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Redesign the system simplifying and speeding up work thanks to the AWS Cloud

The project for SardegnaIT was based on fully managed, scalable and elastic AWS services

SardegnaIT is an in-house company of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia (RAS), to which it provides the necessary collaboration for the governance of ICT systems. SardegnaIT offers RAS highly qualified professionals capable of proposing projects and identifying the most innovative and competitive solutions on the market, guaranteeing their quality, effectiveness and cost competitiveness. With this in mind, for specific projects, SardegnaIT involves third party suppliers in possession of vertical skills on specific issues, as in the case in question which saw the involvement of Lutech as an expert and competent partner in the AWS cloud environment.

The challenge

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Following a series of disruptions on a critical web application, used for the management of public funds through "counter" calls (or click days), SardegnaIT commissioned Lutech to completely redesign the system, expressing the following requirements:

  • create a system capable of withstanding heavy load peaks;
  • completely review the application deployment system, previously on virtual machines and totally manual, with release times in the order of magnitude of hours;
  • simplify the process of deploying new "branches", compared to the extremely slow and complex configuration mechanism used previously.

Due to the inability to meet the requirements expressed, the system up to that moment in production had already forced the customer to block the counters with consequent delays in the distribution of funds to citizens and businesses.

The solution

To solve the problem, the application was completely rewritten with a serverless approach and applying the DevOps paradigm, obtaining multiple results:

  • Create a fast and efficient deployment mechanism and thus drastically lower release times from hours to minutes;

  • Simplify and automate the management of "branches": to make the customer autonomous in the creation/destruction of each "branch", the execution of the IaC code parameterized by an administration dashboard has been automated;

  • Guarantee the segregation of data between different branches and the scalability of each, regardless of the other branches that may be running at the same time, thanks to the creation of independent sub-infrastructures.

The deployments of the infrastructure and code, as well as those of the branches, were implemented using the Serverless Framework and the AWS DevOps, AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeBuild services, starting from versioned code on the GIT repository.

Among the AWS services used to build the solution:

  • AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeBuld for CI / CD pipeline management and automation;
  • AWS CloudWatch for alert management and monitoring;
  • AWS S3, DynamoDB, Elasticache as a persistence layer;
  • AWS Lambda, AWS API Gateway, SQS to build the application backend.

The results

The most relevant results, compared to the challenges posed by the customer are, in summary:

  • Extend application code release times from hours to minutes thanks to the new design and deployment pipeline based on AWS DevOps services;

  • Simplify the creation of new branches by automating the creation / destruction of pieces of infrastructure / application through the call of APIs that, in the background, run IaC scripts;

  • Solve performance and reliability problems by adopting fully managed, scalable and elastic AWS services (AWS Lambda, API Gateway, Elasticache, DynamoDB, etc.)

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