Improved scalability and reliability with Kubernetes

At JuriBlox, we recently decided to migrate our infrastructure from dedicated virtual servers to Kubernetes. You may have heard of it before. Kubernetes is a proven infrastructure platform, but in the world of LegalTech, JuriBlox is one of the early adopters.At JuriBlox, we recently decided to migrate our infrastructure from dedicated virtual servers to Kubernetes. You may have heard of it before. Kubernetes is a proven infrastructure platform, but in the world of LegalTech, JuriBlox is one of the early adopters.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a cloud platform that allows applications to run in separate blocks, also called containers. This means we don’t have to worry about which server our containers are running on. If a container fails, Kubernetes detects it and automatically starts a new container. It can also launch additional containers based on user activity. All these adjustments are done completely automatically and independently.

Why Kubernetes?

JuriBlox’s various products lean heavily on intensive tasks such as document generation and review. These tasks must be able to be performed quickly and on-demand. Furthermore, JuriBlox also experiences peaks where usage of our services is regularly 5 times greater than normal. When these spikes occur, we want to make sure that our infrastructure scales availability immediately. When these peaks are over again, availability must scale back down.

We at JuriBlox are always looking for new techniques to make our products work faster and better. Cloud-native solutions like Kubernetes are a development that allows us to do just that.

At JuriBlox, we embrace cloud-native techniques such as Kubernetes.

JuriBlox has also been allowed to grow significantly over the past year, and the move to Kubernetes also makes us more future-proof for further growth and load on our infrastructure. These could be new features, such as our Multi-Document feature that ensures that multiple documents are generated simultaneously, or connecting enthusiastic new partners who will now draft and review all documents with JuriBlox. Kubernetes ensures that our capacity scales with this growth.

What does this mean for the user?

Now you may be wondering, am I going to notice anything about Kubernetes. Kubernetes offers users the following benefits:

  • Scalability
    JuriBlox tasks will scale faster in Kubernetes, whether you are drafting or reviewing 2 or 10 documents, JuriBlox will present the document faster. This allows you to continue processing the document immediately.
  • Stability
    By redundantly running processes and services within Kubernetes across different geo-zones, we can ensure that our services and services are always accessible and there are multiple replication points if something does go wrong.
  • Security
    Now that we have the opportunity to rethink our infrastructure, we have taken up security best-practices. This results in improvements in observability, auditability and security. Data is stored redundantly and we have made a big step in terms of the security of our infrastructure.

Challenges

Researching and implementing Kubernetes has presented a number of challenges.

Even with Kubernetes, we do still depend on a service provider and will have to move with the capabilities of our cloud provider. Each cloud provider has its own implementation, and this sometimes requires modifications to the software, as well as managing dependencies, building containers that are production capable and meet industry best practices.

All this work to some degree results in vendor lock-in. Making a switch is not an easy decision, and it requires careful consideration. This makes us dependent on this particular partner and requires careful selection.

Finally, the possibilities with Kubernetes are endless and therefore it is important to remain vigilant for scope-creep, where new features and functions increase the scope of the Kubernetes switch.

The victory

Our new JuriBlox Review (formerly Lynn) platform is now fully deployed on our new cloud infrastructure. Several customers have also already been able to take advantage of faster reviews. The migration of all reviews to this new platform will begin in the next quarter. This will be followed by the JuriBlox Create platform, which we will inform you about separately.

About Bart

Bart Faber is IT Infrastructure Architect at JuriBlox and responsible for the IT infrastructure within the organization. Bart is nicely extroverted and likes to keep colleagues on their toes with a joke. Within the team, he is the nerd for infra and technical processes. Furthermore, within the team, Bart is in charge of the implementation and ins and outs of Scrum within the development team as Scrum Master.

Before joining JuriBlox, Bart was a developer at Xolphin where he was responsible for the design and development of a Cloud Signing Service. In addition to his work at JuriBlox, Bart is politically active in Hoorn, where he lives with his husband and foster daughter.


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