NarrativeWave's Architectural Leap: Harnessing Kubernetes for Advanced Analytics


NarrativeWave (NW), a leading advanced analytics SaaS company serving diverse sectors, from renewable operators such as Solar and Wind to Oil and Gas and Manufacturing, has undergone a fundamental architectural transformation over the past year placing Kubernetes (K8s) at the core of its operations. This architectural shift was driven by NW's unwavering commitment to achieving optimal performance, unparalleled reliability, and significant cost savings for both the company and its clients.

This article explores in detail how K8s has played a pivotal role in redefining NW's technical landscape. From container orchestration to microservice integration, security, and beyond, we delve into the myriad ways in which K8s has elevated NW's capabilities, ensuring NW remains at the forefront of the advanced analytics software industry.

Container Orchestration and Scalability

K8s plays a pivotal role in NW's container orchestration and scalability strategy. In the dynamic field of advanced analytics, characterized by significant variability in client requirements, K8s emerges as a robust solution. Its intrinsic ability to orchestrate resources on-demand, fine-tune resource allocation, and optimize efficiency, all within the adaptable K8s framework, greatly benefits NW's analytics approach, operations, and clients.

In NW's context, where AWS EC2 instances form the foundational infrastructure for its analytics operations, K8s capacity to provision resources dynamically just-in-time represents a substantial leap forward. This inherent flexibility ensures precise allocation of computing resources, minimizing waste while maximizing operational efficiency. NW's K8s architecture powered by Cloud infrastructure such as AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), enhances system reliability and scalability. Notably, NW strategically leverages AWS EC2 spot instances, optimizing hosting costs and yielding substantial savings. This calculated resource management not only augments performance but also aligns seamlessly with NW's commitment to cost-effectiveness, in line with its mission of delivering top-tier advanced analytics to clients across diverse energy sectors.

With the integration of K8s, NW can fine-tune environment resources, taking its existing scalability to new levels of optimization. This empowers NW to dynamically adapt to meet the specific demands of each client, maximizing performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.

Reliability and High Availability

Reliability is paramount in the realm of advanced analytics, and K8s fortifies NW's infrastructure with a robust framework for ensuring high availability.  K8s pod structure allows for redundancy, meaning that multiple pods of a deployment can be spun up to ensure reliability. If one pod experiences issues, such as corruption or failure, K8s, through its automated processes, recognizes the problem and seamlessly replaces it with a properly running pod.

This redundancy extends to critical components of NW's infrastructure, such as the Django web server, where multiple pods are maintained to guarantee high availability. K8s employs various probes, including readiness and liveness probes, to ensure that pods are continually monitored, and problematic instances are automatically replaced, preserving the integrity of the environment.

Furthermore, K8s inherent features, such as automated load balancing and failover mechanisms, contribute to NW's ability to offer uninterrupted services to clients. These features align well with NW's commitment to delivering reliable, high-quality analytics solutions.

Cost Optimization

In the realm of advanced analytics, where data processing and resource allocation are paramount, cost optimization becomes a mission-critical objective. For NarrativeWave, migrating to K8s has been a game-changer, unlocking a realm of cost-saving opportunities that have a direct and profound impact on the company’s ability to deliver advanced analytics efficiently and cost-effectively to its clients.

K8s intrinsic ability to provision resources on-demand is a cornerstone of NW's cost optimization strategy. Unlike traditional architectures that require static resource allocation, K8s adapts dynamically to the needs of NW's analytics workloads. This means that resources are allocated precisely when and where they are needed, eliminating unnecessary and costly over-provisioning.

Consider a scenario where NW is tasked with analyzing a large dataset from a wind farm experiencing anomalies. With K8s, NW can quickly scale up the necessary computational resources to handle the load, ensuring that the analytics are performed efficiently without the need for permanent, idle resources.

