Smrt English ramps up site growth via improved performance and scalability

Fully automated environment enabled the English language learning platform to provide a more resilient and reliable customer-facing website

Smrt English Industry Education Challenge

Implementing a robust, autoscaling environment for handling high load on application

Solutions Cloud, Cloud Adoption & Migration Platforms Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Our customer

A digital English learning platform, Smrt English provides popular online English courses. Its web platform is used by almost 100,000 students from close to 100 institutions around the world.

"Working with Onica by Rackspace Technology has been a great pleasure and it’s totally changed the way we run our website. Now our site can handle any amount of traffic.”
Jeremy Clark, CIO, Smrt English
Smrt English

The obstacles they faced

Smrt English had been hosting the site on Amazon EC2 for some time, but the deployment was not providing the high availability the organization needed. After a few unexpected outages caused the website to go down, and in light of the inherent risk of losing data due to the limited deployment architecture, Smrt English decided to invest in implementing a fault-tolerant deployment that would be architected to handle increased performance requirements to support the ongoing growth in popularity.

Smrt English
Smrt English

How we helped

Onica by Rackspace Technology expertise in AWS helped develop the best possible solution for Smrt English. By combining Amazon VPC, Amazon RDS, Amazon EC2, ELB and AutoScaling, Onica by Rackspace Technology architected a new deployment that would meet Smrt English’s high availability and performance requirements. Adding monitoring tools for better visibility into the environment's performance and the application enabled the company to ensure smooth operations and fine-tune the system to reduce infrastructure costs while providing a much-improved performance compared to the original deployment.

One key requirement from Smrt English was the need for automated software configuration management. By using AWS CloudFormation and AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Onica by Rackspace Technology automated the entire environment, from the underlying network to the auto-scaling configuration, and as a bonus, enabled Smrt English to deliver the system in any region of the world with a click of a button.

On top of automating the environment, Onica by Rackspace Technology also implemented a fully automated build system that connects its SVN repository and AWS Elastic Beanstalk and allows the company to frequently release new versions of the code without requiring direct support.

Goals

  • Maintain high availability & performance
  • Automated software configuration

Solution

  • Robust, scalable solution addressing resiliency
  • Auto-scaling on the application tier for handling load increases

Outcome

  • Fully automated environment meets availability & performance requirements
  • Transformation to agile cloud business

What we achieved together

Having insights from monitoring tools helped to fine tune the system and reduce the cost of the infrastructure while providing much-improved performance over the original deployment. Onica by Rackspace Technology also implemented a fully automated build system that connects the Smrt English SVN repository and AWS Elastic Beanstalk and allows the company to frequently release new versions of the code without requiring direct support. This has proven to be beneficial as Smrt English has successfully made many code pushes to production, allowing it to run an agile process and constantly improve the service they provide to the students.

Onica by Rackspace Technology immediately recognized the potential in delivering a robust and scalable solution that would both address the concerns around resiliency, and provide future-proofing for handling load increases by implementing auto-scaling on the application tier. Onica by Rackspace Technology also deployed a number of monitoring tools to gain better visibility into the performance of the environment and the application to help ensure the smooth operations that Smrt English required.

About Rackspace Technology

Rackspace Technology is the multicloud solutions expert. We combine our expertise with the world’s leading technologies — across applications, data and security — to deliver end-to-end solutions. We have a proven record of advising customers based on their business challenges, designing solutions that scale, building and managing those solutions, and optimising returns into the future.

As a global, multicloud technology services pioneer, we deliver innovative cloud capabilities to help customers build new revenue streams, increase efficiency and create incredible experiences. Recognised as a best place to work, year after year, by Fortune, Forbes, Great Places to Work and Glassdoor, we attract and develop world-class talent to deliver the best expertise to our customers. Everything we do is underpinned by an obsession with our customers’ success — our Fanatical Experience™ — so they can work faster, smarter and stay ahead of what’s next.

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