Red Hat Helps CO-OP Enable Faster, More Flexible Application Development with Red Hat OpenShift

RALEIGH, N.C. (June 23, 2020) — Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Japan CO-OP Insurance Consumers' Co-operative Federation (JCIF) has adopted Red Hat OpenShift as the foundational platform for JCIF's "Co-op My Page," an online portal for policyholder support and new policy applications.


JCIF delivers insurance solutions in the spirit of mutual aid, offering a broad range of insurance types and policies according to the needs of its members. Specifically, JCIF emphasizes policies intended to provide enhanced financial and health security for spouses and children, with the organization serving as Japan's largest provider of child insurance policies. Transforming insurance, digitally


As online solutions have become the point of contact for policyholder support and new policy applications, JCIF has developed a variety of services for its web-based systems to meet these demands. The centerpiece of this strategy is the "Co-op My Page." My Page helps make it easier for policyholders to claim mutual aid benefits, make address changes and other administrative tasks via a centralized site with 24/7/365 availability. Additionally, My Page is also intended to help drive business processing efficiency for JCIF in an effort to better streamline how the organization handles policyholder requests.


With My Page covering a broad range of services and functionality, JCIF needed to be able to more quickly and flexibly respond to the changing and diversification of end user needs. This prompted the organization to adopt a multi-vendor approach, building applications separately for each service and commissioning a different vendor to develop each application.


The introduction of each vendor, however, required changes to service configurations and resources, straining the underlying legacy system. In addition, in order to respond to spikes in service demand, server resources had to be readied for whatever the projected maximum user requirements would be. These service spikes compounded challenges that JCIF already saw with its legacy systems, including siloed application stacks, end-of-lifecycle support and the inability to integrate with emerging Web-based technologies


Bridging digital gaps with containers and Kubernetes


With these realities front-and-center, JCIF decided to use more portable and flexible container technology, which could separate the runtime environment for each application and service. This helped to simplify JCIF's multi-vendor development approach and enabled a faster, lower cost path to effective service delivery and resource usage. To power its container strategy, JCIF selected Red Hat OpenShift, the industry's most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform, for its streamlined, supported operations across the cloud-native lifecycle, from container preparation to tuning and log configuration.


JCIF began rebuilding its web system infrastructure in October 2017, with operations starting in January 2019 and My Page entering full production in June of that same year. The organization also began operating two additional OpenShift-based systems in May 2019. The benefits of cloud-native


Previously, settings and configuration changes to JCIF's web environment could only be made on a server-by-server basis; under the new system, changes for each application can be made at the container level, reducing the time it takes to manage underlying environments. This also increases developer and IT operations freedom across the organization. In addition,reducing delivery time has made it possible to more quickly develop new applications and services. JCIF can now also increase and decrease resources flexibly to handle demand spikes, eliminating the need to prepare resources in anticipation of maximum loads, leading to a reduction in IT costs.


ITOCHU Techno-Solutions (CTC) provided consulting, design and development for JCIF, while Red Hat provided technical product support for this project.


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