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This post is from the XebiaLabs blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated May 17, 2016 — DevOps Expert

Generali’s Journey to Reduce Release Downtimes by 90%


Generali Germany recently underwent a DevOps makeover in a successful attempt to change the process and rate at which they deployed software. Their main focus was to adopt an automated deployment configuration while simultaneously automating their deployment process in order to speed up their deployment time to production.

 generali-1Generali Germany is part of the international Generali Group. Founded in 1831, Generali is the premier life insurer in Europe; operating in 60 counties with 78,000+ employees and 72 million clients.

Generali 1.0

Initially, Generali used custom solutions for their deployment automation. They were averaging 4 major software releases each year. Their strategy was to deploy everything at once with each release.Generali's Release Process:
  • Total process took 48 hours to complete
  • 36 hours were allocated to testing
  • 12 hours were allocated to installations and database changes
It became clear that Generali’s legacy system, coupled with their lack of automation, was slowing down their entire deployments process.
“Our target was to reduce release and maintenance downtime to five hours.” - Torsten Rehfisch, Scrum Product Owner at Generali Germany

The Decision-making Process

Generali chose to consider three options: NovaTec’s automaIT, IBM’s UrbanCode Deploy, and XebiaLabs' XL Deploy.Key factors:
  1. Number of consultants for POC
  2. Time until first successful implementation
  3. Duration of installations
  4. Licensing costs
Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 11.34.49 AM  Based on the results above, Generali chose XebiaLabs’ XL Deploy.
“Installation was very fast...after 1.5 days, we were finished and had time to look at other software components,” said Rehfisch.

Generali 2.0

Thanks to XebiaLabs, Generali was able to automate their entire software deployment process, make the full switch to automated deployments and reach their goal to reduce release downtimes by 90%. Today it takes Generali 5 hours to release and manage software deployments with the help of XebiaLabs’ XL Deploy and XL Release - down from 48 hours before. XebiaLabs now provides a wide range of benefits to Generali:
  1. No more forgotten artifacts during deployment
  2. More stable deployments
  3. Deployments can be done on new infrastructure
  4. Switch between old and new production only takes a few minutes compared to long running deployment processes
  5. Automated Rollbacks - instead of deploying an old software stack again
  6. The ability to reproduce infrastructure from scratch in order to generate empty servers that XL Deploy can manage from the beginning
XebiaLabs has also helped Generali reach full automation.
“We have no more manual actions on our websphere containers or our operating system settings." - Torsten Rehfisch.
  As a premier life insurer in Europe, Generali needed a streamlined software deployment process in order to cut down deployment time and provide a quality experience to their customers. XebiaLabs’ XL Release and XL Deploy helped them achieve just that, as Generali made the switch to fully automated deployments.This blog is based on a presentation given by Torsten Refisch of Generali Germany at the Delivery of Things World on April 25th, 2016.

Watch the full presentation here.

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