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Informa Case Study

Informa
Industry

Publishing, Events, Information Services, Business Intelligence

Technology

Terraform

Platforms

AWS, Azure, Data Centre

The Challenge

With so many business units relying on a single organisational unit to provide foundation technlogy services, managing the entire infrastructure used by the various divisions in the business via the AWS console was extremely tedious and accident prone.

Informa wanted a robust and automated way of deploying and updating complete infrastructures with no risk to production and a key requirement of the solution is that it must be cloud agnostic.

A key challenge was also the ability to rapidly deploy infrastructure requested by these business units for the deployment of proof-of-concept (PoC) applications that keep the business competitive and on the bleeding edge.

Due to the nature of it’s clients, which include financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies, security of these infrastructure and the data stored in them was paramount.

The Solution

Looking at how Informa was structured, we knew a tightly coupled Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tool such as AWS CloudFormation or Azure Deployment Manager was something that will prove di cult to maintain at scale and not fit for purpose.

These tools would also put the company in a vendor lock-in position which was not an option.

With this in mind we chose HashiCorp Terraform as the perfect tool for the job. We began by refactoring the existing code base for the infrastructure and in parallel creating Terraform Modules for each reusable part of the infrastructure or business unit to reduce code duplication.

AltoStack also implemented Terraform Remote State to enable collaboration among developers. This also meant that external companies developing software for the company were able to gain insights into the underlying infrastructure that’ll be hosting the finished application without having access to it simply by looking at the State files.

Once codified, we went on to automate the orchestration of all parts of the infrastructure.

The Results

Once completed, developers across teams, divisions and external partners and companies could safely and predictably create, change, and improve production infrastructure.

Deployment of DEV and UAT environments for new projects or Proof-of-Concept (PoC) was greatly reduced from hours to minutes.

Having reusable modules for all parts of the infrastructure and business units also paved a way efficiently controlling and managing security for various components of the infrastructure and also for implementing security requests from external companies and service providers working on the infrastructure.

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