LPursue IT Simplification initiative in server provisioning and maintenance
The Platform Engineering Team is responsible for ensuring all server builds are standard, repeatable, meet security and configuration policies, and have correct monitoring and management software on them. Nationwide uses thousands of servers supporting approximately 2,000 applications – for everything from actuarial data analytics and web services to Geographic Information Systems mapping to identifying policyholders impacted by hurricanes. Many of these applications run on Microsoft Windows or Linux platforms.
Nationwide must deliver applications faster than it traditionally has to competitively meet changing customer demands. To this end and also to reduce costs, the company has undertaken an IT Simplification initiative. One area in need of streamlining was server provisioning and maintenance.
Nationwide had separate teams and tools for building Windows and Linux servers, with no synergy across teams. Configuration drift and maintenance posed challenges in the company’s data centers. Nationwide for years had used Insight Rapid Deployment software. That tool was reaching end of life and could not deploy to the HPE ProLiant Gen9 servers (mainly DL 460s) that Nationwide is implementing. The Nationwide team had an immediate need to replace this software with a solution that also served IT Simplification goals. They also knew that a Nationwide cloud initiative was coming down the road, and aimed to create a foundational solution for that as well.