LV= Delivers More Value at Lower Cost with Puppet Enterprise

Founded in 1842, LV= is one of the largest insurance companies in the United Kingdom, offering insurance products for car, home, pet, travel, and life insurance along with investment and retirement solutions to more than five million members and customers. The company’s small, nimble team needed to manage and improve their large IT environment without getting bogged down fighting fires.

Benefits of Using Puppet:

High-priority incidents plummeted

after using Puppet Enterprise to manage 1,000+ nodes

Human-readable change management

automates evidence for internal & external auditors

Consistent builds reduce rework

and free up admin time for strategic projects

Challenge: Hand-Crafted Machines, Word-Based Documentation & Constant Rework

LV=’s IT setup comprises about 1,000 nodes with different operating systems, hardware architectures, and software environments. Managing an estate that size typically means creating, configuring, and securing application packages for each node group and classification. Server builds included hand-crafted scripts, which were prone to errors. Not only did manual work increase time on the front end, but a lot of that work required additional fixes later on — a massive time sink that led to even more inefficiencies. 

Before Puppet, LV= handled its considerable reporting and auditing responsibilities with Word documents that described builds in great detail. The manual effort risked human error, limited traceability, accessibility issues, and scalability struggles — all of which draw out the auditing process and reduce confidence in organizational compliance.

Rather than an efficient, predictable software development lifecycle, the lack of consistency and automation instead left LV= with a constant clip of priority incidents and no time for strategic work that actually drove business value.

Results: Consistent Builds, Cleaner Reports & Months Without High-Priority Incidents

“Since implementing Puppet Enterprise, the infrastructure team is much happier. Rather than spending time making custom builds, we have everything we need in one place.” 
- Jon Nangle, Unix Infrastructure Analyst, LV=

LV= switched from manual processes to Open Source Puppet to manage their infrastructure — and, realizing the benefits of automation, upgraded to Puppet Enterprise to handle more complex workloads with support options, role-based access control (RBAC), and more to keep their infrastructure secure and optimized.

Before Puppet, the database administration (DBA) teams that manage Oracle installations were receiving builds they couldn’t use as-is, so they had to modify them, and even started writing their own scripts. But once Puppet Enterprise was brought on board, the DBA teams get what they need for standard Oracle builds. Now they can move more quickly, and simply add on modules as needed.

With Puppet, the company can also take a highly sought-after holistic approach to change management. Puppet Enterprise provides admins a graphical view of infrastructure changes, enabling the LV= team to quickly find out what’s changed, how those changes happened, and who made them — all without having to sift through log files. LV= is also able to satisfy auditors and prove remediation efforts with Puppet’s automated, comprehensive, human-readable reports with evidence of how Puppet enforces a desired, compliant state continuously.

Puppet Enterprise has given the entire LV= team confidence in the quality of changes to infrastructure code. Problems are being spotted earlier, with the result that change management now identifies all production changes as low-risk, allowing them to go through quickly. Essentially, changing the production server environment is now a non-event.

And after switching to Puppet Enterprise to build more consistent machines, the LV= team hit a milestone that wouldn’t have been possible before: a whole month without any high-priority incidents. Before Puppet, these incidents occurred frequently, so even a single month without one means that the IT team enjoys greater predictability and more room to do higher-level work.

The switch to Puppet Enterprise gave LV= a complete, pre-packaged, and proven secure infrastructure management solution. The math bore it out: “We added up the numbers,” Nangle said, “and having it all available to us was better than doing it ourselves.”

Puppet Enterprise drives more secure infrastructure, faster software development, and greater business value across industries. Try it today or request a demo to stop wasting time and start automating better IT operations.