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Embracing Managed Kubernetes Is a Strategic Move for Your Business

In the continuously evolving world of software engineering and infrastructure management, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) teams have become increasingly important. These people play a critical role in ensuring the operation of cloud-native applications and services, ensuring that everything is running reliably, scales well, and is as cost-efficient as possible. Managing Kubernetes isn’t easy — it’s a complex environment, and the right person for the right role isn’t always straightforward. For many small and medium sized companies, finding a single person or a few people to fill all the SRE needs of a business can be a significant challenge.

At many companies that deliver solutions through technology, maintaining a high level of service reliability is not just a matter of customer satisfaction but a critical aspect of the company’s mission. This responsibility often falls on the shoulders of a single site reliability engineer. Managing the complex infrastructure necessary to support a critical service single-handedly is no small accomplishment (never mind being on call 24/7 with solo pager duty!). And as the company grows, it becomes more important to expand the team by bringing on additional SREs to help manage the infrastructure. Hiring the right person (or people) is sometimes easier said than done.

A Strategic Move to Managed Kubernetes Services

For one company, finding the right candidate for an open K8s SRE position was a daunting task. To help, they looked to the Fairwinds team due to familiarity with their open source software and their Kubernetes governance solution. Fairwinds helped by providing referrals for qualified individuals.

The role required not only a high level of expertise in Site Reliability Engineering but also the willingness to be on call 24/7. Most senior SREs with the level of expertise needed to handle the complexity of the infrastructure don’t want to be on call night and day, which is understandable. Yet the company needed to be sure that their services remained available, reliable, and scalable at all times. After months of searching without finding a suitable candidate, the in-house SRE began to wonder whether hiring another SRE was the right move for them, or whether they would benefit more from Fairwinds’ Managed Kubernetes. The term managed Kubernetes is confusing in the market; lots of people (including the hyperscalers) refer to Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) and other software solutions as managed K8s. The difference between those solutions and Fairwinds’ Managed Kubernetes is that our offering is a white-glove, people-led approach to management of Kubernetes, which takes all the pressure off the customers.

Instead of continuing the fruitless search for a senior SRE willing to take on pager duty, the company decided that Fairwinds’ Managed Kubernetes services offered everything they were looking for in a new hire, and more. This move was not taken lightly but was influenced by experience with Fairwinds, confidence in their skills in Kubernetes management, and their proven track record of excellence managing clusters at scale.

The decision to transition to Fairwinds Managed Kubernetes services meant that the company could now rely on Fairwinds to deliver 24/7 production monitoring, including critical response services for zero-day vulnerabilities, as well as any other issue impacting their infrastructure. The move significantly improved the company’s operational efficiency and reliability by ensuring that their services remained fast, secure, and reliable, even as the business grew and demand for services increased. The choice also alleviated the pressure on the in-house SRE, who was now able to focus on strategic business initiatives rather than being distracted by the day-to-day operational challenges of Kubernetes cluster management. Perhaps better still, he was able to give up the pager and consistently get a good night’s rest.

Resolving Production Incidents Quickly

The benefits of choosing Fairwinds’ Managed Kubernetes became apparent quite quickly. Shortly after handing over management of its Kubernetes clusters to Fairwinds, the company experienced a few production incidents, all of which Fairwinds resolved promptly, demonstrating the value of having a dedicated team of experts monitoring the infrastructure around the clock. By swiftly resolving these production issues, the company not only minimized potential disruptions to their critical services, but also reinforced that the decision to rely on managed services for Kubernetes cluster management was the right one.

“All the troubleshooting and expert review and advice that happens in the Slack channel is awesome. And the team is so responsive - managing our clusters, upgrades, CVEs, 24/7 pager - at this price point, it's a no-brainer for us to partner with Fairwinds to manage our Kubernetes clusters.”

Improving Uptime and Scalability

This company’s decision to embrace Fairwinds’ Managed Kubernetes services highlights the challenges and opportunities of meeting the evolving needs of modern infrastructure management. Maintaining high levels of service reliability is vitally important for many businesses, but even more so for those delivering critical services. For many companies, ensuring uninterrupted service is paramount, and loss of service can impact not only reputation and customer satisfaction, but in some cases even the health and safety for those reliant on their services.

People-led managed Kubernetes services from Fairwinds provided this company, and many others, with a robust solution to a complex problem — delivering the right Kubernetes expertise and skill for every stage of growth. With Fairwinds, the company now has peace of mind that their infrastructure is in capable hands, so they can focus on their core mission. The decision highlights the importance of being able to adapt to changing circumstances in the pursuit of operational excellence to accelerate time-to-market and deploy applications and services with confidence.

Explore Managed Kubernetes