As the customer looked to replace its data centre supplier in 2018, an opportunity presented itself to improve the resiliency, security and compliance of the estate by reducing the scope of the data centre migration and migrating a significant proportion of the applications to the cloud.
The target was to migrate 50% of the UK based applications to its AWS platform before the exit of this data centre. To meet the challenge of migrating around 350 applications by the two-year deadline, whilst under a strategic directive not to “Lift and Shift”, the customer engaged Cloudreach.
Cloudreach worked with the customer to design the migration process and activities, roles and responsibilities and the engagement model with external teams. Cloudreach established a migration factory that would scale to meet the aims of the customer.
The migration process began with application discovery, planning and assessment. An automated model was used to determine the migration approach and identify the level of maturity and anticipated benefit once migrated. The discovery phase was structured to allow the team to quickly assess simple applications whilst allowing more time to assess complex applications requiring higher levels of refactoring. Migrations were designed and planned iteratively, allowing migration factory teams to begin work at the earliest opportunity.
The migration factory was designed to scale - flexibly supporting multiple teams working concurrently to achieve a large volume of migrations. The migrations were accelerated through the use of repeatable methodology, reusable code and migration best practices.
At a minimum, every application was re-platformed, with all infrastructure and OS configuration provisioned using Infrastructure as Code and automated AMI builds. The application migration approach balanced the challenge of migrating at pace whilst realising the benefits of cloud and running resilient, highly performant applications.
Cloudreach provided a dedicated team that was highly skilled in migration, architecture and engineering. However, it was the partnership between teams that unlocked the benefits of Cloud on an ongoing basis. Each application team had the opportunity to work alongside the migration factory team, allowing them to grow their maturity in Cloud and automation.
The collaborative migration approach enabled DevOps adoption by customer teams. The re-platform and re-factor migrations resulted in the application installation being automated using Jenkins, Packer, Puppet and Ansible. The education of customer application teams, and the artifacts produced, provided a strong foundation for teams to operate and enhance their applications in an automated and robust way.
Over 300 applications were migrated, including 110 applications directly using this model. The migrated applications have seen improved service levels, compliance to mandatory controls and support high-frequency automated release cycles. The programme has contributed to estate level optimisation.
The processes, tools and reusable materials developed by Cloudreach to drive the cloud migration are now integral components of the customer’s migration projects globally.
Progressing from the migration, the Cloudreach team have supported the customer in defining standards for new applications and developing architecture patterns for an improved platform.
Leading International Insurer
Our customer is a leading international savings, retirement and insurance business. It is one of the largest general insurers in the United Kingdom. Its distinguished history, supported by many acquisitions, has resulted in a complex IT estate with a technically diverse portfolio of applications.