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Based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Mountain State Software Solutions (MS3) is a consultancy specializing in solution engineering and software integration for both commercial and federal customers. As a leading provider of enterprise-ready, mission-critical software, MS3’s solutions give globally distributed organizations the ability to meet complex integration challenges. MS3 focuses on finding the right solution for the business needs that are both cost-effective and create true business value, including strategic SOA planning, SOA security architecture, enterprise application integration, and cloud services integration.
With the explosion in digital transactions and transformation initiatives following the onset of COVID-19, MS3’s customers faced a common problem in increasing agility without sacrificing end customer security and performance. With more of its businesses moving digital, MS3 needed a simple way to address cross-cutting concerns such as encryption, identity and tracing to accelerate the building of new cloud native applications using containers and Kubernetes.
“Our customers want to provide the best possible experience for their customers, and being agile and able to rapidly improve their software is critical to that,” said Aaron Weikle, CEO of MS3. “That means that it’s critical for us to provide our customers with the best possible strategies, tools and solutions to help them move faster, be more secure and be better able to adapt to changing market conditions.”
MS3 Customers Need High Performance for Improved Customer Experience
Standing in the way of this goal was the inflexibility of the customers’ legacy systems due to their inability to work with Kubernetes and containerized workloads. To embrace cloud native principles and platforms, the legacy solutions would require MS3 customers to undertake forklift upgrades now and in the future, severely limiting their agility. “Our customers trust us to help them make the right decisions for what they need today and what they will need tomorrow,” said Weikle. “What we consistently saw was that there was not a solution available that would set our customers up for success in the cost-effective manner that’s core to what we at MS3 provide.”
More challenging still, the customers’ heavyweight ESB and legacy API management systems were failing to maintain the performance needed to ensure an ideal customer experience. To combat these challenges for its customers, MS3 decided to create a new platform utilizing service mesh to address cross-cutting concerns across containerized and VM workloads without sacrificing performance. “We saw service mesh as a foundation we could build on to create a broad-based solution for handling high-performance, high-scale use cases,” said Weikle. “Being able to inject end-to-end security and tracing without introducing performance issues is huge for our customers.”
After evaluating multiple service meshes on the market, MS3 selected Kong Mesh to form the backbone of its new Enterprise Integration Platform. While other service meshes provided part of the solution with handling Kubernetes workloads, they fell short on their support for the virtual machines that form the bulk of MS3’s enterprise customers workloads. “Our customers are some of the largest and most established brands in the world, and they have huge estates of virtual machines,” Weikle said. “We chose Kong Mesh in large part because we needed a solution that would allow our customers to support both Kubernetes and virtual machines, while providing an easier path to migrating between the two. We want something that can grow with our customers so that they can focus on building their business.”
To ensure that its Kong Mesh-based solution was battle-tested for customers, MS3 took an “eat-your-own-dog-food” approach and implemented the platform for its internal applications at MS3. Central to getting this initiative off the ground was Kong Mesh’s ease of use, which allowed the MS3 team to rapidly ramp and implement the product to underpin their internal employee platforms. Using Kong Mesh, the MS3 team has been able to successfully maintain performance and scalability without introducing substantial management overhead. “We knew that using an Envoy-based solution would provide the performance that we needed, but what has been particularly powerful for us is how Kong Mesh’s control plane lets us remove complexity,” Weikle said. “Kong Mesh allows us to abstract away a lot of the challenges that come with trying to run large complex applications at scale without sacrificing performance.”
MS3’s goal is to provide its customers with a comprehensive solution for their integration and connectivity needs. Kong Mesh’s ability to work with the Kong Gateway provides a clear path for delivering a seamless experience across customer use cases for both greenfield and brownfield applications.
“Being able to work with a single vendor to deliver a full-stack solution is a huge value for us. With Kong Mesh and Kong, we know that our customers will get a flexible, high-performance solution for all their needs, now and in the future.”– Aaron Weikle, CEO at MS3
“Being able to work with a single vendor to deliver a full-stack solution is a huge value for us. With Kong Mesh and Kong, we know that our customers will get a flexible, high-performance solution for all their needs, now and in the future.”
– Aaron Weikle, CEO at MS3