Truston is an IT service provider and thé specialist for the back office application Oracle Health Insurance. Truston supports several health insurers by offering the application as a SaaS solution and carrying out the complete management for them. Truston believes that customer and suppliers can move forward by working together. Truston operates and maintains the Oracle Health Insurance Shared Service Center as part of that philosophy.
Oracle technology plays a vital role in Truston’s Shared Service Center. Due to the increase in a great diversity of customers, the desire arose in 2018 to renew the existing IT infrastructure. Truston formulated the following targets for itself:
- More predictability and consistency in transitions from development to production stage through test and acceptance
- More uniformity in customer IT infrastructure
- Preparing for future developments (cloud transition)
- Better detectability of changes
- Service scalability (add more customers to the Shared Service Center without increasing the team size)
Approach and solution
Internally, Truston had already experimented with Infra-as-Code. Therefore they decided to focus on Infra-as-Code tooling. Tooling will not only automatically configure the IT infrastructure at initial deployment but also ensures that it continues to meet the defined configuration (desired state) during the rest of the lifecycle. After extensive research, Truston chose the combination of products from Puppet and Enterprise Modules. Enterprise Modules reacts quickly to new releases of – in this situation – Oracle technology. This helps Truston make use of the latest Oracle and WebLogic technology faster but remain in control.
In addition to the product selection, Truston also opted for support from specialists in this field and chose consultants from Enterprise Modules and AMIS|Conclusion. This choice is based on Truston’s philosophy: “Believe in specialists”. Truston is the specialist in managing the back office of health insurers, Enterprise Modules is the specialist in Puppet in enterprise environments.
Step 1: automate rollout and changes
In the Infra-as-Code project, the project team developed Puppet code for all systems required to deliver the Oracle Health Insurance application to Truston’s customers. This Puppet code supports automated initial deployment on day-1 operations and can also be used for controlled automated changes on day-2 operations.
By using the Puppet modules for Oracle and WebLogic from Enterprise Modules, the core components, like Oracle databases, WebLogic domains and Oracle Forms servers were quickly put into operation. The project’s focus continued to be on developing Puppet code for Truston’s proprietary components. This work was carried out by a team of consultants Truston, Enterprise Modules, and AMIS|Conclusion.
Step 2: embedding in the organization
Automating the rollout is only a tiny part of the steps needed to quickly and adequately roll out and change IT systems. Embedding this technology in the organization is a crucial part of the process. In doing so, Truston has ensured that changes in the applications and infrastructure pass through the DTAP stages in a controlled and predictable manner. Truston can now roll out in a controlled manner the tested infrastructure changes every two weeks across all managed IT infrastructure. Adding additional customers or customer IT infrastructure is also possible quickly and with limited effort.
Step 3: Cloud Migration
The IT infrastructure Truston manages for its customers contains a large share of Oracle technology. The approaching end of the technical life of the current hardware in the Shared Service Center was a logical moment to assess the options for the future. Purchase new hardware or transition to a cloud provider. If so, which cloud provider?
After research, Truston chose to move to the cloud and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as the cloud provider for version 2.0 of the Shared Service Center. On the one hand, this is financially interesting, and on the other hand, because it offers the possibility to use specific Oracle technology, such as an Exadata database server. In addition, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides a relatively simple growth path to using, for example, Autonomous Database technology.
The Puppet code developed in step 1 turned out to be usable with only minor adjustments to roll out cloud systems. Combined with the use of Terraform to create resources within Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Truston had the first IT systems up and running in the cloud within a week. The first customer was fully operational on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure within six months after the start of the project.