Watania Advances IT Availability and Agility with Nutanix
Nutanix has announced that National Takaful Company PJSC (Watania), a UAE insurance company based in Abu Dhabi, has standardised on Nutanix Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) technology. The implementation has resulted in approximately 60% savings on the company’s data centre footprint and operation cost, and brought reliability, scalability and flexibility to the IT environment.
It has also greatly enhanced database management and performance of mission-critical applications – including Watania’s core insurance platform, digital platform and other peripheral systems which includes HR & Payroll, Financial and RPA to name a few – which has a direct impact on Watania’s user experience and business.
The company was founded in 2011 by leading institutions – Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and Al Dar Properties. The aim was to provide ‘takaful’ insurance solutions for the regional market. The company focuses on personal and commercial insurance business lines and its operation is in full compliance of Sharia regulations.
Martin Sebastian, CIO of Watania, said, “IT is the backbone of our business, and we are continuously looking at enhancements to maintain its efficiency. The focus is on reducing downtime and maintaining a secure environment while embracing new technologies. Our objective is to guarantee effective operations to the business and better service to our customers.
“Prior to Nutanix, we were running a complex 3-tier architecture and our hardware was fairly outdated. This made managing the infrastructure very time consuming. We also faced a challenge of maintaining availability of our mission-critical applications. The idea was to consolidate and future-proof the IT environment in order to make our operations more efficient, as well as save costs.”
On top of the core infrastructure challenges, databases were also a challenge since Watania had a variety of databases from different vendors (Oracle, MySQL, SQL) that needed to be managed.
After a thorough evaluation of market leading technologies from various vendors, which included reports from leading research firms, Sebastian and his team decided to standardise on Nutanix.
“Nutanix ticked all the boxes in our evaluation process, and we understand that they are leaders in the HCI/ hybrid multicloud space, as validated by IDC and Gartner. The solution being completely software-defined, would help us phase out all the silos in the infrastructure and shrink our data center footprint. From a flexibility standpoint, Nutanix allows freedom of choice – not just with what hardware you decide to run the software on, but also where your applications and workloads will run. Being a hybrid cloud solution, would give us the flexibility and mobility to run applications, both on-prem as well as off-prem. In addition, due to the scalability of the platform, any new node could be added with ease in order to increase capacity.”
Transition to the Nutanix HCI platform was easy and smooth thanks to the Nutanix Services team and the vendor’s service partners. Watania deployed Nutanix Prism that allowed Watania’s IT team to manage, operate, and monitor the entire IT infrastructure life cycle from a single pane of glass. In addition, the company implemented Nutanix Era – a suite of software which automates and simplifies database management, bringing one-click simplicity and invisible operations to database provisioning and lifecycle management (LCM).
“For our database consolidation and operations, Nutanix Era has provided unique value. The solution’s ability to provision, monitor and protect our mission critical databases from one screen in a matter of minutes has saved a lot of operational time and cost,” said Sebastian.
With Nutanix Era in place, the IT team is able to respond to critical deployments of business application in a matter of minutes compared to the weeks it took earlier. Era has enhanced the operation time of delivering new projects with the instant provisioning of new production/ development databases. This helps Watania with better time-to-market for new projects. The built in Era ‘time machine’ feature provides a higher SLA of recovery at any point in time for databases to quickly recover from any corruption that can happen.
“Nutanix has been an integral part of our digital transformation plan. We couldn’t be happier with the results we have seen so far and look forward to building on the existing relationship that we share with the company,” concluded Sebastian.