This resource provisioning is further enhanced through leveraging of AWS EKS where the Karpenter microservice works seamlessly under the hood to provide just-in-time node EC2 spot instances. These instances are an economical alternative to on-demand machines, as they offer spare capacity at a considerably lower cost. NW strategically utilizes these spot instances, further reducing operational expenses. K8s, acting as the orchestrator, can manage the allocation of spot instances, ensuring that NW's analytics workloads are executed on the most cost-effective resources available at any given moment. This enables NW to maintain optimal performance while controlling expenses, a critical factor in delivering cost-effective advanced analytics services to clients.

Support for Developer Team

K8s provides a versatile environment for development and debugging. NW's development teams can easily replicate production environments in local setups, simplifying debugging and testing processes. Moreover, K8s enables direct access to production pods within QA environments, facilitating in-depth debugging with a production-state perspective.

This capability accelerates the debugging process, allowing NW to swiftly identify and resolve issues, resulting in faster development cycles and enhanced product quality. K8s support for mirroring production environments in development and testing environments is a critical component of NW's commitment to continuously deliver high-quality roadmap features, ensuring that the platform advances to meet customers' evolving needs.

Accelerated Releases and CI/CD

K8s empowers NW to maintain continuous service availability, even during software releases. The platform employs robust validation mechanisms, including liveness and readiness probes, to ensure that new releases meet predefined criteria before old resources are terminated. This guarantees uninterrupted service for NW's clients and minimizes potential disruptions during updates.

In cases where issues do arise, K8s enables seamless rollbacks to previous versions, providing a safety net to safeguard client operations. The agility and reliability provided by K8s align with NW's dedication to delivering continuous improvements and innovations in the dynamic field of advanced analytics.

Microservice Integration

K8s native support for microservices has been instrumental in enhancing NW's platform capabilities. NW has seamlessly integrated microservices like RabbitMQ, Jupyter Notebooks, Prometheus, Grafana, and Celery Flower to add integral functionality to the foundational K8s architecture.

NW leverages Prometheus and Grafana as the backbone of its monitoring and visualization capabilities within the K8s environment. Prometheus excels at collecting and storing time-series data relevant to NW's K8s clusters while Grafana translates this raw data into highly informative and visually intuitive dashboards. These dashboards empower NW's teams with real-time insights into system performance, facilitating swift issue identification and resolution.

Jupyter Notebooks empower NW's data scientists to develop groundbreaking analytics, ensuring the delivery of innovative solutions to clients while RabbitMQ and Celery Flower complements NW's analytic and dashboard tasks by enabling efficient monitoring and rapid task adjustments.

K8s not only facilitates the integration of these microservices but also ensures their seamless operation.


Security is a paramount concern in NW's operations, and K8s provides a robust security framework to protect valuable insights and information. K8s incorporates features like network policies, pod security policies, and role-based access control (RBAC) to enhance security.

NW can implement granular security policies to safeguard data, applications, and resources to ensure compliance with industry standards thereby fortifying NW's defenses and reinforcing its commitment to data security.

Portability and Platform Agnosticism

An additional significant advantage of migrating to K8s is architecture portability and platform agnosticism. NW can now host its application services on any cloud provider, offering unparalleled flexibility and customization.

This flexibility allows NW to leverage the unique features of different cloud providers to maximize its environments and capabilities, ultimately serving its customers more effectively. K8s eliminates vendor lock-in, empowering NW to choose the best cloud provider for each client and opening the door to unique future possibilities.


The transition to K8s signifies a significant milestone in NarrativeWave's pursuit of technical excellence marked with performance optimizations and enhanced cost-efficiency. K8s intrinsic adaptability, scalability, and robust security features seamlessly align with NW's mission to deliver advanced analytics and exceptional services across diverse energy sectors. This transformation underscores NW's unwavering commitment to innovation and customer-centricity.

From optimizing cost structures to seamlessly integrating microservices, K8s has become an integral part of NW's success story. It exemplifies the transformative potential of cutting-edge technology when combined with expertise and foresight. As the energy landscape continues to evolve, NW stands prepared to lead the way, driven by the architectural foundation empowered by K8s.

Stephen Utlak, PhD
Stephen Utlak, PhD
Director of Product Engineering