Recently in Milan, Red Hat presented an Italian edition of the OpenShift Commons gathering. The event brings together experts from all over the world to discuss open source projects that support the OpenShift and Kubernetes ecosystem as well as to explore best practice for native-cloud application development and getting business value from container technologies at scale. Presenting in Milan were three organizations leading the way: SIA, Poste Italiene and Amadaus.*
Amadeus' OpenShift infrastructure
Amadeus Software Engineer Salvatore Dario Minonne spoke of the five-year relationship between Red Hat and Amadeus. "In the fall of 2014 we got to know the Red Hat engineering team in Raleigh in the United States. Our teams got their hands on the first versions of OpenShift and started a fruitful collaboration with Red Hat that has become a true engineering partnership. We continue to contribute our use cases to the community, to help drive open source innovation that meets our real-world needs," said Minonne.
"Not all Amadeus applications are in the cloud," added Minonne, underlining that their infrastructure is a hybrid of public and private cloud, and there is a careful consideration when migrating workloads to the cloud.
“At Amadeus,” said Minonne, “We are looking closely into multicloud, not just to avoid vendor lock-in, but also to mitigate the risks of impact if something goes wrong with a provider, and to give us the ability to spin down a particular cluster if it is buggy or there is a security issue.”
Minonne talked about the change in mindset required with a move to hybrid cloud. "Software development and management practices must also change, to mitigate compatibility issues that might occur with applications not originally designed for the cloud. In fact, many Kubernetes resources have been created precisely to reduce these incompatibilities.”
Pierluigi Sforza and Paolo Gigante, Senior Solutions Architects working in Poste Italiane's IT Technological Architecture Group, spoke to the OpenShift Milan Commons audience about how Poste Italiane has accelerated its digital transformation efforts in the last year.
Sforza emphasised how they are embracing a DevOps philosophy along with their increased use of open source, which has involved building a closer relationship with Red Hat. Gigante added that the rise in open source at Poste Italiene “reflects the current technology landscape, where rapidly evolving competition, increased digitalization and changing customer expectations require faster time to market, which is one area where proprietary technologies from traditional vendors often fall short.”
Sforza added that, “the need for agility and speed of delivery sometimes necessitates taking a risk in trying less mature technologies, starting by experimenting with the open source community and then relying on trusted vendors, such as Red Hat, to have the levels of security and stability needed to go into production.”
Poste Italiane has been adapting its legacy infrastructures and processes to the new world of DevOps and containerization. This laid the foundation for new projects, such as an adaptation it has made to its financial platform in line with the PSD2 directive. “With OpenShift, we were able to create a reliable, high performance platform perfectly adapted to our needs, in order to meet another of our major business goals: to be at the forefront of innovation,” said Sforza.
The organization’s infrastructure modernization implicates the migration of some workloads off the mainframe. Sforza explained: “Where it makes sense, we are aiming to move monolithic workloads to a containerized infrastructure using microservices, which is more cost effective and gives us greater scalability. This will help us manage applications more efficiently and provide a more slick end-user experience, especially given the rise in customers using our digital channels.”
SIA is headquartered in Milan and operates in 50 countries. SIA is a European leader in the design, construction and management of technology infrastructures and services for financial institutions, central banks, public companies and government entities, focusing on payments, e-money, network services and capital markets.
Nicola Nicolotti, a Senior System Administrator at SIA, explained how they are supporting customers with the move to containers: “the traditional waterfall approach is often not compatible with the adoption of new technologies, which require a deeper level of integration. However, many traditionally structured organizations face multiple difficulties when adopting new technologies and putting changes into practice, so we aim to help them understand what those challenges might be as well as the corresponding solutions that can help them meet their business objectives."
Matteo Combi, SIA Solution Architect, emphasised the importance of collaboration when working with the open source community - not just via software development. "When we participated in Red Hat Summit in Boston, we recognised the value in sharing diverse experiences at an international level. Being able to compare different scenarios enables us to develop new ideas to improve our use of the technology itself as well as how it can be applied to meet our business goals.”
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* Customer insights in this post originally appeared in Italian as part of a special feature in ImpresaCity magazine, issue #33, October 2019, available to read here.