Guardian Life Realizes the True Benefits of Cloud Migration Using Puppet

One of the world’s largest mutual life insurance companies, Guardian Life was founded in Manhattan in 1860. A broad range of application support, immense technical debt, and a highly regulated environment set the stage for the storied company’s accelerated cloud migration.

Benefits of Using Puppet:

200+ apps moved to cloud

in under two years.

2000+ servers managed

and reported on with Puppet Enterprise.

One successful cloud migration

to AWS with containers hosted on Puppet-managed servers.

Challenge: An Aggressive Move to the Cloud While Staying Compliant

Creating innovative customer experiences was central to Guardian Life’s plans for the future. Mohinder Singh, Senior Cloud DevOps Engineer, and his team knew that moving their 200+ apps to the cloud could help pave the way to those experiences. But on its way to becoming one of the largest companies in its field, Guardian Life accrued massive amounts of tech debt that threatened to hold the company back from its goals.

That’s not to mention the compliance regulations they’re subject to as a financial services provider in the healthcare space. Any solution that would help Guardian Life accelerate its cloud migration would also need to help enforce configurations that comply with numerous intersecting security expectations, both from internal stakeholders and external bodies.

Results: Security, Stability + Realizing the Benefits of Cloud in Under Two Years

“The systems would incur a drastic software and configuration drift [without Puppet] ... We’d crumble.”

Mohinder Singh, Senior Cloud DevOps Engineer, Guardian Life

Guardian Life chose AWS as the primary cloud provider for its mix of Windows and Linux operating systems, all of which use a variety of middleware to support applications. Implementing Puppet Enterprise to build and maintain servers sped the migration and showed the value of adopting a cloud-aware DevOps mindset for future development.

Read more about how to use Puppet for cloud >>

Watch: Why Guardian Life Chose Puppet for DevOps in the Cloud

“A lot of [our] applications started using containers,” said Singh, further reducing infrastructure costs by developing in containers hosted by Puppet-managed servers.

Each server is built using a base profile and role-defined additional profiles that install middleware based on role and OS categorization. Puppet modules then configure the middleware and software elements required. They can then customize their middleware using the Hieradata feature provided by Puppet.

“For every new app, we as cloud engineers and DevOps engineers, had to manually provision the servers with the required controls and middleware,” said Singh. “With Puppet, it’s now automated. It takes the burden off of us."

And with Puppet infrastructure as code (IaC), Guardian Life can monitor, enforce, and report on compliance whenever they need, keeping customers’ personal information secure and keeping the security team and auditors happy. “We have all the data they want,” said Singh. “We can generate a report for the exact data they are looking for. If someone were to request for a list of Windows servers in dev running an outdated agent, we can easily drill down into specifics using the intuitive Puppet console. We keep track of compliance and security on a very continuous basis.”

Find Out Where Puppet Fits in Your Infrastructure

Consistent, secure, repeatable infrastructure configuration and time-saving automation power better work in the cloud and across hybrid cloud infrastructure. Download our free guide to cloud scalability now or request a demo to see how to use Puppet for infrastructure management that unlocks innovation anywhere.