Why is running a Kubernetes employee challenge a good idea?

Bring a little competition to the table and the excitement of learning the Kubernetes basics is a bit more fun.

Kubernetes is an open source orchestration platform which automates the process of deploying and scaling container applications. Over the last years our customer base and the maturity of our services aligned with Kubernetes has grown hand in hand. Kubernetes has been the buzzword of the last years and is about to become the standard for running modern applications. For the good and the bad. The good for its scalability and robustness, for the bad that this platform is not always the best fit for all needs when it comes to cost effectiveness and ease of management due to high degree of complexity.

Anyways, training the different roles in our company to understand the scenarios and to be able to coach and advise our customers, is an important responsibility. Understanding how our customers are building and deploying their application in these environments are key to also explain what value a Managed Service Partner like Basefarm can bring to this service. And to fulfill the cycle, collect important feedback from our customers to improve and mature the service further.


In May and June, we arranged a Zero to Hero AKS Skill Challenge together with Microsoft with the main focus on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). All participants went through several hands-on modules where they created clusters, explored deployments options for pods, monitored health of a cluster and scaled applications. The challenge got a lot of good feedback and was a great success with almost 40 participants from different departments attending the challenge.

With even more people upgrading their skills in a fun way, we have increased our ability to continuously deliver value to our customers which is key to how we develop and improve our services for the future.

By Geir Morten Allum, Product Manager, Azure services in Basefarm



Historic data is an insufficient basis for making good decisions

You cannot see the future by looking backwards. That’s why it’s important for Swedish business leaders to take charge of their decisions by ensuring access to up-to-date data. So writes Fredrik Ohlsen, CEO at Basefarm.

Trends based on how the market has evolved historically are not infrequently used as the basis for decisions on how Swedish companies should act going forward. The problem with this approach is that old data is no longer enough to be able to make good decisions. Combined with the traditional Swedish approach in which “everybody” is involved in decision-making, this unfortunately creates a sluggish approach to business that risks making Swedish companies less competitive than they have hitherto been.

Data about the past is only a fraction of what is required to make smart decisions. As business processes become increasingly interlinked with IT processes, companies and organizations need to learn to focus and act on what is happening right now.

To achieve this, companies have to ensure that rapid technological development becomes an advantage rather than an obstacle. Data that allows companies to make good decisions is available, and when the manager has easy access to it, he or she can make quick decisions, without having to fear that the basis for such decisions is wrong or flawed.

We have to be humble when faced with the fact that almost unbelievable developments in IT have meant that there is no longer anything to be gained from trying to predict the future. Development is simply moving far too fast for that. Instead, the answer is to invest significantly in day-to-day continuous development that focuses on the very latest technologies, such as public clouds, AI, big data or other elements of the digitalization process. This puts IT service providers in an important position, and they need to be able to discuss concrete solutions with their customers rather than potential scenarios that seldom or never come to pass.

In other words, Swedish companies must be better at creating a situation in which they can fully exploit their industry expertise by using the new doors that can be opened with the latest technology. Behind these doors are solutions that are directly linked to collecting, presenting and acting on information on how their market is changing from day to day. Not only that – every week there are hundreds of changes and upgrades taking place in various underlying systems. As a result, it is vital to keep track of how those changes can be fully utilized and how they affect one another from an operational perspective. In the worst-case scenario, the system crashes because one or more applications no longer interact with the system as a whole.

In the best-case scenario, the business pulls ahead of its competitors by both acting on the basis of constant changes in the market and ensuring that everything works as it should in technical terms. If you want to be part of the latter group, it is no longer possible to run your business based on outdated data and yesterday’s technology. That’s why the advice to Swedish business leaders is to take charge of their decisions by ensuring that you have access to the very latest data. Only then can you, as a manager, also make faster, more accurate decisions, without having to worry that you’re doing so on entirely the wrong basis.

IOT specialist IIOX adopts Flexible Engine for business agility in the cloud

Leading industrial IoT platform developer IIOX has selected Flexible Engine, the public cloud service from Orange Business Services, for its global expansion and to avoid vendor lock-in.
Headquartered in Sweden, the IIOX cloud-based platform collects, harmonizes, aggregates and distributes machine data in real time, turning data into useful insight and knowledge. Its customers include energy supplier E.ON and companies in automatic meter reading and the agricultural sector.

IIOX has been a Basefarm customer for a number of years and has been extremely satisfied with the quality of the service delivery. But with its contract up for renewal and the recent acquisition of Basefarm by Orange Business Services, the company was open to a new solution that would support its expansion plans. Up until this point, IIOX had a server infrastructure from Basefarm, which was managed in-house and could not scale geographically.

IIOX was looking for a secure, scalable, fully-managed platform that supported a container orchestration system, having redesigned their applications to use Kubernetes. It also wanted to avoid any vendor lock-in or upfront costs.

At the same time, they wanted to move to a fully managed system, so they could concentrate on their core business and not have to worry about retaining in-house skills. They tried Flexible Engine, our innovative solution based on OpenStack, and they liked its flexibility, scalability and security features.

IIOX is starting its Flexible Engine deployment in Europe, with plans to deploy to other regions. Basefarm is managing the local initiative in the Nordics, with Orange Business Services providing global support. As well as Flexible Engine services, such as Kubernetes and Apache Kafka stream processing, there will also be a fully-managed Cassandra distributed database from Orange Business Services.

