Start Software

AWS Well-Architected Framework Review

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The Challenge

Start Software completed a part-migration of their IT infrastructure to the Cloud in early 2019. This project involved migrating several mission critical applications to AWS with the overarching objective of ensuring a high level of security and resilience. Having completed this exercise as a “lift and shift” type migration Start Software were connected to Ubertas Consulting by AWS to offer additional guidance in the on-going running of the platform so that it was as cost efficient as possible.

Leveraging the benefits of DevOps and AWS services

Over six months, Start Software, working alongside Ubertas Consulting, have been able to leverage the benefits of DevOps and AWS native services through applying the principles of the Well-Architected Framework.

As part of the brief, all aspects of both the AWS Cloud environment and the way in which Start Software operations and development teams utilised the platform were considered.  This brought into focus a range of Cloud-native concepts, technologies and services available on the platform.

The Well-Architected Framework was prominent in the engagement.  The framework published and maintained by AWS offers practical guidance around cost-optimisation in the Cloud; and Ubertas Consulting, as a member of the Well-Architected Framework Program, we were able to ensure that the platform aligned to AWS best practice.

Platform Right-Sizing

By combining the skills of both development and operations personnel, Start Software was able to establish a practice for routinely reviewing the sizing requirements of the solution to ensure alignment to customers’ individual environments. This means that AWS EC2 and RDS elements of the Cloud solution operate effectively, delivering resilient and highly available resources without incurring unnecessary cost.

Leveraging Cloud-Native Services

Following a review of practices against the benchmark of Well-Architected Framework pillar of operational excellence, Start Software has been able to embed Cloud-native services into their working practices. The AWS Back-Up manager enables back-up and recovery of customer data ensuring that in the unlikely event of failure, Start Software can operate with minimal disruption.

Secure Operating Procedures

A review of Cloud operations resulted in greater use of AWS Systems Manager. In addition to more common services such as automated patching, Start Software implemented the use of Session Manager into their day-to-day operations to enhance security around maintenance-level access to the platform.

The Benefits

Start Software operations on the AWS Cloud evolved during the engagement with Ubertas Consulting, specifically in areas that enhance the operability of the platform whilst implementing stringent cost management measures.

Using guidance from the Well-Architected Framework Start Software were able to implement new ways of working and align the best practice principles of “operational excellence”.  Monitoring services implemented through AWS CloudWatch constantly provide the operations teams with the data to ensure that the platform is performant and meeting the demanding requirements of its software, data and customer use.

Where practical Start Software has also benefitted from the use of AWS Cloud-native services.  RDS ensures that all databases are managed, backed-up and scalable; CloudWatch dashboards provide vital operational information and AWS Back-Up always ensures protection of data assets.

Through a structured process of applying the principles of the Well-Architected Framework, Start Software is now well-placed to operate at scale and continue to innovate, evolving their solutions on AWS.

About Start Software

Start Software is an award-winning software development and consulting business. The organisation provides easy-to-use desktop software and mobile apps for all sizes of businesses and organisations.

One focus area is the construction industry where Start Software provide the award winning “Alpha Tracker” asbestos management solution to a global market with a large presence in the UK and Australia.

Why Ubertas Consulting?

Ubertas Consulting is a Cloud consultancy specialising in Amazon Web Services.

As an Advanced Partner, AWS Channel Reseller (Solution Provider Program) and Well-Architected Framework Program Partner, our mission is to assist companies drive innovation and build new capabilities through embracing Cloud-native technologies and modernising with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Our consultancy services span the breadth of AWS technologies and range from advisory through to full implementation as we assist customers in applying the foundations of Well-Architected to migrate and operate their mission-critical workloads in the Cloud.

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