The CFA Institute implements ITIL and prevents configuration drift with UpGuard

Visibility and management of IT environments

THE RESULTS

140K

Membership of accredited investment professionals

1K+

Servers spread across multiple data centers

57%

Reduction in configuration drift across these servers

The CFA Institute is the largest association of investment management professionals, providing the global standard for education and accreditation. With UpGuard, the CFA Institute gained visibility into its IT infrastructure of thousands of servers, and was able to get its change managment processes back on track.

Accrediting over 140,000 investment professionals

The CFA Institute sets professional standards for investment management practitioners, and engages other finance professionals by helping them move into the investment management industry.

Their work also improves outcomes for investors, by helping shape the market for educated and ethical investment management professionals.

Operating globally, the CFA Institute was established in 1947. It has more than 142,000 members in 150 countries and territories, and 137 member societies in 60 countries.

OVERVIEW
CFA Institute is the world's largest association of investment management professionals, with over 140,000 members.
CHALLENGE
Poor visibility into its IT infrastructure, with thousands of servers spread across multiple data centers. Failing software releases and configuration drift.
SOLUTION
UpGuard Core for IT visibility, change detection and tracking, release management and integrity monitoring.
INDUSTRY
Financial education and certification
FOUNDED
1947
HEADQUARTERS
Charlottesville, Virginia

The Challenge

In the midst of implementing ITIL with Kanban, the world’s largest association of investment professionals found itself lacking a clear view of its environments and IT assets. Additionally, drift and misconfigurations were suspected of causing performance issues and software glitches in its applications.

The CFA Institute had poor visibility into its infrastructure of thousands of servers spread across multiple data centers. Its software releases were failing and configuration issues were the suspected culprit. But without any change tracking mechanisms in place or method to discern good versus bad changes, it was unable validate these suspicions.

The Solution

UpGuard’s easy-to-use interface and quick setup allowed the CFA Institute to start discovering critical environmental information immediately. Right off the bat, the platform revealed extensive differences between its environment’s documented state and true state. A few manual tests confirmed the findings: up to a 67% configuration difference was found on some key servers, as opposed to the expected 20-25%. With UpGuard, the CFA Institute was able to discover the true scale of its configuration drift problem as a first step towards remediation.

“We did a group diff with UpGuard and quickly discovered that one of our web servers had a different configuration from the other six supporting the application. We restored that server’s configuration and things were back to normal. We couldn’t have done that without UpGuard.”

The Results

The CFA Institute was able to tackle its configuration drift and software quality issues with UpGuard. And with configurations illuminated and key changes monitored on an ongoing basis, the organization looks to further integrate UpGuard into its daily IT operations for security configuration management and PCI compliance.

Configuration drift reduced by 57%

Discovering configuration changes and managing drift is critical–but the ability to correlate them to poor user experience and failing software is invaluable. For the CFA Institute, problems with lack of visibility were manifest in application failures on the production side. UpGuard enabled it to catch those flaws and misconfigurations before reaching end-users on an ongoing basis.

Frequency of customer outages reduced with ongoing monitoring to keep it low

UpGuard makes discovering what you have a trivial affair. However, the arguably bigger challenge is establishing an ongoing process for continuous integrity and improvement. To this end, UpGuard gave the CFA Institute critical insights into why customers were sporadically experiencing downtime. Once configuration issues were remediated, the platform’s policy-driven monitoring and validation mechanisms ensure that moving forward, the organization’s IT assets are consistent and correct across environments.

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