Case Study

Improved Growth and Scale Through Application Modernization

challenge

Improved Growth and Scale Through Application Modernization

TeachTown, an education software company based in Woburn, MA, provides curriculum and education programs to measurably improve the academic, behavioral and adaptive functioning of students with moderate to severe disabilities. They had legacy applications operating in an out-of-date colocation facility and were using early versions of .NET, old Windows servers and a massive Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL) database that was obsolete and “end of lifed.” They needed to modernize their application and infrastructure so that as their business grew, the application could scale with them.

solution

Refactored Application and an Infrastructure Migration

Our team began to refactor and modernize parts of their existing application utilizing AWS Lambda and migrating portions of their database to AWS RDS Aurora MySQL. We also took the opportunity to migrate their existing infrastructure to a current version of Windows Server and MSSQL. We migrated their domain to AWS using Route 53 and created a hosted zone, sub domains, added/migrated records and ensured this worked for all accounts within the organization. Custom AMIs and CloudFormation scripts were also implemented which automated the creation of new environments quickly and easily. We then helped to migrate all of their infrastructure to AWS from their legacy colocation facility. We set up their AWS account with proper organization hierarchy and implemented AWS Control Tower. We then used AWS Database Migration Service to migrate part of their MSSQL database to AWS Aurora MySQL. We also implemented AWS SSO for their accounts and set up the AWS Client VPN service for their internal teams to access the modernized application and related services. Finally, we introduced governance to meet their strict compliance requirements by utilizing AWS Systems Manager to automate OS lifecycle management and to perform regularly scheduled patching.

results

Better Reliability and Reduced Costs

As a result of our efforts, TeachTown was able to modernize their application stack and reduce costs by removing some Microsoft Licensing requirements. Additionally, by leveraging AWS RDS for their databases we eliminated several single points of failure, improved visibility into database performance and reduced costs while improving the end user experience. In regards to monitoring, the CloudWatch agent was installed with custom metric filters and logs to ensure the client had visibility into running instances. This provided the opportunity to create custom alarms for billing while also using the Cost Explorer to track the cost of each service being used. Due to compliance, we were able to increase the security posture for the employees as well as end users by leveraging Control Tower, AWS Inspector, Security Groups, fine tuning IAM permissions and encrypting data at rest by using AWS KMS.

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