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Case Study |

Zonar

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The Opportunity
Optimize cloud utilization
Monitor and improve cluster health
Stay current on Kubernetes evolution
Fairwinds' Solution
Fairwinds Managed Kubernetes Services
Fairwinds Insights, a Kubernetes governance platform

Overview

Zonar, a long time Fairwinds’ Managed Kubernetes customer, uses Fairwinds Insights to help improve its Google Cloud utilization. 

About Zonar

Zonar, part of the Continental family, has pioneered smart mobility solutions throughout vocational, pupil, mass transit and commercial trucking industries. The Zonar mission is to enhance the safety, performance, and success of its customers by transforming the delivery of innovative insights for commercial fleets around the world. Cloud-based services with open APIs drive Zonar smart mobility solutions by making it easy for fleet owners and managers to stay connected to their fleets and drivers and operators to dispatch. 

Managing Kubernetes

Zonar migrated to Kubernetes with the help of Fairwinds’ managed Kubernetes services. Today, Fairwinds continues to manage the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) environment on behalf of the Zonar technical cloud operations team. 

Nimret Singh Sandhu, Director, Technical Cloud Operations said, “Kubernetes gives us a lot of capabilities including maximizing the elastic aspect of the cloud and the ability to isolate workloads without bringing down the entire system.”

The technical cloud operations team is responsible for cloud cost optimization, security and operations, and data infrastructure. Zonar leverages Fairwinds expertise to help save time and money and gain Kubernetes expertise without having to hire an entire in-house engineering team to manage clusters. 

Sandhu continued, “Kubernetes evolves so quickly that without Fairwinds, we risk falling behind or missing bug fixes and required patches. With Fairwinds, we don’t have to upgrade and manage Kubernetes ourselves and that’s a big win.” 

Improving Cloud Utilization with Fairwinds Insights

With hundreds of applications running on Kubernetes, Zonar wanted to ensure the efficient utilization of its Google Cloud instance. Zonar operates a shared cluster model with two standard clusters per region - a staging and production cluster. Sandhu said, “There are a lot of challenges around over and under provisioning resources i.e. wasting money vs. causing incidents.” 

With this in mind, Zonar set a goal to achieve 65% utilization of CPU and memory. The cloud team first went through a cost cutting exercise to save 10-15% on cloud costs. Fairwinds Insights is used to provide significant detail into which workloads and namespaces have the most room for improvement. “Insights tells us where we can get the most bang for the buck showing us how to improve Kubernetes clusters.”

Fairwinds Insights is a Kubernetes governance platform that monitors costs and offers recommendations to increase efficiency of Kubernetes compute resources. It provides Kubernetes workload allocation and optimization for organizations to use actual cloud spend and workload usage to understand historical costs incurred across multiple clusters, aggregations, and custom time periods. It also provides Kubernetes rightsizing advice to maximize the efficiency of CPU and memory utilization for workloads with monitoring and advice on resource limits and requests.

Improving Kubernetes Security 

Using Fairwinds Insights, Zonar is also able to tighten cluster security. “We’ve been able to identify images that require updating more centrally and frequently, helping to improve our security posture.” 

Security Action Items are integrated with Jira to open tickets when security issues are identified. Developers can look into the ticket to get advice on how to remediate the issue.

Business Outcomes with Fairwinds

“As customers of Fairwinds Insights and managed Kubernetes services, our entire Kubernetes cluster health is always monitored and improved.”

“Findings from Insights has translated into actual cloud savings and in some cases improving the reliability of our applications. It provides tangible alignment to our business goals by saving cloud resources, time and money. The team is freed up to innovate and ship applications faster without being held back by long development reviews or security constraints. 

“We are able to better serve developers by providing a stable Kubernetes environment because of Fairwinds."

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