Design, implementation and development of an integrated AWS Architecture.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
In terms of premium income, Talanx is the third largest German insurance group and one of the largest in Europe. The Hanover-based company is active in more than 150 countries. The Talanx Group operates as a multi-brand provider with a focus on B2B insurance.
The main problem of risk calculations is the enormous calculation effort required to determine the Solvency Capital Requirement (SCR) and the Minimum Capital Requirement (MCR). Procedures are based on the so-called internal model, which can deliver significantly more precise and high-quality results than the standard formula – mainly using Monte Carlo simulations. Particularly when quarterly and annual financial statements of several Talanx companies are to be prepared in parallel, the high computational effort can lead to IT bottlenecks. Outsourcing these calculations to the cloud therefore appears to be a logical step. In addition, this solution must also meet the high security levels of the existing environment and procedures.
OUR PROPOSED SOLUTION
The built cloud environment uses multiple cloud service providers (COLT, ServiceNow and AWS) to deliver required services in exactly its needed quality and performance.
The focus of the solution and overall architecture is that each customer of the platform can scale their services themselves and control performance aspects and scaling as independently as possible. A self-service portal enables the customer and their IT to manage provided components. Ordered components are automatically made available by the cloud service provider.
In addition, central requirements regarding security, governance and other processes (e.g. ITIL) are adhered to and fulfilled so that a trustful cooperation between business units and IT can take place across responsibility boundaries and regional borders.
In mid-2014, when the „Best in Cloud Award“ was won for this project, around 550 server instances and 280 TB were in operation at peak times. Further expansion is planned. direkt gruppe was involved in setting up the AWS environments for risk management and helped the insurance group integrate its new services into the service management environment.
AWS AS A CENTRAL PART OF THE SOLUTION
AWS is one of the central components of the cloud platform. AWS‘ IaaS components and AWS‘ popular Foundation Services have been composed to suit the intended purpose in order to design and offer the right solution portfolio for the customer. Further services for the fulfillment of requirements such as Cloudtrail and network security services such as security groups, direct connect, VPN and others supported those responsible in building a scalable, sustainable and secure environment.
In general, almost all AWS services (except for web-related services) that were common in mid-2014 were used. During the use case presentation at the „Best in Cloud Award“, the IT manager at the time did not miss the opportunity to show live that the first instance of Talanx in the new AWS region of Frankfurt was online. This was only a few minutes online and usable for German customers.
ACHIEVED RESULTS AND REALIZED POTENTIALS
The development and establishment of a central cloud platform in AWS and the implementation of security and compliance requirements enabled both the implementation of new use cases and the fulfilment of external requirements for an AWS environment.
By means of AWS services and other components, the platform can be used sustainably to fulfill further requirements and it provides a sound basis for new services and processes. With the integration of ServiceNow as a self-service portal, end users were given the opportunity to use and change cloud resources in a self-sufficient but standardized way. Additionally, the head of IT was given a central management view of existing cloud resources, making it one of the first cloud management platforms at the time.