Case Study

Accelerating Digital Transformation at Northwestern Mutual with Terraform and GitLab

Mar 20, 2020

Learn how GitLab and Terraform put Northwestern Mutual ahead of the curve when it comes to digital transformation, and two practitioner demos with Terraform.

In order to fully utilize the capabilities of cloud, organizations need tools that allow them to scale infrastructure up and down and deploy application updates on demand.

Northwestern Mutual used to have on-prem datacenters with a long wait time (easily weeks) to provision new infrastructure. In the midst of their digital transformation, Northwestern Mutual took DevOps to heart and embraced everything as code, meaning even infrastructure was defined and versioned as code.

» Northwestern Mutual's Journey

They wanted their tools to empower engineers to work on problem solving and not submitting or waiting on requests for provisioning. Now environments are created in under an hour and applications move rapidly from idea to production. Environments are easily reproducible and there's no risk from patching because they can test exact infrastructure templates.

Leveraging Terraform with GitLab CI now allows their teams to quickly create resources and whole environments, as well as reliably recreate environments with confidence. It allows developers and operators to manage their application and infrastructure pipelines in real time.

» What You'll Learn

In this webinar, Sean Corkum, assistant director of engineering at Northwestern Mutual, will walk through how he and his team are leveraging Terraform and GitLab to modernize their infrastructure deployments. Additionally, Troy Fluegge, Sr. solutions engineer at HashiCorp, and Mayank Tahilramani, Sr. alliances manager at GitLab, will introduce their tools and conclude with a demo showing an example of how Northwestern Mutual's deployment workflow would look using Terraform Cloud and Sentinel's policy checks and cost estimation.

*Sentinel is a policy as code engine within HashiCorp's products. It provides instant, automated compliance checks right in the GitLab workflow without waiting days or weeks for a manual review.*

» Outline

0:00 — Introduction to Terraform

4:50 — Introduction to GitLab and Terraform + GitLab Workflows

10:52 — Northwestern Mutual Case Study & Terraform Workflow Demo Setting up GitLab

23:28 — Demo: Terraform Cloud, GitLab, and Sentinel Workflow with Policy Checks and Cost Estimation

40:00 — Q&A

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