Nationwide Mutual Insurance: JBoss Innovation Award Winner

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June 17, 2010

Customer: Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

Industry: Insurance
Geography: North America
Country: United States


Business Challenge:

Nationwide needed a cost-effective and highly-available architecture that would scale to enable the company#39;s rapid growth. The platform also needed to maintain Nationwide#39;s high customer satisfaction standards while improving availability, reducing infrastructure costs, and decreasing management complexity for business-critical applications used by Nationwide agents.

Software:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, Oracle DBMS

Hardware:

Four HP dual-core AMD Opteron processor-based 8216 servers, Azul Java Appliance

Benefits:

Nationwide was able to reduce the total time it takes to restart server clusters by 35 percent, and achieve faster time to deployment and problem resolution by identifying and fixing two long-term bugs in its architecture that had affected scale and memory utilization, saving hundreds of hours of IT time.

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Background:

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard and Poors, the company provides customers with a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, farm, and commercial insurance; administrative services; annuities; mortgages; mutual funds; pensions; long-term savings plans; and health and productivity services. Over the past 80 years, Nationwide has grown from a small mutual auto insurer owned by policyholders, to one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world with more than $135 billion in statutory assets.

Business Challenge:

Nationwide’s IT infrastructure needs to support thousands of insurance agents across the country to create new auto insurance quotes for prospective customers and to easily view and modify existing policies online. However, the legacy application supporting Nationwide agents was no longer meeting its demands.


Nationwide needed a cost-effective and highly-available architecture that would scale to enable the company’s growth and support Nationwide’s high standards for stellar customer satisfaction while improving availability, reducing infrastructure costs, and decreasing management complexity.

Solution:

The JBoss Enterprise Application Platform deployed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux provided a high performance, cost-effective software platform that when deployed in conjunction with Azul’s Java Appliance and Oracle Database on the backend was able to scale seamlessly on demand, providing the scalability, manageability, and visibility Nationwide needed to meet its business objectives.

Benefits:

By leveraging key technologies from Red Hat and Azul, Nationwide has proven that developing advanced, innovative platforms on open source solutions offers significant cost advantages and can reduce infrastructure footprints and improve deployment ROI.
Through leveraging JBoss Enterprise Application Platform on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Nationwide was able to reduce operating costs, improve performance and agility—which itself had a direct impact on revenues—increase scalability, application visibility, increase application competitiveness, and prepare for future growth with better resource utilization and lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
The cost savings alone were significant. Nationwide was able to consolidate its infrastructure footprint and improved resource utilization by reducing 10 server instances to four, saving almost $200,000 in internal charges for that application alone.
Nationwide achieved greater agility with fewer, more robust Java Virtual Machine instances that were easier to deploy, manage, and maintain. There was also 25 percent better application response times and resource utilization enabled by the highly scalable JBoss Enterprise Application Platform-based infrastructure and the Azul Java Appliance.
Business continuity was also improved due to the highly scalable infrastructure. Nationwide also enhanced production-time manageability and resolved issues that arose more quickly through Azul’s RealTime Performance Monitor. And the faster and more consistent application response times and improved application availability resulted in a better user experience altogether.
Nationwide also significantly reduced resolution time of production application runtime issues and increased application runtime visibility through Azul’s RealTime Performance Monitor. It also achieved better resource control and management through JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and Azul’s Compute Pool Manager.
Finally, by reducing JVM instances and deployment complexity, Nationwide was able to achieve lower operating costs and save hundreds of man hours in deployment overhead.
Red Hat’s support during the migration process was extremely helpful and allowed Nationwide to streamline the transition. Through the successful implementation of open source and best of breed partner components, Nationwide was able to solve complex, mission-critical deployment challenges and gain a competitive advantage while reducing operational costs.
This project demonstrates that by using a combination of best-of-breed products and Red Hat open source components, organizations can successfully and cost-effectively deploy business critical applications that meet stringent service-level agreements (SLAs), while providing the business agility and innovation to meet future demands.

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