Our client, an insurance company operating throughout Germany, relies on a network of their own insurance branches. In Germany, there's an option to renegotiate or change vehicle insurance providers at the turn of the year. The market encompasses about 60 million policies, with over 30% of policyholders switching providers multiple times. This results in a significant rush towards insurance companies and, consequently, their IT infrastructures. The client is in the process of transitioning their software to be Cloud-Native. However, the peak loads in December must be addressed differently this year, and probably the next.
"Our client has already made the frontend of their insurance application Cloud-Native on AWS. However, the database and middleware remain on-premises," says Yves Sandfort, comdivision's project manager for this client. Comdivision was brought in as consultants since the primary IT service provider wanted to ensure the best advice in the area of Cloud Migration.
"When the client approached our partner in the autumn, time was already of the essence," Sandfort recounts. "The software development company assists its clients in developing Cloud-Native apps but is barely involved with the infrastructure," Sandfort explains. The IT service provider pondered whether they could temporarily augment the on-premises resources – a logical thought with Hyper-Convergent systems. Yet, supply bottlenecks emerged. Sandfort adds, "The IT management had declared a cloud strategy; retreating was not an option."
The client already utilises various cloud services, including Office 365 and Azure. "However, not every workload can be readily shifted to Azure, so that option was ruled out," clarifies Sandfort. "We owe it to our clients to consider every possibility, and when a company has already made significant investments in a particular direction, our primary aim is to favour that solution."
„Ultimately, VMware Cloud on AWS was the best choice for the client," Sandfort asserts. Since all persistent data, such as MS-SQL databases and middleware, were stored on vSphere-based virtual machines, a straightforward transfer to VMware Cloud on AWS was feasible.
comdivision, in collaboration with the client, established a VMware Cloud on AWS cluster. Subsequently, the migration was strategically planned.
"Parts of the migration had to be executed during ongoing operations since many consultants access the infrastructure over the weekends," Sandfort explains. "Thus, we planned the shift using VMware HCX."
Initially, an environmental analysis was undertaken. This involved taking stock of the workloads to be migrated and identifying those that couldn't be moved through bulk migration. Computational and storage requirements were documented to ascertain the needed storage size and node count right from the start.
"The migration eventually took just a few hours," Sandfort reports. "Our client, pleased with the improved latency times, is contemplating retaining the workloads on VMware Cloud on AWS until the complete switch to Cloud-Native," Sandfort adds.