Migrating Vertabelo’s infrastructure to the AWS Cloud

Vertabelo

Increased scalability, user response times shorter by 50%

15 May 2024

In the course of its global development, Vertabelo found itself in need of adapting its infrastructure to match new scalability, flexibility, and high availability requirements to be able to serve clients from around the world.

Klient
Vertabelo

About the client

Vertabelo SA is a Polish SaaS (Software as a Service) business that provides tools for databases and data professionals. The company focuses on two areas: 

  • Database modelling tools for professional software engineers.
  • Interactive online courses on data science, particularly SQL and Python.

Vertabelo operates globally (mainly in the US and Western Europe), and its registered office is in Poland (Warsaw).  The company decided to transition from the e-point Private Cloud to an open solution, increasing its system’s accessibility to global clients and enabling partnerships with external technology providers based on a standardised DevOps tool stack.

Migration for optimisation, modernisation and consistency

Amazon Web Services (AWS) was ultimately chosen. Before moving its infrastructure to the AWS Cloud, Vertabelo defined three strategic goals:

 Increased accessibility and performance for international clients

Due to the international nature of the business, which focuses on such markets as the US and Western Europe, it was necessary to ensure quicker access and better app performance while also maintaining a global reach.

 Implementation of standard DevOps tools

Meeting market standards by implementing such DevOps tools as AWS and Kubernetes has made it easier to onboard new hires and ensure that the working environment is in line with current technological trends.

 Process harmonisation and streamlining

We spent many years striving to standardise DevOps architecture for a variety of systems, with our goal being to speed up their maintenance processes. This involved deployment processes, monitoring applications in the production environment, and quickly responding to potential issues.

How we migrated Vertabelo’s infrastructure 

Migrating Vertabelo’s infrastructure to the AWS Cloud involved several stages.

For the first three months, our team analysed all systems
and estimated the total cost of the migration. This involved such apps as:  

  • LearnSQL;
  • LearnPython;
  • Vertabelo Database Modeler;
  • SQL Academy;
  • Uber Academy;
  • Learndatafluency.

These apps were not developed simultaneously. Some had already been installed in containers and used the latest app components, while others utilised older solutions running as system apps on virtual machines. For the next several months, we adapted the apps and their components to the new environment.

A crucial step was to containerise all applications, which ensured isolation and consistency regardless of where an app was launched. Prepared Docker application images can also be easily replicated for increased performance and reliability. 

We then implemented the infrastructure, which had to meet several key requirements:

1. High availability

The infrastructure was designed to ensure that its services would be available to users for the majority of the time, even during a technical malfunction.

2. Simplicity – the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

Our priority was to create an environment that was easy to use and did not require new users to have specialised technical knowledge.

3. Maintenance-free operation

Our goal was to ensure that the infrastructure would work without disruptions, reducing the time required to maintain it. We wanted to create a maintenance-free environment that was self-healing, automatically responding to malfunctions and minimising outages.

4. Infrastructure as Code

The entire infrastructure was defined in the code, which made it easier to manage and introduce changes in a coherent and repeatable manner.

Improved user response times by 50% coupled with increased control and scalability

After we completed the migration, the following results were observed:

1. App continuity was maintained

Our migration of Vertabelo’s infrastructure to the AWS Cloud was extremely quick and seamless, which helped minimise inconvenience to users. The disruptions were not noticeable, which ensured that Vertabelo maintained business continuity.

"We were aware of the tremendous importance of ensuring the continued operation of our systems, which are used all around the world. Every second our system is unavailable means that important operational processes of our clients could be disrupted. This is why a quick integration combined with ensuring maximum availability and continuity was a priority. This goal could be achieved by working with the e-point team, which minimised unavailability to users to a maximum of two hours, which is far better than the standard time we guarantee to our users as part of our SLAs".

Jarosław Błąd

CEO

Vertabelo

2. Application system standardisation

By migrating to the AWS Cloud, we were able to standardise all processes related to running applications. Manual updates are not needed as much any more, which makes implementations quicker and more reliable.

3. Shorter user response times

We observed a significant improvement in user response times (up to 50%), which translates to higher service quality, even in geographically remote areas (such as Australia). 

4.  Access to programmable infrastructure

The new architecture allows Vertabelo to flexibly manage its infrastructure and, therefore, respond to business needs quicker and gain full control over the environment. Vertabelo’s developers can now easily manage infrastructure changes without the need to involve external hosting services, which means that new features and services can be delivered to clients faster.

5. Cost optimisation 

Although migrating to the AWS Cloud involved certain expenses, they were ultimately kept at a level similar to the previous version of the infrastructure. New cost optimisation possibilities were also introduced, allowing Vertabelo to adapt its expenses flexibly to current needs. 

"We are not only technology providers, but also business consultants, which is why we always strive to adapt cloud platforms to our clients’ individual needs. In the case of financial institutions, which require the highest level of security and control, the best solution is a private cloud. But for SaaS businesses like Vertabelo, an open cloud, such as AWS, offers the flexibility and scalability necessary to serve international clients and dynamically adapt to market and business needs.".

Mariusz Sawicki

Delivery Director for Hosting

e-point

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