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Insurance relies on better scalability with VMware Cloud on AWS

Our customer is an insurance company that operates across Germany and relies on a network of its own insurance offices. As it is customary in Germany, car insurance policies can be changed or renegotiated at the turn of the year. The market comprises around 60 million policies and more than 30% of policyholders change providers several times. So you can imagine the run on the insurance agencies – and further – on the IT infrastructure. The customer is on the way to bringing his software cloud native, but this (and probably next year) the peak loads have to be absorbed in December by other means.

"Our customer has already brought the front-end of the insurance application to AWS Cloud Native, but the database and middleware are still on-prem," explains Yves Sandfort, comdivision's project manager for the customer. comdivision was called in as a consultant because the IT services company, which mainly looks after the customer, wanted to be sure to receive the best possible advice on cloud migration issues.

The challenge

„When the customer approached our partner in the fall, time was already running out”, Sandfort reports, “the software development company supports its customers in the development of cloud-native apps, but has little to do with the infrastructure" says Sandfort and continues "theIT services company has been thinking about whether it is possible to increase the resources on-prem on short notice – which is basically the right idea with hyper-convergent systems, but availability issues were indicated here. In addition, the IT management announced a cloud strategy and it was difficult for them to backtrack, ”says Sandfort with a wink.

The customer already had quite a few other things in the cloud, starting with Office 365 and they also had Azure for a few services,"but since you can't just push every workload to Azure, this solution wouldn’t work" explains Sandfort, "we owe it to the customer, to consider every possibility and if a company has already made significant investments inone direction, it is our first effort to also prefer this solution”.  

The solution

„Ultimately, only VMware Cloud on AWS was available for the customer,” explains Sandfort, “since all of the persistent data such asMS-SQL databases and middleware were in vSphere-based virtual machines, we could simply run these VMs on VMware Cloud on AWS and since the front end is based on AWS services, as I said, it was just the best fit.“

The result

comdivision set up a VMware Cloud on AWS cluster together with the customer, after which the migration was strategically planned.

"Some of the migration had to be carried out hot, as many consultants also access the infrastructure on weekends," explains Sandfort, "so we planned the move using VMware HCX".

First, an analysis of the environment was carried out, i.e. an inventory of the workloads to be migrated was created and workloads identified that could not be mass migrated. Computing and storage requirements were documented in order to estimate the size requirements and the number of nodes right from the start.

“Ultimately, the migration only took a few hours,” says Sandfort."The customer was so satisfied with the better latency that they are considering leaving the workloads with VMware Cloud on AWS until the final switch to cloud-native," concludes Sandfort.