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May Monthly Special 2022

An innovator maximizing public cloud innovation with minimized operations: Appvia

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Founded in 2018 with a vision to make cloud delivery simple and secure, Appvia is a trusted partner to organizations worldwide, from financial services to government entities. The founding team behind Appvia was working with the Home Office to transform the way it delivers digital services. With more than 700 developers working on 400 apps, the stakes were high. Kubernetes had recently emerged as a viable solution to the problem of getting developers to use containers consistently at scale. Drawing on the company’s extensive experience of software engineering for large organizations, the team decided to build a system, the precursor to Appvia, to harness the abilities of this new technology. Appvia empowers organizations to confidently pursue cloud with products that make Kubernetes secure, cost-effective and scalable.

Starting in cloud, the right way is hard. Doing it with the right multi team cloud set up is even harder. Appvia’s Cloud Native Landing Zone framework utilizes its experience in building and maintaining landing zones for operating in the cloud, securely. Appvia’s prebaked solution is then tailored to your organization's needs to give you the confidence to realize the benefits of a cloud first strategy. Appvia’s Solutions Architects work with yours to map out your technical and business requirements in design sessions to build an automated and repeatable infrastructure to protect your organization against unmanaged cloud sprawl, both in terms of security and cost.

Large Financial Institution Smoothly Migrates To Cloud

The client is a closely governed; extremely risk averse organization whose reputation and security had to be protected at all costs. They have high-level auditing controls and run primarily on a traditional data centre model. This large financial institution had a twofold challenge: 1) They needed to vacate their on-premise data center that came alongside an expensive contract and 2) they had software that was rapidly approaching end of life. The most obvious direction: Port their applications to the cloud. Appvia’s multi-disciplined team was embedded into the organization, navigating cultural and process changes to ensure the entire team was working towards a shared outcome: A seamless, secure migration of the services to cloud. The organization had a pressing, time-sensitive need to port their legacy applications to the cloud. Some applications were in an on-premise data center that needed to be vacated. Others were running on soon-to-be obsolete versions. Simply extending the existing data center contract was not a viable option, because the costs were prohibitive with little to no return. The better solution was to leverage the cloud. With a full understanding of the positive opportunities of cloud, and how migrating these services would provide the catalyst to enable many of their other services to exploit cloud, they It soon became apparent that although a migration might be relatively straight forward in a technical sense, there were still many sizable organisational considerations to address to ensure the services were fully secure, governed, supported and consumable by the end user, post transition.

Appvia had already proven to be a trusted technical delivery partner within the organization on a different project, so they approached us to strategize and execute their cloud migration, amend governance processes and introduce best-practices. Appvia needed to also train, upskill and transfer this best-practice knowledge to in-house teams so they can continually deliver value post-migration. The Appvia team consisted of engineering and delivery professionals which were embedded into the organization to collaborate with cyber security, service management, architecture and finance to design, build and implement the following in Microsoft Azure:

A secure landing zone: This provides not only a single location for user interaction, but also solid foundation for the proper use of cloud technology. A secure landing zone allows for extensions and future growth.

An on-boarding mechanism for applications: Rather than each application having its own approach to build and deployment, Appvia implemented a common CI/CD process. This technique ensures security will be incorporated into the applications as early as possible in the build process.

Containerization: Having introduced a new application development paradigm for cloud, Appvia further refined it to include containerization.

Training: Appvia provided several courses in various topics including Git, Kubernetes and Helm. The training was a combination of instructor-led classroom sessions complemented by self-serve exercises for delegates to complete at their own pace.

The results: This organization is still early in their cloud adoption efforts, but their cloud adoption strategy is now mature, future-proof and based on solid security guidelines and best practices for Microsoft Azure.

Terranetes

Terranetes enables application developers to self-serve cloud resources with minimal user input using Helm packages. You can either choose from Appvia’s list of packages available on artifacthub.io or adopt Appvia’s pattern and use tf2helm to build out your own packages. The solution leverages Terraform and Helm to create a Kubernetes Custom Resource Definition (CRD) Object watched and understood by the Appvia Terraform Controller which then triggers a workflow that applies a referenced Terraform module. Kev accelerates application development on Kubernetes. It understands the Docker Compose application topology and prepares it for deployment in target environments, with minimal user input and minimal Kubernetes expertise. Integration with Skaffold automates the build, test and deploy cycle, enabling developers to iterate quickly.

Jon Shanks, CEO

“Our Enterprise solutions and community tools enable cloud native adoption securely so that you can focus on making high-impact changes frequently for your business”