Migrating Nexus to Amazon Cloud

In 2016 it has become obvious that Nexus outgrown their current hosting infrastructure and long term plan was needed

Go back
Written by Richard Kacerek April 17, 2017

In 2016 it has become obvious that Nexus outgrown their current hosting infrastructure and long term plan was needed

NEXUS IS THE UK’S LARGEST OUTSOURCED KEY HOLDING COMPANY THAT HAS BEEN CONSTANTLY GROWING.

In 2016 it has become apparent that Nexus has outgrown their current hosting infrastructure and a long term plan was needed. Empire Elements researched all the possible options, and then a decision was made to use Amazon Cloud Services (AWS) for future growth.

The migration

AWS just recently announced new datacenter region in London, confirming its commitment to UK businesses. The case for AWS was sound, with plentiful of features, rock solid reputation and relentless pace of innovation.

We planned Nexus migration project carefully and split it to several milestones. Continuously testing, deploying one feature at the time fully embracing DevOps principles and practices.

AWS Cloud Architecture

DevOps team at Empire Elements created cloud architecture blueprint, listing all AWS services that Nexus will need. Amazon Cloud Storage S3, Elastic Compute Cloud EC2, Elastic Load Balancers, CloudFront, Lambda Functions, Simple Email Service were the top services.

Moving away from a monolithic environment to micro-services was a bit of a challenge and required innovative thinking to separate storage from computing and other services.

Having new production and development processes in place has helped us to test each feature, and decoupling services then became a straightforward task with a realistic set of milestones.

Nexus Amazon Web Services Architecture

S3 Storage

First and perhaps most important was the storage. Nexus application had to be modified to allow for external storage, as the old version used local storage only which is not possible to use when autoscaling. AWS S3 storage offers virtually unlimited object storage that can scale to trillions of objects worldwide. The first problem addressed with fast, scalable and reliable storage. Nexus web application now encrypts the newly uploaded data from users by default, with separate lifespan policy with automatic archiving. The data is therefore never lost.

Auto Scaling

Another fundamental problem to address was horizontal scaling of the Nexus PHP application. During the predicted and unpredicted traffic peaks, this was becoming a severe problem on the old platform. After evaluating several options, we chose Docker and AWS Load Balancer with Autoscaling Group using AWS Elastic Compute Cloud.

Since our migration to AWS, Nexus had 0% downtime. That’s incredible!

Containers

Docker is a world’s leading software container platform and a relatively new technology. The idea is that using Docker we build the application, it’s all dependencies and deliver it to any environment. Apart from controlling the application in detail, there is another inherited benefit. Production and Development pipelines are therefore both in-line, and Docker application can be tested in development as if it was a production. To put it simply, developing the web application further just got a lot easier.

Results

Amazon EC2 service has auto scaling set up. When the load hits a predefined threshold, a new unit is created and destroyed when not needed.

So far we have implemented just three things and validated the reasons to move to AWS beyond a doubt. Scaling application is something that would be out of the reach for most businesses just five years ago. Now with the power of Amazon Web Services Nexus web application can expand.

Businesses are moving to AWS, the benefits are too attractive, features plentiful, pricing model affordable and it allows businesses to grow, rapidly!


Recommended Posts


Improving Website Speed

Why we care about website speed? One of the top performance improvements is undoubtedly the website speed. For past couple of years, website speed has become one of the most critical factors, so much so that even Google uses that...

May 02, 2018


HTTPS only website

DEMAND FOR SSL CERTIFICATES INCREASED DRASTICALLY SINCE 2014. Shortly after serious Heartbleed Bug vulnerability, Google announced that website encryption is an important ranking factor and people started to take notice. HTTPS over HTTP In 2014 a lot of websites moved...

August 07, 2017


Moving your company to the Cloud

We all use DropBox, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Microsoft Office, Xero, SalesForce and many other services like it. Those are services based on a decentralised platform - a cloud. Scalability, flexibility and security are probably the most important features of...

October 11, 2016

It usually starts with: "I've got this crazy idea!"

What's yours?

Let's talk