Read how Boost increased velocity through adopting Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and DevOps best practices
Boost enables companies across all segments to build, embed and manage digital insurance products, and deliver them through a fully embedded experience within their own front-end environments.
Boost’s infrastructure-as-a-service platform significantly reduces the cost of building and managing an insurance company by packaging the necessary operational, compliance, and capital components and making them accessible through a simple API integration.
Through its managing general agency subsidiary, Boost Insurance Agency, Inc., Boost is licensed and authorized to produce any type of insurance across all 50 states. Boost is appointed by ‘A’-rated fronting carriers and has its own dedicated reinsurance facility backed by global reinsurers.
Implement Infrastructure as Code (IaC) for automation, scalability and security resilience, compliant with AWS best practices to support their high velocity growth.
Boost’s user base was experiencing significant growth, and to support the increased activity, the company’s cloud environments began growing as well. Their existing cloud architecture was built on containers using Amazon EKS but had limitations, inhibiting Boost from leveraging all the advantages containers have to offer. Increasing the infrastructure capacity required manual deployment, and security and scalability became top concerns. As a modest sized engineering team, Boost recognized that infrastructure management was taking up a significant amount of their resources. Slow deployments impacted their ability to remain agile in the market, and scaling their service would be challenging with the current architecture.
The leadership team at Boost sought to quickly remediate the issues and take advantage of the cloud’s ability to scale environments with their growing user base by implementing Infrastructure as Code (IaC) for automation, reworking their AWS account structure, creating new environments for multi-stage deployment, and leveraging best practices with Amazon EKS. They did not want the work strictly done for them, but rather through a “do it with me” approach.
Caylent began with an initial assessment of the current cloud infrastructure, deployment processes, and security vulnerabilities. Within the first week, Caylent rapidly embedded with the Boost team, joining their Slack channel, defining an initial project backlog based on Boost’s needs and Caylent’s insights.
Caylent and Boost had identified two critical priorities around security to address immediately. Initially Boost was using one AWS account for all their development, staging and production workloads. Caylent built out a landing zone using a multi-account isolated strategy following AWS best practices. Caylent then enabled data encryption at rest for Amazon RDS and Amazon EC2 instances. Leveraging Caylent’s flexible pod model and robust skillsets, Boost’s infrastructure was rapidly shifted to a secure cloud environment.
IaC was used to create and manage automated cloud infrastructure, enabling the creation of multiple application environments in a consistent, repeatable manner. Caylent also identified shifting from Manifest to Helm, building Helm charts to deploy the new Kubernetes (K8s) clusters on Amazon EKS in a consistent and simpler way. Utilizing IaC templates and Helm charts, Caylent built a new multi-account, multi-environment structure for Amazon EKS, compliant with AWS best practices. These environments had clear repeatable processes to recreate, and would automatically scale to support growing user demand. Caylent then migrated the workloads to the new environments with minimal downtime and performed initial testing to ensure smooth operation.
After the migration process, Caylent continues to work with Boost to employ ChatOps integrations, build and iterate observability tooling, plan for disaster recovery (DR), and support developer self-service processes. The team also leveraged spot instances to help optimize Boost’s infrastructure costs.
After their engagement with Caylent, Boost’s velocity has increased dramatically. Infrastructure is now defined nearly 100% with IaC, reaping a plethora of benefits. Prior to the modernization, new cloud infrastructure deployments would take days and were prone to vulnerabilities around security and scaling. Now infrastructure deployment takes just a matter of minutes and the team at Boost can feel confident that each component deployed is secure and scalable.
With the new AWS org structure and best practices in place, Boost now has a highly available cloud environment, which can be critical for a high growth startup. Their technical teams can now focus on application improvements and adding features, while infrastructure scaling and management are largely automated.
Since Boost & Caylent’s partnership to improve the scalability and security of their architecture, Boost has gone through substantial progress, experiencing two rounds of fund raises, and the architecture has performed seamlessly to support their growing user base.
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