DevOps at UNIQA - cloud-to-cloud migration of critical applications
UNIQA is a company that boasts 200 years of history and is currently the 5th largest insurance group in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2020, UNIQA became the owner of the AXA companies in, among others, Poland, which strengthened its position in the local insurance market. In Poland, the insurer has more than 5 million customers, and if we combine all 18 countries where the Group operates, it has 16 million customers. The Group employs 15 thousand people across Europe and manages €31.5 billion worth of assets.
Insurance has for years been based on mutual trust and close cooperation between insurance companies and their customers. What distinguishes a good relationship in the insurance sector today is the ability for customers to freely choose the form of contact with the insurer and the huge increase in the importance of digital channels. Continuous contact with customers via digital channels necessitates ensuring that the channels are reliable, but also attractive in terms of content and swift adaptation to changing requirements of customers and insurance products.
Atende's engineering team in cooperation with Uniqa's technical team have designed and prepared a new target environment for carrying out cloud-to-cloud migration of the insurance premium calculator and customer portal. From the very start, we have operated in a DevOps model, relying on full automation and close cooperation with the people who now manage the infrastructure in the cloud. For best results, we have used dedicated public cloud tools that help bring the idea of DevOps to fruition. Thanks to them, we have defined the entire runtime environment by means of a code (Infrastructure as a Code) and helped structure the Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery/Deployment (CI/CD) processes that already operated within the organisation. This approach significantly streamlines and automates the process of future changes in infrastructure, makes the changes more predictable and significantly reduces “Time2market”.
Based on Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines, Azure Service Fabric, Cosmos DB and Azure Blob Storage, Uniqa's systems have been transferred between Microsoft Azure tenants using tools that support the DevOps and GitOps model. A team of Atende and UNIQA engineers worked together to design and structure a new environment using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools - Terraform. The whole process additionally uses Microsoft tools, such as: Azure DevOps Services, Azure Pipelines, Azure Repo, Azure Artifacts with code versioning, deployment support, privilege management and secure transfer of sensitive access data using Azure Key Vault.
We provided consultation services to support the customer throughout the change process, including in the field of new security processes. We integrated the customer's existing on-premise environment through the use of F5 devices via Azure VPN Gateway in a High Availability model by means of BGP and two independent peers.
Further down the line, the company wants to move container solutions to the Cloud and optimise resource consumption, while working to adapt its systems to a “Cloud Native” model.
The preparation and launch of CI/CD processes and the expansion of automation has brought measurable benefits for the business and IT teams
Improved reliability of the environment and applications
Shorter time required to implement new solutions and publish new versions of applications
Compliance with high security standards for the financial sector