Reducing Infrastructure Costs & Adding Agility
The opportunity at a glance
Greater flexibility managing hardware and software deployment resulting in increased efficiency and cost savings
Our customer is the leading independent source of best practice enterprise-level external whistleblowing hotline and related services. They were Australia’s first online whistleblowing service integrated with a traditional telephone hotline, and work with some of the country’s largest organisations to help promote ethical behaviours.
Having been engaged as the organisation’s managed delivery provider, Cevo was experiencing limited access to the application infrastructure (both the corporate marketing site, and the online whistleblowing service platform). At that time it was managed by a third party, and because the infrastructure was handspun it was not easily reproducible – thereby restricting the ability to spin up beta or blue-green environments, or temporary test environments.
Further, to make any changes required raising tickets and/or permissions, limiting visibility of workflows, and the ability to iterate and respond quickly to any market demands.
Our customer was also paying a 30% premium on top of the infrastructure costs.
As a result, the organisation wanted to bring control of the infrastructure in-house, improve testing capabilities and deployment turn-around times, and in doing so reduce their infrastructure costs.
Based on the existing working relationship, Cevo was commissioned to undertake the process of moving the infrastructure from external to self-managed.
Working closely with the internal team, the solution was broken down into the following phases:
- Investigation around access to existing infrastructure and external requirements.
- Deploy marketing CMS into dev and demo
- Deploy marketing CMS app to production
- Deploy customer app to dev and demo
- Deploy customer app to production
- Clean up old infrastructure
The initial investigation looked at the existing infrastructure, the servers, caches, databases, and network infrastructure as well as the external controls such as DNS redirects and existing nameservers. From the investigation, a task list was developed.
The CMS marketing application was then migrated to a new self-managed account using repeatable CloudFormation scripts. The marketing site is low risk with no confidential data and could be used to give confidence and help identify any nuances migrating from their existing provider.
Having successfully completed the above, the process was repeated for the customer site which contains sensitive information.
The final transition from the third party provider to the new production server was ‘rehearsed’ a number of times using a non-prod domain name before the final switch over. A rigorous plan was generated with sequences, plans for testing, roll back and roll forward scenarios and each task had a clearly defined actor. At the cutover conclusion, Cevo provided a period of ‘hypercare’ where engineers constantly monitor logs and focus on ensuring the application is running smoothly.
Once the migration was complete, scheduled startup and shutdown of the development and demonstration infrastructure was added to further reduce ongoing costs.
As a result of this work, our customer has gained greater flexibility managing hardware and software deployments, as well as reducing infrastructure costs.
Specifically, this has included the following benefits:
- The ability to create development, demonstration and test environments on demand
- Greater control of the AWS account and lower AWS costs due to reduced running times and removal of third party 30% margin
- Further costs savings from Improved visibility of costs, and implementing scheduled shutdown and startup of development and demonstration servers
- Reduced time to find and resolve any issues
- The ability to configure a test environment for the Content Management System (CMS) marketing site
- A better environment for testing underlying application infrastructure
- Removing the expense of a dedicated compute (EC2) instance by replacing a jump box with Session Manager.