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Orkes Case study

Normalyze Supercharges Microservices Orchestration with Orkes Cloud

Normalyze selects Orkes Cloud for increased microservices orchestration manageability, agility, and near-instantaneous global troubleshooting

Modern software development teams must be able to develop, test, refine, deploy and troubleshoot their software more swiftly than ever before. Modern business demands such agility. Fortunately, a microservices architecture makes such responsive development possible. Yet, microservices architectures aren't without their challenges: notably the increased complexity of data communications and the demands associated with system-wide testing and debugging.
Ravi Ithal, founder and CTO at cloud data security services provider Normalyze knows these microservices challenges well. When the Normalyze development team went to work building their security service, there was no doubt that those services would be built on top of a microservices architecture. "Every company that builds a monolith application goes through the same exercise at some point. They end up breaking it into microservices, disrupting the entire innovation cycle," explains Ithal.



Business Problem

To ensure effective microservices manageability and rapid trouble resolution

Why Normalyze Chose Orkes Cloud

  • Orkes Cloud is a microservices orchestration engine that is focused on microservices, not on data pipelines.
  • Orkes Cloud provides rapid time to value.
  • Orkes Cloud is language agnostic.
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“With Orkes Conductor hosted in Orkes Cloud, we don’t have to think about building and maintaining the orchestration engine ourselves. We can focus on creating an exceptional customer experience and optimizing our margins,”
– Ravi Ithal, Founder & CTO, Normalyze

Normalyze seeks to tame microservices development challenges

As part of the delivery of Normalyze's core security service, the Normalyze cloud data security scanner assesses the customer's cloud environment. It gathers detailed data about the systems and data within that environment. All relevant cloud data security information is assembled within their graph database so that customers can see what data they have residing within their cloud systems and how attackers may attempt to target that data successfully.
Successfully capturing such data from complex cloud environments is a daunting task but essential if the Normalyze cloud data scanner is to model customers' cloud environments accurately. Success requires microservices workflows to be executed in precise patterns, and when assessing extensive cloud environments, troubleshooting faults in assessment-related processes grew more and more demanding.
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It was impossible to try to solve these problems directly within the code adds Ithal.
To ensure effective microservices manageability and rapid trouble resolution, the Normalyze team decided the time was right for microservices orchestration. "We performed a considerable amount of workflow orchestration data-driven experimentation," he explains. "And we realized that if we represented operations as workflows, everyone's job became much easier," he adds.
The team set out to find the ideal microservices orchestration engine. And during the process of their evaluations, they noticed that many of the potential platforms they reviewed were heavily geared toward data pipelines.
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We didn't want data management; we wanted a powerful microservice orchestration engine. After a careful analysis, Normalyze chose Conductor delivered by Orkes Cloud

Normalyze selects Conductor delivered by Orkes Cloud

Orkes Cloud delivers Conductor as a secure, highly performant hosted service. Orkes Cloud enables developers to build their applications quickly without worrying about resiliency or scale.The Orkes' founders developed the engine, Conductor, while working at Netflix and open-sourced the software in 2016. Since then, Conductor has experienced widespread adoption from a passionate developer community.
Today, thousands of organizations, from startups to Fortune 100 organizations, depend on Conductor for their mission-critical systems. How an organization chooses to use Conductor is limited by only imagination, and business cases range from media encoding, e-commerce order management, and continuous integration/deployment pipelines to fintech services and more.
Teams around the world rely upon Conductor on Orkes Cloud to reliably orchestrate their microservices at scale because Orkes Cloud makes it, so they have less to worry about. Orkes Cloud completely handles Conductor installation, tuning, patching, and managing their high-performing Conductor clusters. The enterprise-ready Orkes Cloud provides such features as role-based access control and single sign-on, making it straightforward to implement in any environment securely.
Ithal and the Normalyze team selected Conductor on Orkes Cloud not only because Conductor is a microservices orchestration engine focused on microservices and not only on data pipelines, but also because Orkes Cloud made it a snap to get immediately working and because Orkes Cloud is a language agnostic platform.
The team especially appreciated how easily they could implement Conductor on Orkes Cloud within their environment and how quickly they could see the details pertaining to their complex cloud workflows. "With Orkes Cloud, we can see which APIs are running and understand what they are doing in near real-time. When something unexpected happens, we can troubleshoot that nearly instantaneously," says Ithal
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Looking at Conductor on Orkes Cloud to identify which task is causing trouble, compared to what we were doing before, is like night and day. It's a 90% reduction in time to debug issues, he adds.
When using Conductor managed on Orkes Cloud, the Normalyze development team can now cleanly decouple process flows of their applications from their implementation. This is made possible by orchestrating process flows using configurations separate from their implementation, and various flows can then be created using the same implementation. They can be dynamically changed whenever desired.

Conductor managed by Orkes Cloud: a better way of developing

"Once we completed our first workflow, it became very clear that Conductor managed by Orkes Cloud is a better way of developing," says Ithal.
"Conductor managed on Orkes Cloud makes it very easy to debug issues and provides us the necessary visibility into what is happening. Additionally, with the built-in reporting metrics and the fine-grained workflow performance, our team can move quickly on things without breaking anything. Our newfound reliability is phenomenal," he adds.
We started with one workflow, and it kept growing. We kept adding workflows and now have six different workflows managed by Orkes," he says.
"The value Orkes Cloud provides is considerable. Orkes made deploying Conductor turnkey. We didn't need to throw a team at our orchestration engine. We didn't need a bunch of engineers to dedicate to this. Orkes Cloud made our move to microservices orchestration very easy for us to manage and scale."
The Normalyze team is also looking forward to even more features arriving soon in Orkes Cloud, such as the enhanced visualization, the drag-and-drop U.I., the granular role-based access controls in the security model, and scheduled workflows.
"After moving to Orkes Cloud, managing and troubleshooting workflows has improved tremendously. We are looking forward to continuing with Orkes Cloud and all of the enhancements they have coming in their pipeline," Ithal says.