Mam Zdanie is an online service supporting open social consultations created by Stocznia. The application was developed in Oracle APEX. In order to reduce the cost of hosting and maintenance related to on-premises infrastructure, Pretius has moved the whole workload to Amazon Web Services. By using the cloud, managed services like RDS for Oracle or CloudWatch, have simplified the administration and reduced the cost by 50%.
Stocznia (Shipyard) – Centre for Social Innovation and Research is a non-governmental organization from Poland. Most of their projects and initiatives concentrate on three areas: civic participation & public engagement, social innovations, research & consulting. Since 2009 they have completed over 200 projects. Most of them were implemented as part of their statutory activity, and others were commercial. You can find more information about Stocznia on their website.
Mam Zdanie was hosted on-premises with multiple virtual machines containing Oracle DB, Apache Tomcat, and Apache Server instances. We were struggling with several issues:
- the total cost of hosting the whole solution was quite expensive compared to actual website traffic
- the system was regularly overloaded by the backup process.
- limited service availability monitoring (it also had some availability issues, but the actual reasons were difficult to trace due to poor monitoring).
AWS to the rescue
Stocznia, with Pretius advice, decided to move the whole application to the cloud. A large selection of managed services and the dedicated solution for Oracle Database made Amazon Web Services the best choice for the customer.
Pretius was also a perfect fit for a partner as it has many Oracle APEX deployments on AWS in their portfolio, like Translate APEX, apex.pretius.com as well as some APEX solutions dedicated to specific customers that are hosted on AWS.
APEX application with its data was moved to Amazon RDS for Oracle. This managed service designed to handle Oracle Database workloads has many out of the box features which simplify development and maintenance. The production-ready database can be set up in minutes. Automatic backups enable point-in-time recovery. Also, full DB snapshots can be configured easily. RDS has built-in database software patching and disk auto-resizing so no administrator involvement is required.
Data migration was handled by Database Migration Service. Most of the database objects were moved automatically without developing any scripts or exporting them. Synchronization of data and switching production workload was possible without any downtime.
Apache Server responsible for routing and TLS termination and Apache Tomcat serving Oracle REST Data Services were installed on an EC2 virtual machine. Software patching and automatic backups are also available here. Furthermore, as all AWS resources, EC2 is protected by AWS Shield (managed DDoS protection service).
Resources are monitored thanks to CloudWatch. All system metrics are visible to the administrator thanks to ready-to-use dashboards. Automatic alerts are sent in case of problems with infrastructure or application. RDS Performance Insights makes application performance tuning very easy. It measures and visualizes the performance of SQL queries which helps us detect performance issues inside the application.
Measuring resource utilization helps us avoid overprovisioning and optimizes the cost thanks to choosing optimal sizing. The cost was also reduced thanks to reserving EC2 and RDS instances. Declaring usage of service for 1 year resulted in up to 37% savings compared to on-demand prices.
Having the possibility to use one’s own Oracle DB license was very important to us. Using Bring Your Own License model no customer has to pay twice.
Results and benefits of migration
Thanks to migration to Amazon Web Services, the cost of IT infrastructure was reduced by 50%. Additionally, Bring Your Own License model helped to avoid additional licensing costs for Oracle Database.
Using built-in AWS mechanisms for backup, monitoring and automatic maintenance tasks simplified administration and reduced administrator-involvement time.
The Application is now more stable. No performance or availability problems have been detected since migration to AWS.
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