Cloud-Native GIS, Ready for Your Enterprise

Many organizations are making the transition to cloud-native computing. According to the Linux Foundation, an open-source technology hub, this means that “managing containerized applications at scale is the order of the day (or soon will be).”

Containerization simplifies software management by packaging an app’s code together with the files and libraries it needs to run. Kubernetes is an open-source system that automatically deploys, scales, and manages containerized apps. It ensures that containerized software is highly available—that is, it can operate continuously at a high level, without intervention, for a given period—and resilient, meaning it can recover from system failure. A Kubernetes deployment system decreases downtime for users during updates and disruptions and makes it easier to run software at scale.

Deploying ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes allows organizations to easily add users and new deployments to their enterprise systems and share data among them all. It also handles unpredictable demand well. And now, ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes is available to anyone who’s interested in cloud-native GIS, with or without an enterprise agreement.

Consistent Performance and Hassle-Free Upgrades

Every time an organization’s software experiences an outage due to increased demand or the need to do updates, the costs to business and productivity can be staggering. A one-hour outage of Amazon in 2021 cost the company an estimated $34 million in sales, according to a report from The Independent. A six- to seven-hour outage of Facebook and its subsidiaries in the same year cost the company nearly $100 million, according to Fortune. And the effects of outages extend far beyond revenue loss. Employee productivity goes down and, in some cases, customers lose trust in a brand.

Kubernetes can keep a deployment stable. When an organization’s apps or software are hit by an unpredictable rise in demand, Kubernetes can load balance and distribute network traffic. This cuts down on the amount of hardware an organization needs to install and prevents unnecessary spending. Plus, Kubernetes is a self-healing system that keeps services running while fixing failures. So end users don’t get disrupted, and administrators don’t need to intervene.

Since Kubernetes is architected with containers, deploying ArcGIS Enterprise in a Kubernetes environment is fast. Whereas it can take days or weeks to set up an enterprise deployment on physical machines (depending on the size and needs of an organization), with Kubernetes it can take less than an hour. Kubernetes also makes it quicker and easier to perform upgrades. It generally requires less than an hour to upgrade ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes so that it’s running the latest version. In fact, one user reported that it took just 20 minutes to upgrade their organization’s ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes deployment.

Cost-Effective Enterprise GIS, Even as Demand Grows

Esri recently released a new subscription pricing model for ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes that allows organizations to simplify licensing and avoid having to forecast demand to estimate future licensing costs in advance.

For organizations that already use ArcGIS Enterprise on Windows and Linux and are considering moving to a cloud-native deployment, it is typical to continue hosting ArcGIS Enterprise on physical servers while adding an ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes subscription. This enables these organizations to keep their existing infrastructure as they deploy parts of their system onto a managed Kubernetes service on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, or Red Hat OpenShift. As these organizations transfer more of their data and systems to a cloud-native environment, they can reduce their usage of Windows and Linux.

Esri account managers can help individual organizations evaluate how best to deploy ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes in their current environments in a way that supports their IT modernization strategies.

Faster Insight and Better GIS Experiences

Working with Kubernetes impacts many areas of business, from the IT and GIS departments to anyone who uses GIS data. Early adopters of ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes are seeing significant improvements in system performance. They can provide geospatial insight to stakeholders more quickly than before and deliver better GIS experiences to their users.

Esri partner Managed Business Solutions, LLC (MBS), for example, tested ArcGIS Enterprise for Kubernetes as a potential deployment environment for one of its federal government customers and found that, using a map service that contained more than 26 million records, the system processed an impressive 38,000 requests in less than three minutes. In a proof-of-concept article published about the trial, MBS’s GIS team said that “MBS, the client, and Esri were extremely impressed with the performance results…when compared to a traditional environment. ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes…deserves strong consideration when architecting high-load GIS systems.”

Learn more about ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes. For specifics on pricing and setup, current Esri users should contact their account managers.