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          DevOps & Cloud

          Swedish Car Manufacturer - Implementing the customer PaaS solution with the Azure ARO platform

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          CROZ team has been engaged by one of the world-leading providers of transport solutions as well as a provider of industrial and marine engines. We are one of the partners participating in the implementation of the custom developer-oriented, enterprise-grade platform based on the Azure ARO PaaS offering.

          Challenge

          The main challenge was to build a standardized and fully managed self-service container platform on top of the Azure Red Hat OpenShift PaaS solution and services offered by the client. The major purpose of this service is to provide a self-service container platform for developer teams, that is both highly available, as well as standardized and managed externally. Additionally, it provides benefits such as CI/CD automation, acceleration of application delivery times, disaster recovery and backup, data persistence and zero application downtime during maintenance of the platform. The ARO platform targets customers ready to benefit from the enterprise-grade Azure services integrated – a containerized application platform that includes unified signup, service management and technical support.

          Solution

          ARO, standing for “Azure Red Hat OpenShift”, is an enterprise-grade, open-source platform that permits running container-based solutions. This service includes unified signup, service management and technical support. It offers fully managed clusters and provides integration with Azure services.

          Azure Red Hat OpenShift

          Source: Cloudnative Community

           

          Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift is a management service with two subdivisions: the full service of the platform and the facilities to develop and run applications on it. The installation and management of ARO as a platform is developed by Microsoft and Red Hat through joint automation. This allowed the customer to focus solely on running and developing its’ applications without having to worry about maintaining the platform or hardware.

          The benefits of Azure Red Hat OpenShift include:

          • the speed of implementation
          • flexibility and scalability in the solution
          • the simplicity of the tool

           

          In addition to the benefits provided by the MS ARO platform, HCL and CROZ experts implemented a number of solutions to identified customer-use cases, building on top of the ARO-managed platform. This allowed the customer to take advantage of a complete service, including all required components and operations to host applications. The CROZ team worked on these and other use cases with the customers’ experts participating in daily operational and supporting tasks on the project.

          Technological requirements

          From the technological requirements perspective, the base ARO platform had to be “enriched” by installing additional verified platform OCP operators, both the official RH certified ones and 3rd party ones. CROZ experts provisioned and configured pre-prod and prod ARO OCP clusters, which included tasks of configuring alerting, OAuth integration, project self-provisioning and templates, general cluster settings, etc. With a project of this size and complexity, cluster logging and observability through alerting are absolutely vital. Therefore, an application and infra logging solution based on the Openshift Logging operator was implemented. Among other use cases identified, there was a need for configurable Openshift builds, which was successfully provided through the configuration of Openshift S2I Docker build with pre-approved RHEL software repositories for developers to choose from. To keep cluster resources uncluttered, we also configured and deployed cluster-wide images/builds/deployments stale-resource pruner cron jobs. Like in any production setting, disaster recovery is a must and has been taken care of by the implementation of the general backup/restore solution based on the Velero tool.

          On top of the aforementioned tasks, CROZ consultants also performed standard OCP post-installation configuration tasks, and security hardening practices on both ARO clusters, as well as identified and solved numerous issues with the intended use-case configuration of the deployed operators and other software components.

           

          Overall, the project was very complex and required good coordination and cooperation between all the parties involved. CROZ experts provided specialized Openshift consultancy, education and support, and were instrumental in seeing the project reach its’ go-live phase.

          Technologies we used

          Azure OpenShift

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