Fannie Mae Stands Up Fully Configured Environments in “a Third of the Time” with Puppet

The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), often known as Fannie Mae, is a U.S. financial services corporation providing mortgage-backed securities. Their DevOps transformation relied on Puppet to speed up delivery and scale management of their enterprise infrastructure in a highly regulated industry. 

Benefits of Using Puppet

Saved $60 million

on environment delivery over a year and a half.

Cut at least 10 weeks

from deployment time. 

Unified entire infrastructure

under Puppet management.

Challenge: Speeding Up Processes to Provide Better Service

To make mortgages more available to American borrowers, Fannie Mae needed to produce the infrastructure that could help grant them faster. That used to involve submitting IT tickets for standing up or launching a development environment – and waiting three to six months for the fully configured environment.

They implemented DevOps to improve collaboration among teams, keep tickets manageable, and reduce the time and effort it took to launch and manage environments. This shift depended on their ability to use more automation for efficiency and better configuration management for repeatability and maintenance.

By providing the infrastructure management experience the company hoped for, Puppet became an essential part of Fannie Mae’s DevOps adoption.

Results: Automated Infrastructure Delivery + Configuration Management at Enterprise Scale

“Are the services configured as they should be? Did anything change? Is there a conflict between configuration processes? ... Puppet is great at answering these questions. ... Puppet brings consistency, and thus predictability into the environment. So when you have to upgrade a service, it’s much easier.”

Alex Zbarcea, DevOps Engineer III, Fannie Mae

Watch: Scaling Configuration Management Through Inventories at Fannie Mae

With Puppet and VMware, the Fannie Mae team was able to increase the baseline capabilities of infrastructure developers in line with the business’s overall goals. By automating infrastructure delivery, they reduced the time and effort required to stand up environments.

By leveraging Puppet’s massive base of existing management content, Fannie Mae rapidly delivers fully configured machines to consumers. Fannie Mae has deployed Puppet Enterprise and VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) to give DevOps engineers self-service access to design, validate, and deploy fully configured, multi-tier, customized environments. That’s helped them reduce deployment time from months to weeks and weeks to days.

Jason Anders, technology director for Fannie Mae, told FedTech Magazine that the operations team makes lucrative use of their infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) capabilities: “They are delivering IT environments to everyone in a third of the time.”

One project – to deliver 300 fully configured environments over a year and a half – was projected to cost $90 million, with dozens of people across multiple teams building out servers, networks, and storage. With automated infrastructure delivery and configuration management, the project ended up taking a half dozen dedicated staff and costing just $30 million.

Now, Fannie Mae is using a single Puppet environment to manage their entire infrastructure, including more than 11,000 nodes and 50 services (including 20 core services). They also have transparency into the health of their services and can foster collaboration among multiple teams using Puppet’s infrastructure as code.

Watch: How Fannie Mae Uses Puppet + vRealize Orchestrator to Let Developers Pull the Strings of Their Infrastructure

Learn how Puppet Enterprise can help reduce the time it takes to create dev-ready environments over and over and scale your configuration management for better DevOps.

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