complete cloud-native stack and providing an experienced team of cloud-native experts to collaborate with, Cloudboostr has become a natural choice for Rijkswaterstaat.
Cloudboostr is built as a combination of custom code, automation, configuration templates, and trusted architectural patterns. By providing Rijkswaterstaat with a complete cloud-native stack that consists of Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry, and open source tools to maintain their cloud operations, the team developing the Cloudboostr platform started the collaboration with a stage dedicated to getting to know customer requirements, discuss the details, and customize the platform accordingly to Rijkswaterstaat needs.
Along with the installation process, both teams collaborated on knowledge exchange, verifying how Cloudboostr works with other systems used by the Ministry and facing the real use cases that occur in the areas where Rijkswaterstaat provides its services. As the platform is developed by an experienced team of experts that participated in various projects run by the Grape Up team, expertise gathered by years helped to solve some challenges and enable Rijkswaterstaat’s teams to move forward. It’s the part of the offering provided by Grape Up when delivering the Cloudboostr platform that can't be gained by teams that decide to use open source technologies on their own, without enterprise support.
After installing Cloudboostr on the Rijkswaterstaat’s infrastructure, development teams at the agency can use clusters and work with containers. Cloudboostr enables Rijkswaterstaat to put a mission-critical system on Kubernetes, working on top of the Cloudboostr platform. That opens up new opportunities to significantly accelerate software delivery, reduce time-to-market for new services, reacting quickly to the requests reported by users, and providing safe and reliable services. Along with quality and agility improvements, by using Cloudboostr, Rijkswaterstaat can narrow down the cost of cloud infrastructure as Cloudboostr gives the agency an easy way to migrate to Open Source Cloud Foundry which is a huge saving in comparison to commercial platforms.
Rijkswaterstaat continues to collaborate with the Grape Up team, as part of the cooperation obligates Grape Up to provide enterprise support for Cloudboostr.