Driving business value by adopting Amazon ECS
Driving business value by adopting Amazon ECS
United Arab Emirates
Our client specializes in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. It’s a process that creates physical, three-dimensional objects from a digital file – transforming prototype parts or physical spare parts into digital ones that can be manufactured on demand.
Companies that use additive manufacturing benefit from more agile innovation, often trusting additive manufacturers – such as our client – with top-secret product development data. So, trust is at the core of what our client does.
According to Dania Alrefai, Senior DevOps Engineer at Bespin Global, “The high levels of trust shown towards our client meant that our client needed to handle customer data according to the highest local privacy standards – and ensure that their IT systems are highly responsive to keep up with the fast pace of product development.”
The primary challenge was that our clients’ customers are in the UAE – but our client was using the Mumbai AWS region for day-to-day cloud computing needs. The AWS instance was originally set up in Asia Pacific because the company’s development team was based there and given the fact that, at the time, there was no UAE region for AWS.
Amazon Web Services launched a UAE-specific region towards the end of 2022. Due to data protection laws and regulations continuing to impact operation, using an AWS region outside of the UAE was no longer tenable.
A second consideration was the user experience. Utilizing a cloud platform based in Mumbai meant increased latency and other performance challenges – impacting the user experience. Migrating to a more proximate region, in this case the UAE, meant lower latency and a smoother and more responsive user experience.
Unique migration challenges
“Migrating to the AWS UAE region was an obvious choice. But any migration carries challenges – including switchover risk.” – according to Mahmoud Abdelrahman, DevOps Engineer at Bespin Global. Furthermore, our client had unique concerns when it came to migrating:
- Beanstalk to Microservices: Our client has a clear modernization vision to improve the efficiency of the application and the maintainability of the company’s code base, and a major architectural change was a crucial part of the migration operation, so migration required careful planning.
- AWS features: A primary migration challenge was migrating the CI/CD pipeline, but in a critical challenge, our client found that the AWS CodePipeline service was a forthcoming feature in the new target region (UAE).
- Data migration: Migrating the S3 buckets presented a logistical challenge due to the extremely large number of buckets, each with identical configurations.
With such a unique set of challenges, the company needed to work with a partner that had deep AWS expertise – including the ability to find workarounds where AWS services are still in the process of being rolled out.
After a rigorous review process, our client chose to work with Bespin Global, a top-tier AWS partner with many years of experience in dealing with unique, tough AWS challenges.
Step by step, the team at Bespin Global replicated the company’s existing AWS configuration in the new UAE region. To accomplish this, Bespin configured several key AWS services, including:
- Amazon VPC: Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) for full control over the client’s cloud networking, including managing resource allocation, connectivity, and security.
- Amazon S3: Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to ensure scalability, data availability, security, and performance in a cost-effective and easy-to-manage environment.
- Amazon CloudFront: CloudFront, a content delivery network (CDN) service to ensure high performance across our client’s cloud computing environment – even where clients are outside of the UAE, thanks to 450+ globally located Points of Presence (PoPs).
- Amazon DynamoDB: DynamoDB is a fully serviced NoSQL database offering fast, predictable performance along with seamless scalability.
- Amazon Elastic Container Service: Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a fully managed container orchestration service that helps you to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications more efficiently.
“Once we configured core AWS services, we turned to the unique challenges of this migration project. With the AWS CodePipeline service still due to roll out in the target AWS region, we decided to – as a workaround – retain the existing CI/CD pipeline in the Mumbai AWS region.” – said Dania.
Navigating differences in AWS regions
We facilitated this by adjusting account access configurations to ensure that code could still be transferred to the new region despite the service limitation. Though a temporary solution, it ensures that our client can continue its agile development process until AWS CodePipeline becomes available in the UAE.
Migrating the AWS S3 buckets in use by our client presented a logistical challenge due to the large number of buckets. We identified that the typical approach to migration will be time-consuming and prone to human error.
To overcome this challenge, we created a script that was developed to automate the migration process, significantly reducing the time taken to complete the migration and minimizing the risk of human errors. We also double-checked that everything was replicated as expected.
Deploying secure, microservices architecture
To ensure maximum efficiency for our client, Bespin used AWS’s Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Application Load Balancer (ALB) to skillfully orchestrate and manage a set of containerized applications.
According to Mahmoud, “This microservices architecture enables high scalability, reliability, and performance. It’s a strategic deployment of ECS and ALB in a microservices architecture which enabled our client to benefit from enhanced operational efficiency, improved load balancing, and robust service discovery.”
Security was also a core objective throughout the project, and here our implementation of AWS WAF (Web Application Firewall) succeeded as a tool that aids in safeguarding against typical web threats and bots, which can hamper availability, jeopardize security, or use up extensive resources.
Bespin Global’s primary goal was to deliver immediate success in various areas while developing a technological solution that supports the client in achieving their long-term objectives. The client says, “We knew that we needed a modern, cloud-based solution that provided better performance, reliability, and security.” This cloud-based comprehensive solution required ongoing administration and management of the technical operations.
To allow the client’s team to focus on their core business operations, Bespin Global also acted as a managed services provider (MSP), offering 24/7 integrated support services. These services included Proactive Monitoring Services, Infrastructure Operations Management Services, Native Networking Operations, Native Security Operations Services (SecOps), Backup and Restore Services, Cloud DevOps Operations Services, Cost Optimization, and Well Architect Review (WAR) Reporting.
As a result, the components of the customer’s workload are consistently operated and optimized using AWS services to achieve outstanding reliability, availability, security, performance, and a cost-effective environment complying with the latest best practices.
Results & Benefits
These challenges underscore the intricacies involved in migration projects – even where we are simply moving a client from one cloud region to another.
Overcoming these challenges required a blend of technical innovation (like scripting for S3 bucket migration) and strategic planning (such as retaining the CI/CD pipeline in Mumbai with adjusted account access configurations). Despite the challenges and the cut-over risk, our client enjoyed a range of benefits thanks to the migration.
First, with data now held in the UAE and covered under local data protection rules, our client could now confidently communicate its data security posture to companies looking to use its services. It was also confident that it was operating securely within local regulations.
Next, with cloud computing now happening in the local country our client could reassure potential customers of responsive services.
Finally, by moving from AWS Elastic Beanstalk to AWS Elastic Container Services, our client now uses a serverless containerized solution with a microservices architecture. It means the team no longer needs to manage the underlying infrastructure, simplifying the operational overhead. ECS also allows for easier integration with AWS services, such as load balancing, IAM, and others.
“With a smooth migration that addressed all the core challenges, our client was very happy with the result – as all required steps were completed within the needed timeline”, concluded Dania.
About Bespin Global, an e& enterprise company:
An AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and AWS Managed Service Partner, BESPIN GLOBAL MEA (Middle East and Africa) is a leading provider of automated cloud solutions and consulting services, including cloud adoption, strategy, migration, implementation, Managed Services, DevOps, FinOps and Data & Analytics. Bespin is positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Professional and Managed Services, as well as a “Visionary” in Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for IT Transformation Services.
In late 2022, Bespin Global MEA and e& enterprise formed a joint venture with the aim to assist enterprises in their digital transformation journey and eventually become the largest pure-play public cloud-managed and professional services provider in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Pakistan.
Bespin’s cloud FinOps management platform, OpsNow offers an automated end-to-end solution for customers to effectively manage cloud assets and costs, optimize cloud expenses, and automate the implementation of cloud governance policies across multi-cloud environments.
Address: The Offices 4, #138-139, One Central, Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC)
Telephone: 800 BESPIN (237746)
P.O. Box: 340729