Large Healthcare Technology Organization

Cloudreach assisted a leading healthcare technology organization to leverage the full power and capability of container technology for mission critical high availability and resiliency on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) while reducing IT spend. In order to bring their next generation, secure healthcare communications system to market, they turned to Cloudreach to implement a modern Kubernetes based deployment environment which drastically accelerated their time to market.

With a primary focus on security and service availability, we approached the engagement as a multi-phased effort of strategy, system design, Google Container Engine (GKE) implementation, DevOps implementation and, finally, resiliency testing of the system using Chaos Engineering techniques

Project Description

Strategy

Foundational to the success of every Cloudreach project is ensuring the customer is on the right strategic path and has the rightmost tools to accomplish that effort. To start the engagement, we conducted a Modernisation Blueprint. We challenged the design of the system and helped define a far more operationally stable and reliable deployment target on GCP using GKE. Because of this decision, the customer was able to immediately leverage GKE’s HIPAA compliance, reducing their regulatory burden and their Operations and Management (O&M) spend.

Infrastructure Modernisation

We take an automation-focused approach to all of our engagements. To enable that, we concentrate on programmatic code-based solutions and build pipelines allowing us to remove the human element from integration and deployment. In doing so, we are able to rapidly implement a wide array of reliable and repeatable business processes fundamental to the mission critical nature of the system. These processes, among other key processes, included:

  • Continuous security scanning
  • Container building and optimisation
  • Rolling Update Deployments
  • Infrastructure Maintenance

Through the combination of automation and the modern infrastructure of GKE, we were able to implement a highly resilient and verifiably high availability in a timeframe of months.  This effort included handling the auto-scaling of resources as well as containers, enabling a “expandable development environment” for use by developers and testers, and end-to-end encryption both inflight and at rest of all the data that passed through the system.

Once deployed to GCP, the team was able to make appropriate swaps of technologies that would decrease their O&M costs and overall system complexity while increasing their service availability. Some examples of these technology swaps include:

  • Replace Apache Cassandra with Google BigTable
  • Replace Apache Kafka with Cloud PubSub
  • Replace Apache Solr with Google BigQuery

By employing these technology swaps, the team was able to focus on the parts of the system that were unique and specific to the business value drivers. These allowed for even faster delivery of feature/function to production and an increase in the agility of the team.

The Outcome

Deploying a next generation secure communications system in the Healthcare market can often be a complex and risky proposition. The Cloudreach and Client teams were able to leverage modern infrastructure, such as Kubernetes by way of GKE and Automation, such as CI/CD pipelines, to increase agility and confidence in the delivery of the new system. Enabled by multiple work-streams, we were able to deliver the effort at a rapidly accelerated pace and well within the budget and time scope. As an outcome, the Client was able to get the product to market earlier and with a high degree of confidence in the features and stability of the next generation solution.

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