Case Study: Managed Cloud Services Help Insurance Insight Offer an Enterprise Web Application Experience

insight-insurance-logo

Switching from a managed colocation model to a fully managed cloud infrastructure resulted in a scalable and flexible enterprise class solution, increased performance, and higher availability with multi-zone disaster recovery, all on an SMB budget.

Goals
Insurance Insight was looking to:

  1. Establish a Canadian-based scalable infrastructure to efficiently host their web applications.
  2. Manage and support the cloud infrastructure with an enterprise class, 24x7x365 support arrangement that would ensure high availability and act as an extension of its internal team.
  3. Leverage both managed infrastructure as well as pay-per-use billing options.
  4. Ensure protection of data and availability with multi-zone load balancing and disaster recovery.

 

“CloudOps offers us a complete and flexible enterprise class solution in the cloud providing us with scalable resources and controlled costs. CloudOps has become an extension of our team, monitoring our cloud operations, performing proactive maintenance and responding quickly to ensure top performance and availability.”
David A. Launen, Vice President, Information Technology, Insurance Insight Inc.

 
Challenges
Insurance insight previously hosted their web applications on the company’s own hardware infrastructure in a managed hosting environment. This situation posed several challenges:

  • Hardware aging required constant investment in new infrastructure.
  • Evolving web application requirements and user demand resulted in frequently needing to scale up servers with additional resources.
  • Infrastructure was fixed in size, so it was cost prohibitive to prototype or temporarily expand the infrastructure on-demand.
  • Infrastructure costs were rapidly increasing to keep up with the company’s high growth rate.

Resolving the above challenges would allow Insurance Insight to focus on developing its applications and not on its infrastructure, helping it rapidly launch new applications, features, and improvements, and ultimately provide a better customer experience.

Managed Cloud Services Solution
CloudOps experts assessed Insurance Insight’s web application requirements. They suggested a cloud architecture and tested a cloud configuration that would provide sufficient traffic throughput for the Insurance Insight applications. On cloud.ca, a Canadian Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), they set up the application layer, hardware, software, virtual machines, operating systems, storage and other infrastructure components on behalf of Insurance Insight. They also handle routine tasks including system maintenance and monitoring, backups and resiliency planning.

In order to support the growing need for ever-better scalability, availability, and cloud security, CloudOps implemented a managed Application Delivery Controller (ADC) solution, operating as a multi-site ADC solution with flexible resource allocation. The ADC solution offers advanced functions such as caching, compression, connection multiplexing, SSL offloading, and other technologies to significantly speed up applications delivered via the web. The solution is a fully managed solution; therefore Insurance Insight Inc. does not absorb the overhead of administration and maintenance of the ADC. Resources are scalable and are automatically adjusted based on demand and are charged based on usage.

The dedicated CloudOps team is responsible for 24 x 7 monitoring of Insurance Insights infrastructure, applications, databases and performance. CloudOps maintains a multi-zone disaster recovery configuration to reduce the risk of a single point of failure situation.

Outcome
The array of CloudOps managed cloud services created a scalable cloud solution that offers an economical use of cloud resources where there is no need to commit or invest in resources upfront. Instead, Insurance Insight utilizes unlimited resources in a dynamic, on-demand manner and only pays for the actual resources consumed. The incremental investment in an advanced ADC managed platform was compensated by the reduced requirements for servers and bandwidth, and the clear improvements in end-user experience, employee productivity and application availability. Insurance Insight is now able to focus on their customers’ needs with a worry-free flexible cloud infrastructure, while the CloudOps team ensures high performance, reliability, and disaster recovery.

About Insurance Insight Inc.
Insurance Insight Inc. is a licensed insurance broker that develops and distributes unique, high quality, consumer-focused insurance products and is the pioneer of WALKAWAY, the first vehicle return program. The company provides their clients robust web-based applications for quoting and purchasing insurance policies, claims adjudication, underwriting, product development and business intelligence. The company operates out of the Greater Toronto Area, but provides services across Canada as well as in international markets.

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