GE Transportation Keeps the Motors Running With Kubernetes and Mesosphere [Case Study]

How does Kubernetes and DC/OS help open new doors and drive powerful results? Learn from real-life experiences of GE Transportation.
How does Kubernetes and DC/OS help open new doors and drive powerful results? Learn from real-life experiences of GE Transportation.

It’s safe to say the team at GE Transportation understands the value of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which powers the very core of their business. Their software provides customers with forward-looking solutions designed to improve the efficiency, productivity, and reliability of their transportation systems.

But to enable the development of these solutions is not a cakewalk. For someone like Wesley Mukai, GE Transportation Digital Solutions CTO, the software his team uses to manage and optimize the intricacies of such ecosystems like railroads, intermodal transports, and mining industries, can be a mix of modern cloud-native solutions, Java-based on-prem applications, and legacy applications – some of which are at least 20 years old. And in an industry where system failures or unplanned downtimes can result in life-threatening situations, they needed a flexible way to automate rollout and product operations for containers and data-services.

“If a customer operates 30 terminals, then it may have 30 instances of an on-premise application running, and that’s very inefficient,” said Mukai. “So even on-premise we want the software to be more consolidated and run more like a private cloud. Doing so makes it much more scalable when, say, the customer adds a 31st terminal to its operations.”

Mesosphere DC/OS enabled the team to provide a more self-service environment for their development teams to independently develop, test, and deploy applications serving customers within GE Transportation.

“Mesosphere was a good starting place for us because we needed a team with a track record of getting projects and products into production and an installed base of customers and partners that we could leverage.”

By deploying DC/OS, GE Transportation can achieve:

  • Developer self-service and enablement
  • Centralized operations team management
  • Increased service uptime and reliability
  • Reduced mean time to recovery (MTR)
  • Certified NIST security and privacy controls

The DC/OS platform also makes it easy for GE Transportation to move data and applications out of traditional and expensive data centers to whichever cloud service provider happens to be optimal at the moment. That kind of agnosticism and lack of lock-in is a big customer win.

“We’ve been really happy with Mesosphere,” said Mukai. “Whether it’s the scoping of licenses, figuring out what we need to buy, or being flexible given our changing timelines, Mesosphere has been very responsive. It’s so valuable to us to find experts in Kubernetes and data services who are willing to spend as much time as it takes and even fly halfway across the country to answer our questions in person.”

To read the full case study, click here to download the GE Transportation case study.