What was the scope of their involvement?
Beyond scaling, much of their effort comes down to rightsizing. In effect, we’ve been able not only to scale but also to save money with Stratalux. They’ve implemented a process by which we can use more cost-effective instant sizes for what we need within AWS.
I don’t know how many developers were assigned to the project. I had personal interaction with one of their DevOps people. The scope was to take our current AWS infrastructure and rebuild it from the ground up on servers controlled by the Chef script, which allowed us to redeploy and reconfigure servers quickly, efficiently, and reproducibly. Stratalux also put in place appropriate cloud-formation scripts within AWS, which launch and maintain instances and will actually scale them appropriately as demand fluctuates and we need more or less capacity.
Stratalux also performed a full review of all our security groups, ports, and permissions to make sure that everything that needed to be was properly closed and that the ports which needed to be available were limited in their availability. Stratalux implemented appropriate VPCs [virtual private clouds] and separated our development and production environments. They did some database optimization—not so much at the query level, but in terms of sizing, disk space, and type.
Since then, Stratalux has been monitoring our system. There have been a few occasions when they reached out to us, letting us know that something would be scaled up or down because of the recorded usage. In effect, Stratalux has become our DevOps team.
How did you come to work with Stratalux?
We found them under some problematic circumstances. We had experienced a service outage on our platform, and the dev team couldn’t pinpoint the cause. It had been going on for 6 hours, and we had exhausted our limitations of creative know-how and things to look for. We reached out to a couple of support firms to see if there was anyone available who could jump on and help us out. Stratalux answered the call immediately. Their president told us that they weren’t a last-minute support company but that they would be happy to help. Through some troubleshooting and trial-and-error, along with Stratalux’ ability to reference error logs better than our own team, they helped us pinpoint the problem and resolve it. We were so pleased with their ability to pull together a team and help us that we decided to set up a maintenance agreement. We’ve since done a bunch of work with Stratalux.
How much have you invested with Stratalux?
The work done for rebuilding our platform with all the right componentry had a rough cost of $20,000. We have a monthly maintenance agreement with Stratalux for around $3,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Stratalux around 8 months ago. It’s an ongoing collaboration. They are our service provider.