ABOUT THE CLIENT
The client is a large Canadian pension plan that provides retirement benefits to teachers. It is one of the largest pension funds in Canada. The client invests in a diverse range of assets, including public and private equities, fixed income, real estate, and infrastructure. With a long-term investment horizon, the client is committed to sustainability, responsible investing, and strong governance. In addition to its core pension plan business, the client also manages a number of private equity and infrastructure investment funds.
The client required a solution to efficiently build and manage golden images for their Core System. The golden images needed to be integrated into the client’s existing CI/CD process for launching virtual machines on multiple platforms including VMware, OpenStack, and Azure. The client sought a solution to automate the process, improve the efficiency and accuracy of image building, and streamline the deployment of virtual machines.
Challenges faced by the client with their old process:
- Time-consuming manual process for building golden/master images
- Prone to errors and inconsistencies
- Delays in the deployment of virtual machines
- Lack of standardization and automation in the image-building process
- Inefficient use of resources and manpower
- Challenges in keeping up with the rapidly changing technology and market trends.
The project was divided into four core areas:
- A detailed assessment of existing Golden Images
- A process to build Golden Images
- CI/CD – Deploying Golden Images
- Knowledge Transfer and Training
To start, Planet of IT conducted a thorough assessment of the client’s existing golden images, covering various areas such as system information, network, installed applications, and more. A workshop was held to design the process for building and deploying golden images and to document the key information required for implementation.
Next, Planet of IT set up a development environment using Packer and Terraform tools to build golden images for the client’s core system. Base templates were created for Windows and RHEL operating systems and the images were built and tested.
The client’s CI/CD process was streamlined by setting up file storage for base ISO images and a repository for artifacts produced by builds. Golden images were built using Packer and deployed and the builds were tested to ensure that the required images were produced and deployed.
Finally, Planet of IT handed over the knowledge to the client’s IT team and provided documentation for all processes, including a detailed design document, an architecture document of the as-built infrastructure, and as-built documentation.
The results of the Golden Image project were highly beneficial to the client. The new process improved deployment efficiency, enhanced infrastructure management, increased security, and improved supportability. The project allowed the client to meet their business objectives and the knowledge transfer session ensured their IT team had the necessary skills to continue the work.