Orchestrating & Enabling Big Data for Major Reinsurance Company

Orchestrating, Automating and Enabling Big Data for Large Reinsurance Company

How Cloudify allowed large reinsurance company to seamlessly orchestrate and automate vast amounts of big data saving time and preventing vendor lock in.

Cloudify MunichRe

The Client

One of the largest reinsurance companies in the world, offering a wide range of insurance products to businesses and private individuals as well as asset management. This publicly traded company currently has over 40,000 employees around the world and over $50 billion worth of revenue running through its 4 major business units.

The Challenge

This tier-1 reinsurance company has big data requirements for high level calculations performed against a diversity of databases. These databases run on nearly 600 OpenStack VMs, and need to be continually managed, monitored, and upgraded… all while enabling continuous integration and development in testing and production environments. 

The company was looking for a tool, one point of access that would enable support of their existing tool chain, and customized cloud environments while providing powerful custom workflows to support the diversity of ‘tooling’.

Technical Use Case

With Cloudify in play, this company was able to deploy databases on demand, manage them, upgrade them as needed through a simple application blueprint while bringing all of the pieces of the infrastructure and application together. The complex architecture contains a management portal to request environment provisioning, an existing IaaS orchestrator that sends JSON requests to Cloudify, a DNS/DHCP that receives the IPs, OpenStack cloud, NetApp storage, Chef for application deployment, along with 6+ backup and monitoring tools. 

Why Cloudify

Pipelines had effectively become a serious bottleneck- existing automation tools were covering different parts of the stack, leaving inconsistencies, siloed operations… and each pipeline stitched to a specific environment forcing the company to recreate them over and over again. Their tech team were left with slow and painful manual processes when updating/ scaling environments across multiple cloud infrastructures. 

The company researched a number of options, looking for application-level orchestration solutions that could support their existing stack, communicate and process data coming from their infrastructure orchestrator, as well as support a diversity of existing applications. They selected Cloudify based on its open and highly modular plugin architecture that supports any technology, alongside the support for custom, complex workflows, that enables them to leverage the Cloudify platform for less orthodox scenarios with their environments. 

Within weeks they were able to write blueprints, build custom plugins and workflows and deploy to production – cutting down the time to hours and days that used to take weeks.

The Outlook

Part of the decision to select Cloudify was due to its ability to future-proof against any possible tech addition to its operations – this client is currently exploring add Azure public cloud for on-demand resources, alongside ServiceNow to their stack for IT automation – all supported by Cloudify with out-of-the-box plugins.  

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