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Case Studies

Overview

Boxed is using Fairwinds Insights to limit security vulnerability exposure, reduce cloud spend and improve sprint planning.

About Boxed

Boxed was founded by an experienced group of tech pioneers with a simple idea: make shopping for bulk easy, convenient and fun, so you can focus on the things that really matter.

Challenges

Security and efficiency are two main concerns for most Kubernetes users. There can be a lack of visibility into potential Kubernetes applications’ security and efficiency. While great open source tools exist, operalizationalizing them at scale across multiple teams is expensive and often manual. It can also be difficult to look into a Kubernetes cluster to understand the cost of a workload and how to fine tune it for better application performance.  

The Boxed DevOps team was under pressure to reduce cloud spend. To achieve this, they needed to evaluate Kubernetes workload utilization and associated costs, however the team lacked this visibility.

Solution

Boxed turned to Fairwinds Insights, a cloud based, open source as a service platform for DevOps teams who manage multiple Kubernetes clusters and need visibility into potential problems. Fairwinds Insights integrates best-of-breed Kubernetes tools that improve cluster security, engineering efficiency, workload reliability, and auditing.

“We use Fairwinds Insights as an overall monitoring tool for our clusters. It consolidates all our alerts and security in one place helping to lower the resources needed to identify problems.”
Brent Jaworski, Lead DevOps engineer at Boxed

With Fairwinds Insights, Boxed gained visibility into their Kubernetes cluster and deployment configurations so its team could prioritize and plan improvements across development, security, and operations.

Outcome

The Boxed team saw both tangible and intangible benefits from Fairwinds Insights. 

Cloud spend visibility - Running a large scale ecommerce business in the cloud requires balancing app performance and efficiency. The Boxed DevOps team needed a way to show the cost of their Kubernetes application to different product owners and the CTO and CRO. Using intelligent recommendations from Fairwinds Insights, the Boxed team can provide its CTO and product owners details into the cost of each application and optimize compute profiles to make savings. The Fairwinds Insights platform also helps Boxed prioritize which apps are needed and could be deprioritized to help reduce costs. 

Improved security posture - Securing containers and Kubernetes is a moving target with new vulnerabilities discovered every day. While companies benefit from accelerated development velocity, they also need to ensure security best practices are integrated into the process and being followed. Fairwinds Insights gave Boxed visibility into its Kubernetes clusters so the DevOps team can proactively limit exposure. The team uses Fairwinds Insights to:

  • Ensure Kubernetes configurations do not introduce security weaknesses, such as containers running as root
  • Manage image vulnerabilities, making sure that if its Boxed images are built, they are fixed
  • Monitor containers that have no resources or health checks set, which can lead to overspending on compute or potential denial of service

Time saved - Boxed uses Fairwinds Insights to prioritize its DevOps team’s projects and sprint planning. Further, Fairwinds Insights data helps initiate conversations between DevOps and security, helping to bridge the gap between two often disparate teams. 

“Prior to Fairwinds Insights, to understand our deployments and prioritize our team’s projects, required a manual process of finding a scanning tool and running it on every workload. This takes multiple days of manual testing. With Fairwinds Insights, we now have a configuration validation tool that runs automatically and presents aggregated data in one place."

Boxed is able to make essential security and efficiency improvements to its core Kubernetes applications helping to increase security, save money and improve planning to avoid problems. 

"Fairwinds Insights gives us a top down, holistic view of the overall health of our clusters. It is much easier for us to identify problems and prioritize fixes with Fairwinds Insights. It’s been a really great tool for our team.” 

Brent Jaworski, Lead DevOps Engineer, Boxed


 

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