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Kubernetes for Finservs – Unlocking success in digital transformations

Kris Sharma

on 10 January 2022

The global health crisis has accelerated the digital transformation within the financial services industry. A McKinsey report highlights that “In a competitive environment of rising cost pressures, where rapid action and response is imperative, financial institutions must modernise their technology function to support expanded digitisation of both the front and back ends of their businesses.”

To serve the on-demand customer, financial institutions must become agile digital enterprises focused on delivering innovative products, services, and customer experiences. Containerisation and Kubernetes have a key role to play in enabling financial institutions to meet the needs of customers at speed and scale.

Finserv cloud-native infrastructure

It is not always feasible for financial institutions to keep up with consumer demand through real-time customisation, instant scalability, and response to evolving security challenges with traditional on-prem systems.

Containers offer a logical packaging tool in which applications can be decoupled from the underlying infrastructure on which they run. This allows container-based applications to be installed easily and consistently, regardless of whether the target environment is a private or a public cloud. With containerization, development teams move fast, deploy software efficiently, and operate at an unprecedented scale.

Containers have dramatically risen in popularity because they provide a consistent way to package application components and their dependencies into a single object that can run in any environment. By packaging code and its dependencies into containers, a development team can use standardised units of code as consistent building blocks. 

Containerisation is secure because applications and data are ‘contained’ within a workload and do not impact other containers unless made so. However, despite the advantages, containers are hard to manage and track individually, and across multiple cloud platforms. Container orchestration solves this issue by automating the management and tracking of containers.

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that allows large numbers of containers to work together in harmony and reduces operational burdens. In fact, Kubernetes, originally developed by Google and now managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), has become the standard for cloud container orchestration, providing a platform for automating deployment, scaling and operations of application containers.

Why Kubernetes?

Our Kubernetes and cloud native operations report based on the survey data from 1200 respondents finds that automation, infrastructure modernisation and ‘faster time to market’ are key motivators for enterprises to adopt Kubernetes.

There are several reasons that containers, with Kubernetes as their “partner,” have become a linchpin in building cloud-native applications.

First, containers shall allow financial institutions to reduce their IT spending. They can be packed more densely on server instances, reducing the resources needed to run the same application, whether in a data centre or the cloud. Containers make it easier to build workflows for applications that run between on-premises and cloud environments, enabling the smooth operation of almost any hybrid environment. Across an organisation, the cost savings can be significant.

When deployed successfully, Kubernetes helps financial institutions to develop, run, and manage cloud applications in multiple environments, delivering agility and reliability. Rapid deployment and updating of applications, and maximising resource utilisation, is also enabled by the usage of Kubernetes.

Second, they improve developer productivity by allowing organisations to develop, test, and deploy applications faster. And developers don’t have to worry that an application that worked properly on the local machine won’t work in another environment. The container will run the same way in any environment and can start and terminate quickly, allowing applications to scale to any size. All of this cuts down friction in building enterprise applications that deliver on business goals and accelerates time to market.

Third, Kubernetes makes it easier to manage software complexity. As enterprise applications become more complex, development and operations (DevOps) teams need a tool that can orchestrate that complexity.

The container-based orchestration environment provided by Kubernetes offers significant flexibility in relation to building a financial institution’s cloud environment, whether in the public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid. Irrespective of the type of bank (retail, commercial, investment, and others), Kubernetes effortlessly runs tasks on the private or public cloud. It allows for teams to easily move existing workloads and create new ones, especially in the service-oriented architecture.

Canonical Kubernetes

Canonical Kubernetes is an umbrella term for all of Canonical’s Kubernetes products and services. Canonical has two CNCF-certified Kubernetes distributions, MicroK8s and Charmed Kubernetes, to address small/streamlined and large/complex cluster deployments. 

Charmed Kubernetes is an enterprise-scale, composable Kubernetes for multi-cloud deployments. Charmed K8s leverages the model-driven operations approach, which offers straightforward cluster lifecycle management and compatibility with cloud services as well as legacy application architectures.

Canonical is also a Certified Kubernetes Service Provider (CKSP) and provides enterprise support and consulting services. 

The Kubernetes crew at Canonical is delighted to announce that Canonical Kubernetes 1.23 is now generally available. To learn more about the new features in Canonical Kubernetes 1.23 release, read the recent blog.

Kubernetes – A digital transformation imperative

Containerisation and Kubernetes have become inextricably woven into the digital transformation imperative. By understanding why these technologies are so important and how best to leverage them, financial institutions can execute their digital strategy faster.

For Kubernetes and containers to become the primary platform for running applications across any infrastructure, Financial institutions need to have a clear plan for Kubernetes adoption within their enterprise. It starts with understanding where Kubernetes is running in the organisation and imagining how it is going to change over the next 3-5 years. For financial institutions that are focusing on a “cloud-first” IT strategy, Kubernetes adoption shall form part of a larger cloud strategy. With a focus on a hybrid multi-cloud strategy, financial institutions will need to leverage Kubernetes adoption as an opportunity to unify interaction with various cloud providers.

Get in touch with us to learn how organisations across the globe are using Canonical Kubernetes to become agile digital enterprises and delivering innovative products and services to their customers.

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Photo by Rinson Chory on Unsplash

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What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes, or K8s for short, is an open source platform pioneered by Google, which started as a simple container orchestration tool but has grown into a platform for deploying, monitoring and managing apps and services across clouds.

Learn more about Kubernetes ›

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