Kubernetes Case Study – Camping.info
Learn more about how a platform for camping enthusiasts modernized its IT infrastructure with Kubernetes, Google Cloud and Cloudwürdig.
Camping.info used Kubernetes to eliminate the infrastructure black box
Germany’s Camping.info is well on its way to transforming the old-fashioned business of camping into its full-scale digital potential. As the leading online portal and community for camping enthusiasts, the company’s mission to update the camping world has resulted in a detailed web database of over 23,000 European campsites – each of which contains specific site information and/or ratings from users. This calls for both flexible and powerful technical infrastructure.
Since acquiring the Camping.info domain and portal from a previous owner two years ago, the team has placed great focus on completely revamping its functionality, look and feel. With an open beta launch and rebrand on the horizon for end of 2019, CTO Florian Finke (see picture) knew that any major technical issues needed to be addressed in order to move forward.
Camping.info could not ignore their biggest issue any longer: they were dealing with messy technical infrastructure that was too difficult to handle.
When a clustering challenge meets an AWS conundrum
It’s no easy task to develop and maintain search and filtering for over 23,000 campsites – all with multiple features and properties. Finke and his team required intelligent clustering and flexible infrastructure to quickly make changes as needed. Unfortunately, Amazon Web Services (AWS) wasn’t getting the job done.
“Before I worked with Cloudwürdig, we had a complicated AWS Terraform setup,” Finke said. “We weren’t satisfied with it. None of us could handle it, and we needed a change.”
Finke began looking for a solution and eventually found it in Kubernetes. They decided to move forward with the technology and inquired within their professional network about ways to outsource the migration. A friend recommended an expert at Cloudwürdig.
“Initially, I didn’t want to have this task on my table – I wanted to outsource it,” Finke said. “A subject matter expert from Cloudwürdig explained a different method to me: the Skill Sprint. He told me that it makes sense if we handle the infrastructure ourselves.”
Taking back ownership with a Skill Sprint
“It was an ambitious goal to get everything moved over to Kubernetes in one week, and we almost made it,” Finke said. “I did two mini skill sprints with two of my developers, so they are also able to maintain this.”
Convinced by the prospect of being able to own their DevOps, Finke worked with Cloudwürdig for one week on migrating over to Google Kubernetes Engine. Using the Skill Sprint method, he learned to maintain the very infrastructure he was building.
Although the most powerful Skill Sprints involve two or more developers working with a subject matter expert, this instance saw Finke working as the sole developer with Cloudwürdig to achieve this migration. Despite the downsized setup, the result was a significant portion of infrastructure being moved over to Kubernetes. Most importantly, Finke was able to reproduce the Skill Sprints among his team so that they all became self-sufficient in owning their new infrastructure.
The Skill Sprint’s lasting impact
Finke and his team are thrilled to be moving forward with their beta launch with a newfound ease. This change, facilitated by the Skill Sprint, brought the power of Kubernetes, Google Cloud and technical ownership to a busy team at a critical time.
“Before the Skill Sprint, I was not able to maintain or make changes in the way I needed to,” Finke said. “Now I’m in full control, and I’m able to add new projects and micro services to the Kubernetes cluster and use it in the same way. Plus, I adopted the skill sprint methodology within our team and it went quite well. I’m very happy about it.“
Camping.info is poised for success in creating a truly user-centric platform for camping enthusiasts. With help from its partnership with Cloudwürdig, the company feels better equipped to tackle its ambitious year ahead.