Areas of Expertise

  • Disaster Recovery
  • Cloud Management
  • High Availability
  • Cloud Hosting
  • Performance Optimization
  • Cloud Orchestration

Industries

  • Education
  • Technology
  • Others

Technology Used

Challenge

Moonami Learning Solutions, a Moodle SaaS provider was running their platform on top of AWS and allowed their clients to sign up and get provisioned with a Moodle instance instantly.

The Moonami development team was trying to service and support both their internal clients as well as their external clients. Information was highly siloed: only one team member could troubleshoot and/or correct system issues. This prevented best practices from being followed and an already-struggling, out-of-date system began increasing in costs just to maintain it.

Six Feet Up was engaged by Moonami to assist with reducing escalating AWS costs, putting in place infrastructure best practices and addressing a high rate of failures due to an aging system.

Implementation Details

Stabilizing & Migrating

The Six Feet Up team first developed a plan to assist Moonami with stabilizing their databases. The recommendation was to migrate to more robust, yet more cost-effective, AWS clusters.

Migration occurred over a series of months with constant communication with Moonami on the progress of each database. While migrating batches of client databases to optimized AWS instances, Six Feet Up was careful to provide some breathing room to the existing system by increasing the size of the RDS instances.

Monitoring & Alerting

The Moonami development team wanted to be immediately alerted about any system outages or malfunctions. To address this, Six Feet Up set up a series of system monitors and alerts utilizing DataDog and OpsGenie. Escalation rules were implemented for the OpsGenie alerts to serve as a second line of support in case the Moonami team is unable to respond immediately. 

Cost Reduction

Six Feet Up conducted monthly audits of the Moonami AWS account to determine cost-saving opportunities and better management of escalating costs. One such area identified was in Moonami’s AWS Elastic File System storage costs. By setting up an automation of EFS → S3 → Glacier, as well as a backup retention solution, Moonami was able to realize immediate cost savings of over $30,000 per year.

Moonami’s AWS spend was also significantly reduced by: 

  • Utilizing the AWS EC2 reserved instances
  • Migrating databases off of old clusters and shutting them down
  • Automating the EFS storage lifecycle and the backup retention
  • Providing monthly AWS billing reviews to make recommendations on cost-saving actions
  • Rightsizing databases to maximize savings

Finally, Six Feet Up further reduced Moonami’s overall operating costs by eliminating redundant services, decommissioning services that kept defunct clusters alive, and fixing a migration service that was failing to delete or archive the integrations after ingestion via SFTP.

Results

Six Feet Up helped Moonami optimize their infrastructure and maximize savings by thoroughly troubleshooting outages and errors.

Weekly meetings between the two teams proved to be invaluable in breaking down the information silos and rolling out best practices. Those meetings also helped prioritize tasks, minimize reactive support, and, ultimately, get the AWS infrastructure optimized to realize true cost savings.

The Moonami team is now able to notify clients proactively and seek out long-term solutions rather than a quick fix. With a more stable and satisfied client base, Moonami can better focus on in-house initiatives, and has engaged the Six Feet Up team to assist with internal business process improvements.

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