Executive Summary

Our client is the leading personal systems and printing company having robust plan for venturing into innovative technologies such as 3D printing and novel computing experiences. The client has an ASP .NET and MS SQL-based on-prem application running on IIS and using Windows 2012 SE servers. The client is undergoing a large data center exit program. As a part of the program, all applications are being analyzed and are either being re-hosted or re-platformed and refactored. Preference as a part of application discovery is re-platform and retire. The application used MS SQL DB for transactions and will be migrated to MS SQL RDS instance on AWS.

Business Challenges

The customer is in the process of exiting the data center. This has to be accomplished in a limited timeframe. While exiting the data center is a priority, the customer would like to make sure that they are not porting their technical debt to AWS. Many internal business-critical applications are running on this data center. The ask from the customer was to analyze each application, understand its business use cases, and document the underlying technology stack as well as the release management process. This information is then used to build a forward-looking cloud-ready architecture that will allow for refactoring of the underlying infrastructure to use cloud-native services and re-platforming of the underlying infrastructure to use cloud-native services, thereby improving efficiency in management, make application hosting cost-effective and get performance that can scale as per business needs. Additionally, the refactoring and re-platforming of the solution will allow for periodic upgrades and reduce any technical debt that exists on-prem. Migrating the database to more cloud-ready databases was a part of this business challenge. Our team defined an architecture pattern that will allow for re-platforming of the DB and enable the customer on a performant, non-licensed, HA, and natively managed AWS data management service that will suffice their core technical requirements of exiting the database and migrating/modernizing their applications to the cloud.

Our Solution

The SixthUp architecture team recommends migrating out of MS SQL to Amazon RDS for the MS SQL source-based database.  MS SQL is the world’s most popular open-source relational database and Amazon RDS makes it easier to set up, operate, and scale MS SQL deployments in the cloud.

With the limited number of data tables in the schema and all CRUD operations happening through stored procedures, this migration is a low to medium-complex data migration that keeps the database vendor agnostic, with no licensing requirements. It is hosted on RDS which is a multi-AZ HA service that can create snapshots and backups for read operations tied to running reports and analytics.

Impact/Key Benefits to the Client

  • Completes failover scenarios in one minute instead of 30 minutes – The client saved time by taking advantage of Amazon RDS for MS SQL. Previously, they had to do manual interventions for failover scenarios, which often took up to 30 minutes to complete. Using Amazon RDS for MS SQL, the failover process only takes a minute.
  • RDS for MS SQL also saves time for the client’s database administrators (DBAs). Since the client migrated to RDS, their DBAs have freed up at least 15% of their time from database-support activities, including server administration, and backups/snapshot support. This is the time they can now use to work with the development teams to build better products.
  • Monitoring and metrics: The client can now view key operational metrics in AWS Management Console, including compute/memory/storage capacity utilization, I/O activity, and instance connections.
  • Isolation and security: As a managed service, Amazon RDS provided a high level of security for the client’s MS SQL database.