A history of GOV.UK's infrastructure: the long voyage to Kubernetes

GOV.UK is the single website for the UK Government. It launched in 2012, consolidating hundreds of separate websites into one. This is the story of the infrastructure GOV.UK has used, the people who built it, and how its 10 year voyage led to kubernetes.

We’ll cover what GOV.UK is, its early years on VMWare vCloud, and the tooling we developed to run GOV.UK there (such as vcloud-tools, unicornherder, and our custom router). We’ll talk about our use of Puppet for configuration management, and how our use of cloud providers has changed over the years. Finally, we’ll talk about the problems we weren’t able to solve, and how that led us to our latest replatforming, and GOV.UK’s new home on Kubernetes.


Richard Towers

Richard Towers is Head of Software Engineering for GOV.UK at the Government Digital Service (GDS). Richard has been a developer at GDS since 2016, working on GOV.UK Verify, GOV.UK PaaS, GOV.UK Pay, ...