Automating Cloud Migration and Modernizing Legacy Applications at Verisk Analytics

Verisk Analytics is a leading data analytics organization and a Chef customer. Eric Schneider, Verisk’s CTO, currently has his team focused on executing a cloud migration strategy and modernizing legacy applications. Eric recently sat down with us to discuss how Chef is helping them execute on those objectives, and how Verisk’s implementation has evolved over time. You can watch the full interview below.

Velocity, Availability, Resiliency

When embarking on an effort to bring Continuous Automation to an organization, it’s important to have a clear idea of what that effort is intended to achieve at a high level. In Verisk’s automation journey, Eric says, “…it really came down to resiliency… to release more quickly… [and] maintaining the integrity of our code and the integrity for the data we manage.” At Chef, we similarly focus on highlighting the key outcomes for delivering software at speed, which we define broadly as Speed, Efficiency, and Risk Management. Being able to define metrics around those outcomes gives us a way to measure the effectiveness of our automation, and provides a template for evaluating any new initiatives that come our way in the future.

AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate

Verisk chose to have AWS manage Chef Automate for them so they can focus their efforts on customer outcomes. This has allowed them to successfully execute projects like moving an entire existing technology stack to AWS in less than 90 days.

“We want to focus on everything that delivers value for our business, and if it’s not directly delivering value, we want to leave it to the experts…”

Chef Automate is an incredibly powerful automation and collaboration platform. While its maintenance needs tend to be minimal, that’s not to say there isn’t any management overhead involved in implementing Chef. How should its network be laid out? How should I manage backup and restore of configurations? How do I plan for upgrades? With AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate (OWCA for short), it’s possible to dive right into implementing automation, while letting Amazon handle the day to day operation of Chef infrastructure. OWCA is an AWS-managed instance of Chef Automate, with the ability for customers to configure backup schedules, upgrade windows and retention policies all through a user-friendly web dashboard. What’s more, licensing and support are also handled through AWS, allowing existing Amazon customers to get up and running quickly.

Next Steps

Nick Rycar

Nick is a Technical Product Marketing Manager working out of Chef HQ in Seattle. When he's not busy preparing product demos, he's torturing his colleagues with terrible puns and needlessly esoteric pop-culture trivia. Mostly he's just another confused New York transplant in the Pacific Northwest.