Case study

How Grundfos is fueling water sustainability with Kubernetes

Water is one of the world’s most precious resources. Meanwhile, 785 million people do not have basic access to it within a 30-minute walk from their homes.
Company Size:
20,000
Industry:
Manufacturing
Country:
Denmark
2021-2022
Technologies used:
Azure DevOps
Kubernetes

Ensuring that everyone has the ability to reach safely managed drinking water is an immensely important goal. But it is also an enormous challenge. One that Grundfos does not shy away from.


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Making a difference

Grundfos is a Danish company established in 1945 as a water pump manufacturer. Today, the organization spans 100 companies across 60 countries, employing nearly 20,000 people.

Through a culture of innovation and sustainability, Grundfos works tirelessly to protect water resources around the world and contribute to the protection of our planet.

Industry pioneers

The people of Grundfos are focused on finding new ways to save natural resources and reduce negative climate impact. In the fast-moving world, this means a constant stream of ideas that need to be validated and tested for the benefit of the customers.

A lot of the groundbreaking work happens at Grundfos Innovation Center. Within it, multiple teams develop commercial buildings, domestic buildings, district energy, and water utility applications for Grundfos customers around the world.

An example of such an application is Commercial Wastewater. It helps to improve water efficiency and reduce energy consumption in cities.

Given the size of the organization and the ever-expanding nature of its operations, it was necessary to consider an enterprise-scale development platform for the company’s programming teams.

Grundfos chose to work with Microsoft technology as they have already had success with Azure. Predica was selected to be their project partner due to their long-term cooperation with both Grundfos and Microsoft.

Scaling up

The goal of the new development platform is to provide a highly scalable application infrastructure. It needs to handle heavy and highly variable loads without sacrificing availability. At the same time, it has to be fully controllable to avoid generating high costs.

Another important consideration is to develop a single deployment framework. With hundreds of deployments happening every day, it is crucial to ensure that compliance with security standards and company policies can be maintained at scale.

To meet these needs, Grundfos decided to work with Kubernetes, container orchestration software and one of the top open-source projects of all time.

Kubernetes provides the optimal way to use the Azure cloud infrastructure and development platform, shortens release cycles, and is faster to work with than Virtual Machines. It is a perfect choice for lean-agile development and building container-based solutions at scale, such as ones at the Grundfos Innovation Center.

The aim of the project was to gain the ability to build scalable and reliable applications faster. Our goal is to provide sustainable, smart solutions to the world’s water problems. Working with Microsoft and Predica, we developed the Kubernetes platform running on the Azure cloud, which fully supports that purpose.

Henrik Rokkjær Fløe

Director, Grundfos

Future-ready technology

The platform has a lot of features that make it perfect for meeting current challenges and ready to be expanded in the future.

The key aspect of the solution is that it is cloud-based and runs entirely on Microsoft Azure. It is also flexible, as services built on top of it can be deployed to any Kubernetes cluster, regardless of the cloud it’s stored in.

The platform also enables secretless coding for greater security. Azure Key Vault is used to protect the data. Thanks to Azure AD, authentication is enforced at the service level.

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The project came to life with input from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Open source components have greatly enriched the platform’s functionality by utilizing the best from Microsoft Azure and CNCF. They allow Grundfos to monitor the performance of the service and ensure that all systems run smoothly.

Extensive analytics also allow the organization to optimize costs, as all resources are fully accountable.

The platform is used by 18 teams, developing dozens of applications at a time. It enables them to build and deploy in an agile fashion, testing and building new ideas faster.

Changing the world, one cluster at a time

As Grundfos look to expand their operations around the world in their quest to save the planet’s precious resources, their IT applications infrastructure keeps up the pace.

Working with Microsoft and Predica, the organization plans to take advantage of the cloud and containers to speed up the development of new services in new locations for more customers around the globe.

We strive to enable people everywhere to focus on delivering meaningful results. Empowering Grundfos in their journey to bring safe, clean water to people is a tremendous undertaking and one we are immensely proud of. We look forward to continuing our cooperation for a better future.

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