One of Foghorn’s customers, a SaaS provider in the property management sector, was on the verge of massive growth, both domestically and internationally. However, this growth was hindered by the limitations inherent in the vertical scaling of their data center infrastructure, compounded by regulatory requirements related to global data privacy laws. They wanted to develop the capability to scale horizontally, addressing the immediate challenges posed by vertical scalability. As well, transitioning to a cloud-native approach would facilitate expansion into multiple countries without the necessity to establish data center infrastructure globally.
The primary and most significant challenge lay in the legacy application technology and its monolithic design, which rendered horizontal scalability unfeasible. Consequently, the decision was made to modernize the application and migrate to the cloud. This move was intended to resolve scaling issues and also to enhance the development velocity of the company’s core product.
Foghorn collaborated closely with our client to address these challenges. Our initial step involved dissociating individual SaaS users from the infrastructure supporting them. This process included updating the authentication, load balancing, and redirection systems, allowing users to live on any one of N infrastructure pods. Next we assisted in the overall application modernization to ensure that a microservices architecture would allow for rapid horizontal scaling, continuous deployment, and the support of cloud-native infrastructure. The platform chosen as the strongest platform for this initiative was AWS.
Once the roadmap and design were approved, we commenced building development, test, and production environments for the new application in the cloud. This included automated deployment of Infrastructure as Code, CI/CD deployment of microservices onto AWS EKS, and the utilization of several cloud-native services, such as VPC, Direct Connect, AWS MSK, S3, among others.
After the system was operational, we collaborated with our client to design an innovative data read/write/sync capability. This feature allowed us to migrate one microservice at a time, eliminating the need to modify the monolith during the transition. This approach accelerated the migration plan from a multi-year project to an 18-month endeavor and avoided the risks associated with “big bang” migrations.
The outcome? Our customer now operates with modernized, microservice-based applications on AWS. They have gained the ability to scale horizontally with ease for their U.S. expansion and can establish new infrastructure in a new region in just a few hours. Agility, scalability, and manageability – these were our objectives, and we successfully achieved them.