How Kubernetes is helping Bose to solve its challenges

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes, also known as K8s, is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It groups containers that make up an application into logical units for easy management and discovery. Kubernetes builds upon 15 years of experience of running production workloads at Google, combined with best-of-breed ideas and practices from the community. It is designed on the same principles that allows Google to run billions of containers a week, Kubernetes can scale without increasing your ops team. Kubernetes is open source giving you the freedom to take advantage of on-premises, hybrid, or public cloud infrastructure, letting you effortlessly move workloads to where it matters to you.

Features of Kubernetes :-

♦ Kubernetes progressively rolls out changes to your application or its configuration, while monitoring application health to ensure it doesn’t kill all your instances at the same time. If something goes wrong, Kubernetes will rollback the change for you. Take advantage of a growing ecosystem of deployment solutions.

♦ Deploy and update secrets and application configuration without rebuilding your image and without exposing secrets in your stack configuration.

♦ In addition to services, Kubernetes can manage your batch and CI workloads, replacing containers that fail, if desired.

♦ Scale your application up and down with a simple command, with a UI, or automatically based on CPU usage.

♦ No need to modify your application to use an unfamiliar service discovery mechanism. Kubernetes gives Pods their own IP addresses and a single DNS name for a set of Pods, and can load-balance across them.

♦ Automatically mount the storage system of your choice, whether from local storage, a public cloud provider such as GCP or AWS, or a network storage system such as NFS, iSCSI, Gluster, Ceph, Cinder, or Flocker.

♦ Automatically places containers based on their resource requirements and other constraints, while not sacrificing availability. Mix critical and best-effort workloads in order to drive up utilization and save even more resources.

♦ Restarts containers that fail, replaces and reschedules containers when nodes die, kills containers that don’t respond to your user-defined health check, and doesn’t advertise them to clients until they are ready to serve.

About Bose :-

Bose Corporation is an American manufacturing company that predominantly sells audio equipment. The company was established by Amar Bose in 1964 and is based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Bose is best known for its home audio systems and speakers, noise-cancelling headphones, professional audio products and automobile sound systems. Bose has a reputation for being particularly protective of its patents, trademarks, and brands.

The Challenge :-

Bose has offered connected products for more than five years, and as that demand grew, the infrastructure had to change to support it. “We needed to provide a mechanism for developers to rapidly prototype and deploy services all the way to production pretty fast,” says Lead Cloud Engineer Josh West. In 2016, the company decided to start building a platform from scratch. The primary goal: “To be one to two steps ahead of the different product groups so that we are never scrambling to catch up with their scale,” says Cloud Architecture Manager Dylan O’Mahony.

The Solution :-

From the beginning, the team knew it wanted a microservices architecture. After evaluating and prototyping a couple of orchestration solutions, the team decided to adopt Kubernetes for its scaled IoT Platform-as-a-Service running on AWS. The platform, which also incorporated Prometheus monitoring, launched in production in 2017, serving over 3 million connected products from the get-go. Bose has since adopted a number of other CNCF technologies, including Fluentd, CoreDNS, Jaeger, and OpenTracing.

The Result :-

With about 100 engineers onboarded, the platform is now enabling 30,000 non-production deployments across dozens of microservices per year. In 2018, there were 1250+ production deployments. Just one production cluster holds 1,800 namespaces and 340 worker nodes. “We had a brand new service taken from concept through coding and deployment all the way to production, including hardening, security testing and so forth, in less than two and a half weeks,” says O’Mahony.

At Bose we’re building an IoT platform that has enabled our physical products. If it weren’t for Kubernetes and the rest of the CNCF projects being free open source software with such a strong community, we would never have achieved scale, or even gotten to launch on schedule.

— JOSH WEST, LEAD CLOUD ENGINEER, BOSE

The team spent time working on choosing tooling to make the experience easier for developers. “Our developers interact with tools provided by our Ops team, and the Ops team run all of their tooling on top of Kubernetes,” says O’Mahony. “We try not to make direct Kubernetes access the only way. In fact, ideally, our developers wouldn’t even need to know that they’re running on Kubernetes.” Today, just one of Bose’s production clusters holds 1,800 namespaces/discrete services and 340 nodes. With about 100 engineers now onboarded, the platform infrastructure is now enabling 30,000 non-production deployments across dozens of microservices per year. In 2018, there were 1250+ production deployments.. It’s a staggering improvement over some of Bose’s previous deployment processes, which supported far fewer deployments and services.

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