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- Project: Cloud Infrastructure Migration and App Deployment Automation
- Duration: 2 months
- Technologies: Docker for Windows, AWS DMS, AWS Beanstalk, AWS S3, Jenkins/groovy, Terraform, GitHub
- Target audience: Car insurance company employees
Our Client is an auto insurance company out of Chicago. Their API-first approach enables customers to have reliable car insurance within minutes at affordable rates. The company’s powerful technologies ensure a quality experience for its clients.
The Client’s auto insurance software solution was initially built and supported by an outsourcing company. The Client wanted to achieve more self-sufficiency as well as reduce the need for manual interactions when deploying the app. In this regard, part of the company’s strategy required cloud-to-cloud infrastructure migration.
The main focus of the project was database migration from Microsoft Azure to Amazon Web Services.
When the Client approached Velvetech, we saw the first challenging point — the company didn’t have in-house DevOps and Sysadmin resources to handle part of the migration process on their side. Thus, it was important to ensure a seamless migration without any human intervention for the Client.
The same reason motivated the company to eliminate manual activities when deploying the application. It was another task to handle for Velvetech.
The Client had a strict confidentiality and security policy that added a touch of distinction to the project. This policy entailed Velvetech using a staging environment and providing the auto insurance company with step-by-step guidance to migrate the app in production with their own forces.
Our partnership with the Client started when they originally asked Velvetech to review the code of their auto insurance software solution. They wanted to know whether the web application was still up-to-date in terms of the technology stack and whether it was reasonable to continue supporting it.
That first part of our partnership led to further decisions on moving the application from Microsoft Azure to Amazon Web Services.
Part 1: Auto Insurance Software Solution Code Review
It was essential for the Client to understand the current condition of their application. Nowadays, technologies change swiftly, and staying competitive in the insurance business highly depends on the chosen solutions. Thus, the importance of being on top of things is vital.
After reviewing the application that was built with .NET Framework, our team provided the Client with a detailed report on the actual state of the app’s code, frameworks, frontend-backend communications, algorithms, and libraries used.
In particular, the analysis results included the following:
- App architecture review
- App code quality review
- App code completeness
- App database design
- App database performance
- App database security
Additionally, the deliverables involved our suggestions on the improvements that can be made to the company’s web app.
On top of that, we provided our Client with an architecture diagram as a graphic representation of the concept, including the structure, principles, and components of the application. This diagram ensures the app meets the initial requirements and also can be used as a guide for further decision-making.
Part 2: Cloud Infrastructure Migration
Our partnership continued several months after the first collaboration. The project, the auto insurance company came with this time, was more challenging and significant in terms of the overall outcome.
The Client was ready to migrate their web app from Azure to AWS cloud and facilitate the process of their app deployment. It was tedious and inefficient to continue rolling the app out manually, especially when there were no experts in charge of this procedure, so it was the right time to automate the process.
There are several key reasons to embrace the automation of app deployment:
- Saving time
- Increasing accuracy
- Improving the knowledge transfer & documentation
- Allowing the possibility of auto-scaling
Understanding the Client’s needs and minding their security policy, Velvetech used a staging instance to develop migration scripts and instructions. As Azure and AWS have different database backup formats, it was a daunting task to tackle. In order to cope with it, our team turned to the Database Migration Service that enabled a seamless database synchronization.
Part 3: Car Insurance Software Deployment Automation
On top of the migration, Velvetech completed another important part of the project. Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) is the backbone of the modern DevOps environment. It helps automate the building, testing, and deployment of the application — something our Client was looking for.
Thus, in a deft manner, we built CI/CD pipelines and wrote a documentation that allowed the company to avoid manual operations when publishing the app.
Lastly, using infrastructure as code (IaC) with Terraform — a tool for building, changing, and versioning infrastructure — we enabled its quick, safe, and efficient deployment. Eventually, it resulted in the automation of release workflow. It also allowed the Client to spin up new environments for testing or troubleshooting purposes as quickly as possible.
As a result of the first project, our partnership provided the auto insurance company with an in-depth report on their current app technology stack. On top of that, Velvetech recommended to the Client a few improvements to be made that supported their decision-making process.
The second stage of our collaboration, which was about moving the auto insurance software solution from one cloud to another, furnished the Client with detailed instructions and scripts for setting up environments and migrating the database from Azure to AWS in production. Now, having demo and documentation with a walkthrough at their fingertips, the company could successfully transfer their app with minimal effort.
Eventually, full-fledged CI/CD pipelines enforced automation of the app’s building, testing, and deployment processes. That enabled the Client to save resources and obviate manual work.
Cloud-to-cloud infrastructure migration provided our Client with more room for future improvements. One of them is an opportunity to keep the car insurance software solution up with the latest technologies to make it more competitive. Velvetech will be happy to continue collaboration on such a case and ensure the project delivers maximum value.
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