Urbano reaches new horizons with Kubernetes

E-commercing and goods delivery have encountered difficulties in the pandemic and post-pandemic world, and a rapid adaptation to these new needs was of utmost importance in order to keep carrying out the services. Urbano, one of the leading logistic companies in Argentina with more than 1,100 vehicles in their fleet, saw the need to improve their data management to cope with new demands, so it turned to DinoCloud for professional consultancy services and advice as to how to proceed to address these new requirements.
DinoCloud has vast experience and technical resources to successfully create a cloud-first Kubernetes architecture using AWS EKS as their comprehensive medium. Our solution architecture team has deployed a handful of Kubernetes-based infrastructures which results in effective and need-oriented cloud deployment and consultancy.

Enduring in changing times with container clusters

Since the beginning of e-commercing, logistics and carrier companies have faced new challenges in keeping up with the market’s fast-paced demands. During and after the pandemic, the increased package demand has rocketed to new horizons, resulting in new investments on the part of these companies to handle high package traffic. Not only did this involve investing in shipping materials, pieces of equipment, and vehicles, but also in technological services that could improve traffic and data management.

DinoCloud brought Urbano the possibility of migrating its infrastructure to a Kubernetes-based architecture. This was advised so because of the rapid growth Urbano experienced in recent years, and the administrative and scaling complexity that the increased activity would entail was easier to manage with AWS EKS.

Initially, Urbano had its architecture on an on-premise infrastructure, which hindered shipping processes as it could not cope with the high volume of data the company was handling at that time. Knowing that a cloud-first architecture would allow for more traffic and data management, Urbano reached out to DinoCloud for the migration of their architecture to the cloud.

DinoCloud recommended that the best way to approach high-volume data management was to migrate their architecture to a container-based cloud environment. The tech team at Urbano validated this choice. They also believed that having containers to deploy, manage, and scale the application would be the best way to meet the market’s and the company’s needs.
Due to the traffic volume the company was handling, DinoCloud offered Urbano to migrate their on-premise architecture to the cloud using AWS ECS. However, soon after the beginning of the implementation, Urbano experienced quite a boom in their transactions, and the administrative aspects of AWS ECS, albeit easy to configure, proved quite challenging to manage. That is why DinoCloud suggested stopping the migration to AWS ECS and migrating their architecture to the Kubernetes-based AWS EKS.

Meeting requirements and company goals amid unstable markets 

As we stated before, the pandemic rendered companies with new challenges to face up to. Firstly, the supply chain was affected by the regulations imposed by the governments, but, at the same time, social isolation impulsed the demand for door-to-door delivery. Secondly, and as a result of the former, web pages received a flock of traffic, which translated into an increase in operational costs as many people needed to be working on scaling resources and leaving the pages fully functional.

When the coronavirus crisis reached its peak, numerous nations throughout the world imposed lockdown measures, and the share of e-commerce in total retail sales reached previously unheard-of proportions. The e-commerce share reached as high as 31.3 percent in the United Kingdom, a country with an established e-commerce business, before leveling out later. The major nations where e-commerce had a bigger share as a proportion of total retail in the most recent period (as of January 31, 2021) were the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada, at 24, 17, and 15%, respectively.

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Auto-scaling and cost optimization to continue delivering high-quality services

Following up on the boost of demand Urbano was experiencing, DinoCloud suggested that the best way to tackle this and to bring more efficiency to the company’s procedures was to migrate from AWS ECS to AWS EKS. This Kubernetes-based service facilitates the complex management of various services or complex applications.

The implementation of AWS EKS in Urbano did not impose many challenges on DinoCloud’s architects, mainly because of the team’s experience and expertise. When migration started, the architects decided it needed to be done gradually, one environment at a time. During the migration itself, the tech team was attentive to eventual misconfigurations to keep the client’s system away from downtime. After migrating environments, validations were carried out to check their functionality. 

There were no extensive downtime periods, just two hours of it and in non-production environments, and this was achieved by carefully working with the development team. We used Kubernetes’ best practices such as using a GitOps workflow and services meshes to avoid the common pitfalls in connecting new environments with new databases.
After successfully migrating all the environments, the DinoCloud team started optimizing auto-scaling and implementing tools and third-party apps to facilitate deployment and monitoring. Monitoring is a quintessential part of optimizing the infrastructure because it increases production efficiency by studying the metrics and being ready to patch any problems immediately. Also, tests are being run to check how the environments are working and discover if anything needs updating or improvements before going into production.

The benefits of using Kubernetes

The main advantage Urbano benefited from is the scaling based on usage, which gives more availability and the possibility to separate the company’s different services. What the separation into containers allows is to scale independently and not have to scale a whole monolith but to be able to scale the microservices.

Kubernetes provides good availability management because it guarantees the necessary amount of resources to support the load and, at the same time, it maintains costs at the minimum if resources are not needed.

Kubernetes enjoys constant updates, so keeping your production cluster up-to-date is one of the best practices recommended by the Kubernetes community. This was applied to Urbano’s infrastructure to guarantee the functionality of third-party apps or check whether these apps got depreciated. Going in line with updates allows for changes to be implemented gradually and not all simultaneously, thus reducing the possibility of downtime and pitfalls. Also, being updated allows engineers to keep learning more about the components. When a component changes due to a version change, knowledge about the components is mandatory to understand what needs changing.

Finally, another advantage of Kubernetes is its agnosticism; that is to say, there is no dependence on the background operating system, so in this way, migration procedures are carried out much more quickly.

Having a cloud consulting partner to face fluctuating demands

The eCommerce market, and consequently, the logistic and carrier transactions are prone to constant changes. It is vital to rely on a tech company that has the experience and expertise to tackle these changes promptly without affecting the day-to-day business life. As we have dealt with in this article, Urbano experienced changing scenarios that led to seeking out a consulting and developing cloud company like DinoCloud to sweep off those few rocks on the road. 

DinoCloud is also an AWS Premier Partner, which in turn alleviates many of the administrative complexities that having a Kubernetes-based architecture carries along, so our clients can rest on this partnership to greatness, innovation, and efficiency.

About Urbano

Urbano provides logistics and courier services in Argentina and around the globe. This company offers a broad set of customized delivery and shipping options to cater to the enterprise sector and its ever-growing challenge of delivering more, quicker, and for the customer who wants a more effortless and faster purchasing experience. Urbano’s business philosophy is “what’s important is knowing how to get there,” and the perusal of this ideal led them to close deals with huge accounts worldwide.

About DinoCloud

DinoCloud is an Argentine company whose purpose is to assist and guide companies adopting global innovation and cloud computing technologies to grow their customers’ businesses to make them healthier and more competitive. DinoCloud offers an ample array of cloud services and specialties, assisting both in general and market-specific procedures.

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