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Case Study: AltoStack Help Resolver Group Modernize Their Legacy Platform & Reduce AWS Bill By 55% With Cost Visibility And Optimization

Resolver Group
Industry

Enterprise Applications

Technology

Kubernetes, Terraform, Ansible, Jenkins, Docker, AWS Organizations, AWS EKS, AWS Codebuild, AWS Codepipeline, AWS Lambda

Platforms

AWS, Linux

The Challenge

As a maturing and rapidly growing business Resolver Group has developed a product with a great market fit and established consumer base. At its current stage, informal communication of ideas and requirements where no longer fit for purpose and kicked off the Digital Transformation initiative needed to deliver better customer and employee experiences.

At the start of the initiative, Resolver Group was facing the following challenges:

  1. Scaling the platform so that it can be deployed quickly and securely in various regions around the world in accordance with local statutory requirements
  2. Securing the platform so that it is resilient to attack as its exposure grows and so that it conforms to statutory and best practice requirements such as ISO27001 and GDPR
  3. Stabilising the platform so that releases don't break existing functionality

The company was looking for a partner relationship, instead of just a vendor relationship and wanted to work with someone who could share in their success, rather than just delivering their solution.

As an AWS Partner Network Advanced Partner, AltoStack had deep expertise in solving similar problems.

AltoStack have been brilliant for us. Having picked up a huge, somewhat fragmented legacy system, they got to grips with it incredibly quickly, taking time to understand the business and development needs, and the solution delivered exceeded our expectations, and the cost savings delivered have already pretty much covered the price of the work. Their support and availability throughout the project has been exceptional, and we've learnt a huge amount from them.

Chris O'Byrne, Head of Development, Resolver Group

The Solution

AltoStack worked with Resolver Group to help the company deliver software and technical innovation with greater speed, agility, and efficiency both internally and for their customers as it transitions from a start-up to a scale-up and ensure that key security and regulatory standards were met on an ongoing basis, including GDPR, ISO27001, and more.

AltoStack delivered the following solutions in order to accelerate their digital transformation:

Automated Infrastructure As Code

By combining VPC, RDS, Elasticache, EC2, ELB and AutoScaling we architected a new immutable deployment that would meet the high availability and performance requirements. Adding monitoring tools for better visibility into the performance of the environment and the application and enable us to ensure the smooth operations that Resolver Group required.

One key requirement from Resolver Group was the need for automated software configuration management. By using Terraform, AltoStack fully automated the entire environment, from the underlying network to the auto-scaling configuration which enabled Resolver Group to spin up new environments and deliver the system in any region of the world with a click of a button.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery

On top of automating the environment, AltoStack also implemented a fully automated build system using Jenkins as the central Continuous Integration server for deploying new environments and building new AMI (Amazon Machine Images) that allows them to frequently release new versions of the code without requiring direct support.

AltoStack also utilized AWS Codebuild and AWS Codepipeline to build Feature specific Docker images for Developer Environments which run on Amazon EKS - Managed Kubernetes Service.

This has proven to be very beneficial as the organization has successfully made many code pushes to production, allowing them to run an agile process and constantly improve the service they provide to their customers.

Cloud Cost Optimisation

At the start of the project, AltoStack performed a Cloud HealthCheck which helped identify idle, unused or unattached resources. It also helped with identifying workloads that could benefit from the use of AWS Reserved Instances (RIs) or take advantage of Spot Instances. The findings from the Cloud HealthCheck in addition to Right Sizing and applying those findings whilst architecting the new platform reduced the monthly spend of Resolver Group by 55%.

Having insights from monitoring tools helped us to fine tune the system and reduce the cost of the infrastructure while providing a much improved performance compared to the original deployment. Processes have been put in place to ensure cost optimization on a continuous basis using custom tools and also AWS Compute Optimizer.

Developer Environments

The AltoStack team worked closely with the Resolver Group development team to create a Kubernetes based solution capable of creating on-demand namespaces for each Feature branch worked on by a developer and deploying the complete application stack made up of multiple microservices once a Pull Request is raised allowing developers to rapidly work on features that had dependencies on other microservices rather than in isolation.

Compliance and Security As Code For Applications & Data

AltoStack provided architectural oversight and guidance for the agile development of the cloud platform, governance and advice on DevOps and AWS security best practices, and helped ensure AWS best practices were applied.

AltoStack has delivered on the benefits set out in the original proposal, including up-skilling our developers. They are very experienced and skilled in what they do and worked well with the team. We would recommend using AltoStack.

Hattie Burt, Head of Projects, Resolver Group

The Business Outcome

The move to a cloud-native DevOps model driven by automation and agility has not only allowed Resolver Group to take full advantage of the cloud, but has also created an organizational change that drives stronger operational outcomes at a lower cost.

The company has achieved significant ROI by avoiding slow, manual and complicated software delivery. In addition, development teams can focus on new business initiatives, rather than spending hours creating environments. AltoStack was able to coach and upskill Resolver Group staff to understand each delivered work package so that it can be re-used with other teams.

As a result of moving to the work carried out by AltoStack, the Resolver Group development team has dramatically reduced the amount of time spent managing and maintaining infrastructure. With this time saved, coupled with the flexibility and automation of new AWS infrastructure setup, the team now releases more high quality features at speed, allowing them to more effectively solve complex business needs.

Resolver Group wanted to work with a partner who had expertise in cloud and enterprise development, and had done it many times for many partners. AltoStack have delivered a wide variety of tasks ranging from AWS cost optimization reducing our monthly AWS spend, re-architecting and automating our legacy platform so that our applications and infrastructure can be managed at speed and efficiently all while upskilling our in-hour teams allowing us to deliver better software faster and more efficiently as part of our digital transformation ambitions.

Clive Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Resolver Group

AltoStack's expertise was critical to the successful migration of their legacy infrastructure. Not only did the proposed architecture solution reduce code deployments from hours to minutes, by closely working with AltoStack engineers, the Resolver Group team was able to influence the solution in such a way that it was easily extensible to other use cases. AltoStack's openness to this collaborative process was essential to the long-term success of the project.

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