3 minute read

Kubecost and Camunda

Camunda utilizes GCP and Kubernetes to deliver transformative business process orchestration solutions to its customers. When Camunda launched its new cloud-managed service, it wanted to offer potential customers a 30-day free trial—but reporting on the ROI of this promotion proved to be a challenge. Camunda’s existing tools didn’t provide the granular, namespace-level visibility required to assign cloud costs to individual free trial users. By turning to Kubecost, Camunda now has the insights to understand true Kubernetes-related cloud costs, enabling the company to introduce, optimize, and scale its free trial programs confidently.

Camunda: The Universal Process Orchestrator

Camunda’s universal process orchestrator reinvents process automation for the digital enterprise. Capable of automating any process, anywhere, Camunda enables site-reliability engineering (SRE) teams to orchestrate complex process flows across people, systems, and devices—transforming their organizations toward a digital future. The company’s workflow automation engine, which is source available, innovates process automation with a standards-based, highly scalable, and collaborative approach for business and IT.

Camunda’s customers come from across the financial services, insurance, telecommunications, public sector, media and entertainment, and technology industries, who rely on the fast-scaling company to replace legacy business process management (BPM) tools, including global companies like Atlassian, 24 Hour Fitness, Deutsche Telekom, Universal, and Intuit. Customers can deploy Camunda as a self-managed solution or as a cloud-managed service.

A new cloud offering required a new depth of insights

Camunda utilizes GCP and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), harnessing the advantages of Kubernetes to power its process automation solutions. To promote the launch of Camunda’s new cloud-managed service, the company decided to offer potential customers a 30-day free trial.

However, Camunda wanted greater visibility into the true costs of offering this trial. Getting this right would enable Camunda to fine-tune its strategy and make more accurate data-driven decisions. While Camunda separated customer accounts by namespace within its Kubernetes infrastructure, existing tooling available through Google and other vendors didn’t provide the granularity to view usage by namespace and understand the costs associated with each individual customer. Observing actual infrastructure costs per trial would allow Camunda to right size the trial’s length and optimize the cost-effectiveness and impact of the offer. Camunda hoped to leverage those insights to improve their ROI and reduce and optimize total infrastructure spending.

Kubecost brings true Kubernetes costs into focus

Having identified its monitoring and optimization challenges, Camunda explored potential solutions for achieving a more granular understanding of its free trial costs.

The company initially explored a cloud-provider-specific cost management tool available through its GCP reseller. However, Camunda found it lacking in critical areas. For example, it was only possible to analyze usage metering data with large queries that were cumbersome to use with Google Data Studio. The tool also lacked namespace granularity. Additionally, it created a currency mismatch issue: datasets labeled costs in dollars, even though the company was billed in euros. The tooling also offered a highly technical solution—not suited for easy handoff to and collaboration with Camunda’s finance department. Ultimately, this approach failed to provide the insights and confidence the company was looking for.

Camunda then discovered Kubecost through its research into open source cost-saving tools. The company tested Kubecost’s solution and found that it offered the namespace-level visibility needed to assign and visualize the costs associated with each individual free trial customer. Kubecost also enabled the clear insights that Camunda was looking for when it came to predicting and optimizing Kubernetes infrastructure costs. A shared dashboard facilitated close collaboration with the finance department.

Camunda can now launch and scale solutions with optimal cost-efficiency and impact

With Kubecost in place, the SRE team at Camunda now manages deployments with greater cost efficiency, generating reports and utilizing Kubecost functionality via APIs. Since the successful optimization of its free trial program, Camunda has gone on to leverage Kubecost to assess and optimize its enterprise packages and new customer configurations, improving upon its customer onboarding and hardware utilization strategies.

“Kubecost was quick to set up and to begin receiving cost-saving insights, given our scale of the Kubernetes infrastructure,” said Simon Zengerling, a site reliability engineer at Camunda. “With Kubecost, we were able to improve our cloud cost-efficiencies, and understand exactly how much we’re spending. It also helps our finance team by enabling them to access insights with API simplicity.”

Granular Kubernetes cost visibility gives confidence for scaling strategy

Camunda’s SREs can now optimize their infrastructure, applying insights to designing and scoping products that can maximize business value—while keeping their finance teammates informed with precise visibility and observability of the company’s infrastructure spending. Kubecost’s insights confirmed the efficiency of the company’s free trial offer, and will support future initiatives going forward.

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