AWS Well-Architected, DevOps and Migration

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The Challenge

The front-end applications were hosted on bare-metal and served using Nginx reverse proxy. The user pool had been rapidly increasing and the existing infrastructure could not support the growth in demand; the primary challenge was that they were unable to scale and manage their existing infrastructure. Significant data builds were required that would, in some cases, take up to two months to complete, representing a significant lag for data builds on which all applications depend.

Maintaining a competitive edge

In addition to this, all back-end applications were using a single database as source, resulting in a high amount of replicated data and as a result compromised data consistency and accuracy; which feeds low efficiency and high cost.

Homesearch were also suffering from the lack of controls and governance around user access and data accessibility, with most of the resources in UK servers managed manually; which meant staff had access to a production environment, and in addition were using it has a development platform, operating out of line with best practice and representing a business continuity risk.

Their private Cloud infrastructure held 46 TB of data in block storage which regularly had storage issues that required a high level of manual archiving and processing to relieve capacity, and to maintain operations. Due to the size of their data, backups were sizeable and the process to recover or restore data in a disaster recovery situation would have been extremely complex and lengthy; a risk the new technology leadership team wanted to address as a priority.

The Solution

Following an initial review of the Homesearch on-premises and private Cloud environments, Ubertas Consulting and Homeseach worked closely to articulate the business benefits of migrating their workloads to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Ubertas Consulting were able to get Homesearch access to AWS’s Migration Accelerator Program (MAP), a proven migration methodology for Cloud adoption, supplemented with AWS funding and discount initiatives. The project delivery was a collaborative effort between the Ubertas Consulting and Homesearch teams.

In order to satisfy the rapidly growing number of users front-end applications were migrated to S3 buckets, and served with CloudFront for optimal performance. All associated back-end services were containerised, and migrated to ECS. As part of the project all databases, applications and scripts that need to be migrated to improve Database performance were moved to the AWS Cloud. Front-end application data was migrated to OpenSearch and optimised search performance by 98%. All the applications have been containerised and migrated to ECS.

To speed up development and automate deployments the Ubertas Consulting Basecamp was deployed. Alongside Basecamp Jenkins controller, Jenkins Agents were configured and deployed to run on ECS Fargate. To deploy all necessary infrastructure, Terraform (IaC – Infrastructure as Code) was utilised. Everything from UK Block Storage was migrated using DataSync to S3.

Backups were automated with different AWS Backup plans – and it was recommended by Ubertas Consulting that game days be used to test out recovery of those resources.

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The Results


CSAT Score


Cost Savings


Increase in Productivity

The Benefits

MA validated best-practice implementation based upon the principles of the AWS Well-Architected Framework. Other benefits delivered through the migration and modernisation project include:

  • Improved front-end scalability without performance limitations, which can scale with customer demand offering a highly available service
  • Unlimited block storage reducing manual intervention and providing suitable capacity for data operations
  • Elasticsearch implementation resulting in search performance boost by 98%
  • Fully automated deployments optimising the production pipeline and workforce efficiency
  • Applications are containerised and more scalable, enabling scaling of services on-demand delivering cost optimisation and software development agility
  • Networking is more simplified reducing management overhead
  • Security posture has been increased mitigating business risks of data breach and system integrity
  • Reduce RPO/RTO from weeks to hours
  • Optimised Data Build so the process would take less than six (6) weeks, providing a vastly reduced lead-time for applications, as well as improved business value

Using proven migration methodologies and patterns coupled with a structured application of the principles of AWS Well-Architected, Homesearch are now well-placed to operate at optimal efficiency whilst continuing to evolve and scale their solutions.

About Homesearch

Homesearch is a leading provider of property data and insights in the United Kingdom, with the most comprehensive information database of both residential and commercial property anywhere in the country.

They collect, process, and analyse vast quantities of data, which drives a toolset that enables Estate Agents nationally to access a complete set of data for all properties in the UK, regardless of whether they are currently on the market or not, and leverage this information to generate leads, instructions and inform valuations.

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