This will work around the pay-as-you-go model that IIOX was looking for. Orange Business Services also reassured IIOX regarding compliance that could arise from globalizing the solution.

Avoiding vendor lock-in

Designed to help migrate applications to the cloud, Flexible Engine is based on OpenStack technology and public cloud services infrastructure.

As the cloud market consolidates, vendor lock-in is a growing concern for enterprises, according to IDC’s information technology predictions for 2019. IDC believes that as part of this trend, enterprises will look for providers that can integrate multi-cloud services. OpenStack, unlike Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure, supports a number of proprietary technologies and can successfully operate in bare metal and hypervisor environments.

When it comes to OpenStack and Kubernetes – they are seen as a great match. According to Openstack.org, OpenStack now runs the largest number of enterprise network and storage systems, allowing containers to be seamlessly integrated into the enterprise environment.

IIOX is on trend. Enterprise interest in the applications container market continues to grow, driven by enterprises looking to manage infrastructures more efficiently and meet their digital transformation goals on time. 451 Research believes the applications container market will hit more than $2.1 billion this year and more than $4.3 billion in 2022.

Moving forward

IIOX is one of the first joint deals for Orange Business Services and Basefarm, highlighting the large portfolio of services directly through a console pay-as-you-go mode. At the same time, it underscores the power of local control and global reach that will support IIOX in its ambitious expansion plans as the industry appeal of IoT rapidly accelerates.

Joakim Karlsson

Joakim Karlsson, based in Stockholm, Sweden, is the Business Development Manager covering Cloud Business in the Nordic region. He has been in the IT industry for 20 years – nine of those years at Microsoft – and his extensive experience is an asset in helping Orange customers navigate the cloud domain. In his spare time, Joakim likes to golf, play paddle tennis and spend time with his family and friends.

Single point of Truth for Germany’s train travelers

In 2015, Deutsche Bahn (DB) launched an extensive project to improve the quality of passenger information, that would benefit all rail customers travelling in Germany.


Destination Gotland is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rederi AB Gotland. On behalf of the Swedish government, they operate the ferry services between Visby, Nynäshamn and Oskarshamn.


  1. During peak season, it is absolutely crucial that their booking systems work. The ferry service affects the entire island of Gotland and all their inhabitants.
  2. They were looking for expertise and experience in managing and operating booking system

Read the whole customer case here – Destination Gotland customer case

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Semantix, Scandinavia’s largest language company, chose Basefarm as their managed service provider to manage their business critical applications. High availability, security expertise and flexible solutions were on the wish list during the procurement process.

“Basefarm presented an ability to handle the criteria we had, while also having the operational capacity to match the size of Semantix. Besides having the technical know-how and the financial stability, they are able to deliver flexible and specialized solutions,” says Mats Zetterberg, IT Operations Manager at Semantix.

Read the whole customer case here – Semantix customer case 

Want to know more about Basefarm and what we can offer you?

Basefarm – Complete Service Responsibility 


The digital music company X5 Music wanted to create a new environment for its digital music services. With more services in the cloud, they have both gained more time for development and reduced the need of support.

The Swedish music company X5 Music operates several digital music services. They developed much of the technology behind the services themselves, and as their success increased, so did the demands.

“The demands placed on us and our applications regarding availability and support became increasingly difficult for our small development team to manage,” says Klas Broman, CTO for X5 Music. “We needed help with support, monitoring and as creating a more uniform operating environment. This was the situation when we contacted Basefarm.

Read the whole customer case here – X5 Music customer case

Want to know more about Azure Cloud Service

Perfectly Balanced Cloud Solutions – Azure

8 benefits you get from using a microsoft tier 1 cloud solution provider (csp) for your azure consumption


Basefarm’s stable cloud and managed services shorten SBAB’s response time for their most business-critical system by 7 million seconds. “We appreciate Basefarm’s professionalism, their operational delivery and their focus on innovating the business,” says Jan Stenkvist, Senior Vendor Manager at SBAB, answering the question why SBAB is deepening their collaboration with Basefarm.


Previously, SBAB was comprised by performance issues in one of the most important IT-systems at the bank: the Credit Preparation System. The system is used by customers to apply for a loan through either the website, or one of SBAB’s 150 customer service administrators. The performance problem required a proactive restart – every day. The administrators and the customers had to wait for more than 10 seconds before the system responded, which was unacceptable.

Read the whole customer case here – SBAB customer case

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Digital Ability Report 2018/2019 : your free guide to digitization

Is your company fit for the future? What do you need to look out for to accelerate digitization and drive innovation? The Digital Ability Report 2018 by Basefarm provides well-founded answers and valuable insights.

This summer, we did a survey to find out the current state of digital maturity of companies and the criteria that have to be met in order to be and remain sustainable.

The report has arrived!

We have received answers from over 200 European IT decision-makers from various industries and evaluated how SMEs and large companies are positioned in the areas that determine digital competence and decide on digital success:

  • big data (data maturity)
  • cloud computing (Acceptance)
  • information security
  • innovation management

Free download!

The Digital Ability Report 2018 gives you insights and tips on how to accelerate innovation, improve digital skills and create success for your business and your customers.

Download the report!

This might interest you too:

How does digital transformation actually work?

Cloud Guide 

Data Thinking: A guide to success in the digital age

IT-strategy and waffle consumption

It used to be easy. IT strategy and management was about recruiting the right employees. But, things have changed. Here is a little something to inspire your strategy foundation for the coming decades. And a few words about waffle consumption.