Modernizing a Business Process in AWS

Modernizing a Business Process in AWS

The Softchoice Cloud team has just finished modernizing a customer’s business process to take advantage of the AWS cloud. The goal was to find the most secure and agile way to simplify a tedious monthly process.

The customer provides Health and Wellness programs to corporate clients and their employees. They regularly inform their clients on healthy lifestyles, nutrition, workplace ergonomics, and common health conditions. Every month the customer would generate these emails by manually exporting data from their client records in the AWS Relational Database Service (RDS), and loading it into an on-premise email marketing platform.

Softchoice had previously moved the customer’s fleet of WordPress servers, together with the supporting databases, to a high-availability architecture in AWS. The latest challenge was to make the management of their email campaigns just as flexible, robust, and secure.

Here are some of the options that were considered. Which do you think best meets requirements for security and availability?

Option 1) Make the customer’s AWS RDS instances publicly available so the on-premise email marketing platform can request the data it needs.

Option 2) Deploy a new AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance in AWS and install the email marketing platform on that instance; expose that EC2 instance to the pubic internet to permit the email marketing platform to handle the unsubscribe and bounce-back events.

Option 3) Integrate the existing solution in the AWS cloud with a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) email marketing platform; use a short script running in EC2 to push data out to the SaaS platform.

The customer and the Softchoice team chose option 3 because it requires only outgoing traffic from the cloud data center, whereas options 1 and 2 would require careful management to address the risk posed by their exposure to the internet. Option 3 is highly scalable. And option 3 allows the client to eliminate the maintenance of an on-premise platform, including the patching of the operating system and application layers.

The optimized business process significantly lowers the amount of manual work. The application is stored in AWS Code Commit, which is the GIT repository in AWS. By storing the application code in a Git, we were able to maintain several versions of the application for production and testing. The generation of outbound email messages is handled through a combination of Simple Queuing Services (SQS) and integration with a 3rd party transactional email API.

The customer’s RDS instances remain secure inside a private subnet of the AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). The entire solution is deployed to multiple AWS Availability Zones so it can survive the failure of a whole cloud datacenter. The entire AWS solution, including the WordPress servers, the EC2 instances, the RDS instances, and the VPC are managed turn-key through the Softchoice Keystone Complete for AWS service.

Leave a comment and tell us about your application modernization for the AWS cloud.

About Rich Finlay

Rich helps businesses realize the potential of cloud by making the cloud easy to buy and manage.

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