Compliant Containers in the Cloud


One of our customers, Ellie Mae, is in the process of transforming their SaaS business to take optimum advantage of cloud infrastructure and microservice architecture with the use of a container-based application deployment model.

As with many companies, even with a DevOps model, there are economies of scale to be gained by centralizing the architecture and management of fundamental infrastructure services. Ellie Mae has delivered to their developers common infrastructure components like account creation, network integration, IAM, log management, etc.

Recently we embarked on assisting Ellie Mae in their goals of offering a managed container orchestration platform for their teams. Ellie Mae is a big believer in cloud native services as well as managed platforms, so after a quick evaluation it was clear that AWS ECS was the right fit for them.  

Although ECS has a great deal of automation and management built in, there were several key features that Ellie Mae wanted to add before rolling out to their teams. These included:

  • Security tool integration
  • Cross – Team Single Pane of Glass for Management and Reporting
  • Business driven spot instance options with on-demand fall back
  • Automated patching

We helped to design and implement the service, which is driven off of Github Enterprise, Terraform and Jenkins, to create a T-Shirt sized cluster deployment capability, ensuring consistency and quality across all development group needs. 

Lambda and S3 are used to gather cluster metrics and store them for analysis and reporting.

Security tooling is baked into the cluster configuration, allowing developers to develop in an environment nearly identical to production.

SSM is wired in to help automate the patching of systems. 

The result? Any development team has self service access to get the infrastructure they need at a moment’s notice. Costs are optimized, and infrastructure configuration consistently meets the company’s security and compliance requirements. Agility, security, and manageability, without sacrifice. Who says you can’t have it all!!

Ellie Mae needed to increase their development velocity by optimizing their use of DevOps and Public Cloud infrastructure. They wanted to reduce provisioning time and increase infrastructure elasticity while also remaining flexible enough enable their development teams to move quickly.