In 2016, Booking.com migrated to an OpenShift platform, which gave product developers faster access to infrastructure. But because Kubernetes was abstracted away from the developers, the infrastructure team became a “knowledge bottleneck” when challenges arose. Trying to scale that support wasn’t sustainable.
After a year operating OpenShift, the platform team decided to build its own vanilla Kubernetes platform — and ask developers to learn some Kubernetes in order to use it. “This is not a magical platform,” says Ben Tyler, Principal Developer, B Platform Track. “We’re not claiming that you can just use it with your eyes closed. Developers need to do some learning, and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure they have access to that knowledge.”
Despite the learning curve, there’s been a great uptick in adoption of the new Kubernetes platform. Before containers, creating a new service could take a couple of days if the developers understood Puppet, or weeks if they didn’t. On the new platform, it can take as few as 10 minutes. About 500 new services were built on the platform in the first 8 months.