“What we especially liked about Kontena, is that all the batteries are included. Utilizing Kontena’s ready-made container orchestration platform saved us several months of manual work. With limited resources here at Bunch, we were able to spend the time we saved writing code for our product rather than having to build, integrate and configure a container environment using separate components.”

Charles Ahmadzadeh, Co-founder and Engineering at Bunch

Bunch is a Berlin-based start-up, and creator of the Bunch-team management platform, dedicated to enabling teams around the world to better understand, cultivate and use their unique culture as a competitive advantage. Bunch analytics deliver profound insights into workstyles of individuals and teams, allowing teams to map their dynamics, measure team cohesion and to maximize performance in the workplace.

Bunch leverages Kontena’s container orchestration platform to power their culture analytics tool, that is used all over the world by team leads and team members to proactively develop their teams, steering their teams to success and driving growth. Following is the story of Bunch’s adoption of Kontena.

The Challenge

As a fast-growing start-up, Bunch needed an easy-to-use and maintain solution, offering container orchestration, a built-in load balancer, as well as configuration and secrets management, and service discovery. Ideally, they wanted to host off-premise as much as possible, as they did not have the manpower required to host or orchestrate anything on-site. “We were looking for a solution that worked with minimal effort out-of-the-box, and that enabled continuous deployment, testing, and load balancing. We wanted to be able to quickly ship to production with a CI/CD environment and have it run and scale our container service”, Ahmadzadeh recalls.

The Answer: Kontena’s User-Friendly Container Solution

Kontena offered all of these features and more, and it is the optimal trade-off between self-hosted services and those hosted off-site; whereas other options were deemed too heavy (complicated and missing critical batteries) for Bunch’s use case. Having these features plugged into the orchestration with zero downtime, allowed Bunch to just push their containers to production through CI/CD pipeline automation, thus representing savings in both people hours and monetary terms.

“This is why we picked Kontena, as it saved us an enormous amount of time and effort. We didn’t need to spend weeks integrating, scripting and setting up a CI/CD scaling pipeline” explains Ahmadzadeh further.

The Implementation

“One thing that I especially like about Kontena, is that it is not locked to a specific cloud provider. The fact that if we have to, we can switch providers or even use a hybrid deployment where we could for instance, deploy some containers to a public cloud and some to a private data center, is a positive benefit” Ahmadzadeh, co-founder of the AI start-up stresses.

Bunch uses Kontena to operate their backend & machine learning stack, running more than 60 containers. A hosted master managed by Kontena enables them to easily achieve a high availability setup with zero maintenance, while running their own nodes on AWS to keep control of key infrastructure design aspects (public/private networks, hosting in Frankfurt, availability zones, etc.). The Kontena Vault enables them to easily configure secrets and environment variables for each of these services, making it very easy to setup highly secured staging and production environments.

Bunch also leverages the features of the Kontena load-balancer to perform service discovery, path & host based routing as well as automatically provision and renew certificates with Let’s Encrypt.

Kontena is integrated in their CI pipeline on Travis CI. Achieving zero downtime continuous deployments is as easy as running “kontena stack upgrade” using the Kontena-CLI. The ease of use and infrastructure automation provided by Kontena lets them focus on building features and enables them to ship new services from 0 to production in a couple of hours.

Summary

About Bunch

Bunch harnesses the power of data and psychology to redefine how companies work. Bunch’s team management platform enables companies to build, manage, and scale organizational culture with strategic hires and real-time analytics.

Need

An easy to use and maintain container management platform to allow continuous deployments with zero downtime to power Bunch’s team management platform, the culture analytics tool for growth culture based on the “Organizational Culture Profiling” method developed at Stanford University.

Solution Benefits

Kontena provided Bunch with a platform that was not only easy to use and maintain, but had all the vital features such as a built-in load balancer, secret management, configuration management and service discovery as needed, and best of all, it was able to be fully hosted off-site.

Kontena offered Bunch unbeatable time and resource savings, thus giving them the ability to focus on developing their culture analytics tool and methodology, rather than on building, integrating and maintaining a complex system.

Bunch Appreciates the Key Features of Kontena:
  • No vendor lock-in allows easy switching between cloud providers
  • Hybrid environment compatibility
  • Works out-of-the-box with little maintenance required, saving Bunch time that could be better spent developing their own product.
  • Ease of use, easy to set up and simple to use at any scale; doesn’t require a whole team to run or maintain. It’s a perfect solution for small start-ups and larger organizations who do not want to be bothered with building, integrating, configuring and maintaining a container environment on their own.
  • Complete platform with integrated load balancer, secrets management, configuration management and service discovery.
  • Off-premise availability allowed Bunch to focus on their own product rather than on maintaining a complex system.
Bunch at a Glance:

Bunch is a team management platform enabling companies to build, manage, and scale organizational culture with strategic hires and real-time analytics. Bunch’s Berlin-based team combines deep knowledge of organizational psychology with machine learning expertise, and they are building Bunch’s platform to be at the heart of every innovating organization. Bunch sends the strong message that a culture of growth is crucial to success, and proactive management is the best way to stay ahead. The team behind the Berlin-based company is led by Darja Gutnick (MSc. in Psychology), Anthony A. Reo (BA Conflict Analysis & Resolution) and Charles Ahmadzadeh (MSc. Software Engineering) and launched its service in 2017. Bunch is backed by High Tech Gründerfonds, Atlantic Labs, MAKERS and Hyperion Invest.

Charles Ahmadzadeh is co-founder at Bunch.ai and runs their engineering team. Bunch is the team management platform for managing culture with data. Full stack software generalist with a knack for data, Charles is passionate about Software Craftsmanship, reactive architectures and Audio Synthesis. In addition to growing the engineers team at Bunch Charles mentors developers at askadev.org.

About Kontena Inc.

Kontena Inc. is specialized in creating the most developer friendly solution for running containers. Kontena's products are built on open source technology developed and maintained by Kontena. Kontena was founded in 2015 and has offices in Helsinki, Finland and New York, USA. More information: www.kontena.io.

Image Credits: Data sorting flow process by Amiak on Shutterstock.