BackgroundFounded in 1820, Indiana University has over 115,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 20,000 faculty members and eight campuses located throughout the state Indiana. The University’s vision is provide their students with the best possible education experience via a world-class IT team.
Challenges For almost a decade the university was building custom scripts and deploying their applications onto VMs. A process that involved lots of manual work. In addition to this, their environment was optimized for their legacy Java-based applications. Today, their growing environment involves new products that aren’t solely java based.
In order to give their students the best experience possible, the University needed to begin modernizing the applications. These applications across both administrative and student lines and include everything from human resources based applications, course selection, finances and other student-facing applications. To do this they would have to embark on a journey to become more agile.
The University wanted improve the way they architect applications, by moving to a microservices based architecture for their applications. But in doing so, they also needed to be enterprise-grade, as Universities must comply with industry regulations, and meet requirements for things like protecting sensitive data such as SSNs and student health data.
Initially the school considered turning to a PaaS solution, and looked at solutions like Cloud Foundry and RedHat Openshift. But in the end, these tools lacked the flexibility that Indiana University required. They were also a bit expensive, and as a public institution they wanted to make smart financial decisions with their IT budget.
Solution Indiana University now leverages Docker Datacenter (DDC), our commercial solution that delivers a Containers as a Service platform and includes: Universal Control Plane (UCP), Docker Trusted Registry (DTR) and the commercially supported Docker Engines (CS Engine). One of the key reasons for selecting the solution was that the university liked that the platform not only deployed on-premises, but gave them the security they needed and the flexible foundation that they were in search of. All for the right price.
By using a Dockerized platform, the university can deliver their applications quickly, with containers. With Docker handling the application containerization, their developers can focus on developing their applications, packaging it as a container. Their IT ops teams can leverage Universal Control Plane to provision docker installed software on hosts, and then deploy their applications without having to do a bunch of manual steps to set up all their infrastructure.
In building out their Docker Datacenter environment, security was a top focus. Since UCP and DTR integrate with their LDAP server Indiana University can quickly provision access to their applications. The role-based access controls within DDC allows them to define the level of access their user have i.e like read-only access to their containers in production. This also controls each user’’ ability to deploy or destroy containers in production. As a larger enterprise, the University has controls and change management processes where developers aren’t allowed to deploy into production. Having the right kind of controls to make sure that changes to production are going through the right processes is now a possibility.