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Case Studies

Overview

Cerberus Interactive chose the Fairwinds’ team’s expertise and experience to manage its Kubernetes infrastructure to support a scalable multiplayer gaming experience.

About Cerberus Interactive

Cerberus Interactive is a mobile games technology company focused on re-defining the location-based games ecosystem. Cerberus recently launched Atlas Empires, a location-based game that “combines the best elements of Pokémon GO and Clash of Clans into its own AR experience.”

Challenge

A gaming startup, Cerberus Interactive was working to launch Atlas Empires. The existing PaaS infrastructure was unable to provide the control the CTO required. Beau Button, CTO, President and Co-founder said, “We wanted more control over our application and were confident that Kubernetes is what was needed.”

“We invested in containerizing our application, were very comfortable with the architecture and were running it in dev in Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS). The challenge was that for our small team, we weren’t confident that by the time our application launched, we’d be able to ingest enough information to be experts in managing a production-grade Kubernetes environment. Even with AKS, there were things that scared us like how to debug or triage infrastructure problems.” 

“Managing our Kubernetes infrastructure was too much for our small team to own. We needed Kubernetes expertise and experience that was second nature to build infrastructure that could scale from a few thousand users to millions.” 

Cerberus wanted expertise to set up Kubernetes and to work alongside a partner to learn more about Kubernetes so as to not create problems. “We wanted to learn from experts so we could build our software leveraging the full benefits of Kubernetes.”

Fairwinds Managed Kubernetes Service

Button was already familiar with Fairwinds because of its open source tools Goldilocks and Polaris and from previous conversations. To support the Atlas Empires upcoming launch, Cerberus chose Fairwinds ClusterOps, a managed Kubernetes service that provides a turnkey, production-grade environment that integrates proven best practices, open source, and Fairwinds software. Fairwinds manages hundreds of clusters, which ensures collective knowledge is completely up to date. Replicating this expertise in-house can be difficult, expensive and distracting. “We selected Fairwinds because of the team’s Kubernetes expertise and the attractive pricing. To hire the staff with equivalent Fairwinds knowledge would be cost prohibitive for our startup and would take us away from building our gaming application.”

Working with Fairwinds, Cerberus added a team of Kubernetes experts to constantly monitor and update its clusters. Much of the work happens in the background allowing the Cerberus in-house team to focus on its applications. Most problems are prevented in the first place, but if an issue arises, it is immediately addressed. “I wanted a backup plan for Kubernetes. Fairwinds is our insurance policy that Kubernetes is done right.”

Button said, “One of the biggest value propositions from Fairwinds is the team’s standardized approach to hundreds of clusters whereas if we hired someone in house because of team attrition, standards wouldn’t necessarily be clear.

“As a startup, we are ensuring we spend all money wisely. Short of paying for the cloud itself, Fairwinds is a high priority for us. With Fairwinds, we get a team that has different Kubernetes expertise, and is able to set up infrastructure in a way that is immediately effective.”

Button is particularly impressed with Fairwinds graduation concept, "Avoiding vendor lock is essential.” Fairwinds Kubernetes Maturity Model provides customers new to Kubernetes or with experience, with a stepped approach. Fairwinds customers may sign up for a Kubernetes service at stage two, but over time graduate to phase 7. “Fairwinds graduation approach is music to my ears, allowing us to get the help, advisory and software as we grow.”

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