Hi Marley

Read how Hi Marley migrated to a self-hosted environment to regain control and simultaneously adopted DevOps best practices.

The Caylent team has significantly accelerated Hi Marley’s journey to best-in-class DevOps. The entire pod is responsive, helpful, attentive to detail, and proactively identifies potential breakdowns before they affect our critical environments. The quality of the completed work is consistently excellent, and accompanied by thoughtful knowledge sharing sessions to ensure our team is up to speed with new technologies in the stack. -John Tokarowski, SRE Engineer

-John Tokarowski, SRE Engineer, Hi Marley

Company

Hi Marley is the intelligent communication platform for the insurance industry. Built by people who know and love insurance, the platform enables hassle-free texting across the entire ecosystem, empowering insurance professionals and delighting policyholders. Hi Marley’s industry leading analytics deliver novel insights that fuel continuous improvement. The solution is built for the enterprise – fast to deploy, easy to use and seamlessly integrates with other core systems. Hi Marley is empowering the world’s leading insurance carriers to reinvent the customer and employee experience.

Objective

Regain control over their environment and adopt DevOps best practices. 

Challenge

Hi Marley knew they wanted to employ a microservices architecture and that they were going to need services around databases, AI and autoscaling. The team selected a Rackspace managed environment. 

As the team and company grew, productivity began to wane and Hi Marley’s applications grew increasingly complex and slow. There was a knowledge gap around DevOps and best practices. Limited environments were available and were being deployed manually. The lack of automation, proper workflow tools and methodologies were creating a suboptimal developer experience. 

The leadership team at Hi Marley sought to regain total control of their environment by migrating to a self-managed AWS account using Infrastructure as Code and DevOps best practices. They did not want the work strictly done for them, but rather a “do it with me” approach. 



Solution

Hi Marley engaged Caylent to architect and perform the migration from the Rackspace to a self-managed AWS account. Terraform was employed as an Infrastructure-as-Code tool to create and manage Cloud infrastructure enabling the creation of multiple application environments in a consistent, repeatable manner.  AWS Organizations was leveraged to manage IAM so the team could have a login to centralize the identity management and set up organization-wide control policies. DNS architecture and management was set up through Route 53. 

The team began to address Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery by provisioning a new AWS account and deploying a VPC with all of the associated resources. S3 buckets, SFTP service, SSM parameters, KMS keys, ALB and other services were deployed. IAM roles were established and policies were updated for the users to assume those roles in DR. Data replication (DynamoDB, S3, and RDS) was implemented and DR domains set up in Route 53. Finally, the backups of the production environment were addressed through AWS Backup to automate the process of taking manual snapshots of Aurora, RDS MySQL and DynamoDB and sharing those snapshots cross-account, cross-region. 

The Caylent team then turned their efforts to improving the developer experience and ease with which local development environments could be created. Applications were containerized via Docker and migrated to EKS Fargate to take advantage of Serverless Kubernetes. A key part of the success of this project centered around knowledge transfer from the Caylent team to Hi Marley’s engineers. 

As an InsureTech company, security was of utmost concern for Hi Marley as they prepared for SOC 2 compliance. Initially, there was a mix of identity-based and resource-based IAM policies in the environment. The Caylent and Hi Marley teams worked together to enforce consistency in how permissions were managed and implemented Least Privilege access. 

Results

The velocity of the organization is dramatically faster than when Hi Marley began the engagement with Caylent. The migration was completed on time and on budget. The infrastructure is now nearly defined 100% by code, whereas pre-migration, no IaC was used. This means that environments are now spun up in days vs. several weeks previously. 

Hi Marley now has complete control of their environment and has improved the developer experience. 

The next phase of Hi Marley’s infrastructure modernization includes a MongoDB migration, redefining and improving the CI/CD pipeline, improving their fault tolerance through multi region replication, further work on the Backup and DR environment and doing the groundwork to comply with SOC 2 requirements.

Client

Hi Marley

Industry

InsureTech

Location

Boston, MA

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