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Case Study |

Transact Campus

Next Up: PagerDuty
The Opportunity
Gain visibility into Kubernetes cluster health
Improve and demonstrate compliance to reduce risk
Enable self-service development and application right-sizing for quicker time to value
Fairwinds' Solution
Kubernetes governance software, Fairwinds Insights
Empowers the development team with self-service tooling
Ensure its ephemeral container environments maintain compliance

About Transact

Transact is the leader in innovative payment and mobile credential solutions for a connected campus. Transact solutions facilitate $45 billion in payments annually and have enabled more than 120 million contactless mobile wallet transactions and $200 million in mobile orders in less than three years.

Requirement for Visibility into Cluster Health

A team of six, managing 19 dev and production clusters, the cloud services team is responsible for ensuring production instances run efficiently, are highly available, secure and compliant. 

Jordan McCall, Business Analyst at Transact Campus, said, “In 2021, we realized we needed more visibility into how our containers were performing, to hone our skills for managing those containers and to find a solution to help us become more compliant. After evaluating several tools, we chose Fairwinds Insights because it’s a really good tool for visibility into overall container health. Whereas before we weren't really tracking our container metrics, we’ve now gained metrics and can build a picture and mechanism to help us benchmark our performance over time.”

Fairwinds Insights is a Kubernetes governance platform that allows teams to increase development velocity, provide a great customer experience, avoid downtime and overspending on the cloud. It continuously scans clusters against Kubernetes policies and guardrails to ensure best practices are followed and compliance achieved, helping developers focus on adding new features without worrying about complying with policies.    

Maintain Kubernetes Compliance with SOC2 and PCI

Transact Campus is SOC2 compliant across the organization and requires some pipelines to be PCI compliant. Fairwinds Insights helps Transact ensure its ephemeral container environments maintain compliance. “With Insights, we can set and enforce our compliance policies across all our dev and production environments. Action Items give us visibility into any areas of concern so that we can quickly remediate the problems. The Action Item scorecard is an eye opener. One weekly report showed that we had three new Action Items to handle, and that our team had fixed 435 issues,” said McCall. 

“The audibility of Insights’ Action Items help us to demonstrate compliance by showing how we are monitoring our containerized workloads and fixing issues,” said Mike Bruns, Cloud Automation Specialist, Transact Campus.

Enabling Development Teams

McCall said, “Our platform engineering team builds modular tools for our dev teams, but all the teams are different in some way. There is an art that goes into making a platform that you don’t have to change much for each team, but that can be enabled for them to self-service. You don’t want to keep having to do the work for development.” 

Using Insights, Transact has empowered the development team with self-service tooling. “The development team has access to on-demand right-sizing information so that they can ensure applications are configured correctly and production instances are efficient and available.” 

Further, the Fairwinds’ automated Action Items provide a view into the issues with workload configuration, container security and cost efficiency. “Action Items are a really good flag for issues and provide a feedback loop as you can see where you’ve had issues and where they’ve been fixed,” said McCall. 

“The Action Items are most used by our dev managers. They are able to review the issues, identify what needs to be fixed and schedule the team effectively. It helps us to show improvements in cluster health, reliability, compliance, and cost efficiency over time.” 

Bruns said, “Fairwinds Insights helps bring issues to light faster. It helps our dev managers see shortfalls, understand and more quickly address issues. Our platform team uses Insights to monitor what’s happening, what needs fixing and who is doing it.”

The Future of Insights

“Our intention is to grow awareness of Fairwinds Insights across the organization to get further adoption. The software plays into our data discovery initiative where we rely heavily on key performance indicators to make decisions. Fairwinds Insights is a really good place to start for better business practices,” concluded McCall.

Bruns, “I once read an article that asked what’s the cost of not addressing problems to which the response was ‘what’s the cost of not looking both ways when crossing the street?’ It’s not worth the risk. Insights helps us avoid risk.”

McCall concluded, “Insights is very intuitive, easy to understand and a really good management tool for understanding your overall Kubernetes cluster health and operation. I really care about the efficiency of our Kubernetes clusters and dollars spent. Fairwinds helps me easily get the view into this across all our clusters.”

 

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