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Migrating from Mirantis to Portainer

Customer Story: Stored Value Solutions

Business overview

Business Focus

Stored Value Solutions (SVS) are a worldwide leader in gift card programs managing more than 700+ gift card programs worldwide.

Based in the United States

SVS process more than 1.5 billion transactions annually in more than 50 countries.

Key Need For Portainer

Wanted to maintain their existing Docker infrastructure while also adding RBAC controls for developers to view logs while not having advanced privileges.

Container Platform
Docker Swarm
Stored_Value_Solutions_Logo

The Challenge

The team at Stored Value Solutions approached Portainer because they weren't completely happy with the support they received from Mirantis. 
 
Travis Worth, Systems Engineer at SVS explains:
 

"We used Docker Support probably once prior to Mirantis’ purchase of Docker. The one time we did, we were told to migrate to a newer version. Fast forward a year or so, and Mirantis purchases Docker and with that came a litany of new support issues.

Our goal was to maintain our Docker infrastructure while adding the ability for RBAC controls for developers to view logs in multiple environments while not having advanced privileges. Initially, we wanted Portainer but RBAC wasn’t quite ready. So for us, we went forward with Docker-EE. At that time it wasn’t a huge deal because it was still just Docker. With Mirantis however, the main focus was to push Kubernetes. It’s even in the name (MKE) for their replacement engine. On a conference call, we were told that Docker customers would be treated as first class citizens. I can tell you that’s very far from the truth. Even a base deploy now, whether you want it or not, includes Kubernetes.

Integrated Kubernetes adds a major headache when it comes to networking. It also adds additional headaches with deployments. Once you’ve grappled with all of that, you get into the complexity of what RHEL has decided to do with RHEL 8 in disabling API access for Docker. In my experience, this causes stability issues no matter how you slice it. What’s worse, I poured through their documentation and it had nothing in terms of answers for how to properly set up Docker in RHEL 8. Point in fact, I asked about 7 or 8 questions via email, and they couldn’t answer them after 7 days. "

The Decision

Moving to a new platform, whatever it might be, isn't something you do without careful consideration to the impact and consequences.

To quote Travis:

Enter Portainer Business. Neil (Portainer CEO) and his team have bent over backwards to help from day one. And I do mean Neil and his team. He’s as responsive as any of the team and for me personally, as a father who also coaches his kids in about everything they play, I respond to that kind of leadership, someone who leads from the front. Portainer just works. It does what Docker does best and uses the same KISS principle I grew up on. Just keep it simple.

The Results

For Stored Value Solutions, the benefits of switching to Portainer for their infrastructure management have been immediate and obvious.

Here's what Travis had to say:

Portainer has been far and away a better product in my opinion. Simply based off the deployment alone, it’s far more straight forward, and there’s nothing deployed that isn’t needed.

One thing that Mirantis does (and I’m trying to think of the best/shortest way to say this) is to deploy 10 services when they could/should deploy 1 or 2. So with that in mind, if we deploy on Linux we aren’t just deploying for the Linux environment, but also deploying Windows connectors and agents. This leaves us with multiple services that are scaled at 0/0.

This is just unnecessary and seems like a security risk to have something constantly running/ listening with no purpose.

Further, it’s never been explained if we can remove them or not without causing problems with functionality.

All this to say, Portainer is far more logical in deployment. Portainer is also ready to be used in current Docker environments. Mirantis can’t even be deployed in 20.04 LTS yet. Further it’s still running on Docker 19. Portainer offers far more flexibility. If we want to use a previous version, no problem. If we want to run newer, we can do that, too. We have choice.

As far as features go, I have yet to find anything Mirantis offers that isn’t done easier through Portainer. Portainer's UI is much easier to navigate. Even the small things that weren’t as straight forward, are still more simplistic than MKE.
 
I wanted to say thank you again to you and all of your staff with how helpful you’ve been thus far. It’s been refreshing.

"Portainer just works. It does what Docker does best and uses the same KISS principle I grew up on. Just keep it simple. Portainer has been far and away a better product (than Mirantis) in my opinion. Simply based off the deployment alone, it’s far more straight forward, and there’s nothing deployed that isn’t needed. "

 

svs
Travis WorthSystems Engineer, Stored Value Solutions

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