“Be smart. Think open source.”
This message appears on Adfinis SyGroup AG’s home page, imploring visitors to stay on the right side of history and technology.
The Switzerland-based company has been a go-to for one-stop enterprise IT services and solutions since the year 2000, and has what it describes as an “intensive partnership” with SUSE since 2014. Most recently, it has integrated the SUSE Certified Cloud Foundry distribution (known as SUSE Cloud Application Platform) into its offerings.
Germany-based SUSE’s approach integrates Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry by containerizing the latter and running it on the former. The result is a smaller Cloud Foundry footprint that Adfinis SyGroup found meshed nicely with the needs and expectations of Swiss customers.
“There are plenty of really big, great global companies in Switzerland,” according to Adfinis SyGroup CEO Nicolas Christener, “but they think very pragmatically. The idea to build a huge Cloud Foundry environment, for example, is not something most companies here are open to. We prefer to develop something that is proven first, then scale.”
Christener explains that developers love Cloud Foundry, but the infrastructure teams felt it was too big until the SUSE distro arrived.
Innovation with a Smaller Footprint
This mindset does not mean that Nicolas and his small company – which has about 50 employees – are cautious when it comes to the use of Cloud Foundry and related technologies. In fact, Adfinis SyGroup has been aggressive in its use of Kubernetes, for example.
Adfinis SyGroup’s engineers gained a lot of Kubernetes know-how early on, so as soon as SUSE developed a solution based on Kubernetes, the team could run Cloud Foundry on top of Kubernetes. This made their entry to Cloud Foundry much easier, as they did not need to know BOSH and could use their existing knowledge of the Helm package manager for Kubernetes.
“We can leverage existing Helm charts onto the SUSE Cloud Foundry platform, thereby preserving existing functionality while benefiting from our new power to manage underlying infrastructure in several cloud environments.”
Adfinis SyGroup also shows how interoperability is now a core benefit of using Cloud Foundry, with its AKS (Azure Kubernetes Service) infrastructure management. “We already have this working, and it will be a huge thing here,” Nicolas says. “There will be plenty of this business, as well as business for Azure in general and AWS (Amazon Web Services).”
Maintaining its position on the leading edge, Adfinis SyGroup and SUSE are also working with interoperable technology from Project Eirini. This project is an incubation within open source Cloud Foundry that lets operators within the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime (CFAR) – a group that includes the SUSE Cloud Application Platform – choose between Kubernetes and CFAR’s Diego to be used as the container orchestration engine for deploying and managing apps.
In turn, the use of Eirini allows the use and reuse of existing Kubernetes cluster infrastructures to host Cloud Foundry applications.
The SUSE motto ‘We adapt, You succeed’ thus fits nicely with Adfinis SyGroup’s approach.
The company remains committed to letting customers select all components of the stack freely, according to their needs – something called ‘open, open source.’
Continuous Innovation Culture
The company’s engineers also continue to get involved early on in beta-test programs, and the team actively contributes to open source projects. As it pushes Cloud Foundry and complementary technologies, it also works on creating DevOps models for its customers. It is also involved with the Digital Sustainability movement. Both Adfinis SyGroup and SUSE are members of a parliamentary group for digital sustainability called Parldigi, as well as the Swiss open source business community CH Open.
“We maintain intensive partnerships with leading providers, communities and manufacturers related to open source technologies,” explained Nicolas. “In collaboration with our customers, we drive technological development forward. We’re able to access the full innovative potential of open source technologies.”