Swiss Re Automates Configuration Management on All Windows Servers with Puppet

Challenge
The Swiss Re Group is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, insurance, and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer. As part of their digital transformation initiatives, Swiss Re needed to automate their Windows provisioning and management by moving to infrastructure-as-code. Provisioning Windows machines was taking weeks and they did not have a single source of truth to know what the configuration should be.

Solution
Swiss Re chose Puppet as their only configuration management tool to standardize configuration on Windows 2016 machines, speed up provisioning, and ensure that when people got their machines, they worked. They also chose Puppet because it is highly flexible and extensible.

They rolled out Puppet agents on all 3,700 Windows servers; they also chose not to use GPOs and were able to mimic GPOs within their Puppet environment. They now have two separate Puppet universes: one for Puppet code development and one for production.

Results

  • End to end automation: cloud portal > microservices > CMDB > server provisioning > Puppet run
  • Manage 6.2 million resources in Puppet
  • 5,800 Unix and Windows servers managed in Puppet
  • All User Rights assignments for Windows managed in Puppet
  • Windows machines are now provisioned quickly, with built-in security, and standardized configuration

 

Before Puppet, the time to deliver a Windows machine to someone took weeks. It wasn’t agile. When we introduced Windows 2016, we wanted to make sure that when people ordered a machine they would get a consistent experience and get it faster. We can do that with Puppet. We’ve been able to build end-to-end automation with Puppet.

John Rogers, System Engineer, Swiss Re

See Swiss Re presentation from Puppet Camp America East 2020

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