Axel Springer SE is the largest publisher in Europe, with numerous digital and multimedia news brands, such as Bild, Die Welt, and Fakt. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, the company is active in more than 40 countries, employs more than 15,000 people and has a total revenue in excess of €3.3 billion.

The infrastructure team at Axel Springer is responsible for managing Kubernetes clusters and its ecosystem of cloud native tools. The team recently adopted GitOps in combination with GitHub Actions as a way to spin up fully functional test environments within minutes.

“The benefit of GitOps for us is to get rid of old-fashioned tools like Jenkins, having complex CICD pipelines and discussions within the teams for who is responsible for which part of this complex CICD platform.” - Andreas Prang, Team Lead Infrastructure Services, Axel Springer SE

The challenges

With multiple teams of engineers rolling out new services and updates to its digital news assets at any given time, the Axel Springer infrastructure team needed an automated and secure method to test, and review new features and updates before they are deployed to production. In order to support the speed of changes to the news portals, the team had to modernize their continuous deployment tools with a focus on automation and stability of test environments.

Complex and error prone CICD tools

Axel Springer is at the beginning of their cloud native transformation and as they embraced new tools such as Docker, Kubernetes and Helm, the operations team quickly realized their delivery pipeline was in need of an overhaul. Complex, error prone and manual workflows slowed productivity and deployment speed.

Automate test environment creation

Developers needed the ability to run services easily on their individual platform. That meant that the infrastructure team needed to put guardrails in place so that developers and product owners could easily and independently create test environments for developing and running acceptance tests before securely deploying updated Docker images to production clusters.

Download the case study to learn how Axel Springer’s infrastructure team was able to set up a Kubernetes platform that allows developers to create test environments on demand. GitOps, GitHub Action and less than 200 lines of code are the basis for automated continuous deployment pipelines that not only accelerate deployment speed but also reduce cognitive load for developers and cloud costs.

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