Case Study: Website reliability upgrades

OT Pavimentos, located in Paraguay, specializes in high quality asphalt pavements for commercial, industrial, residential, and municipal applications. They have years of experience in the asphalt products sector and operate in civil works and buildings.

Sribatsa Das of Business Compass LLC has 25 years of technology experience with a focus on data and analytics strategy and solution architecture. Sribatsa holds three AWS Certifications: Solutions Architect Associate, Big Data Specialty, and Machine Learning Specialty. He shares his story of how he helped OT Pavimentos below.

OT Pavimentos was experiencing on-going stability and performance issues relating to the high traffic on their website. The website would experience periodic down-time and require manual server restarts to fix. They submitted a request on IQ for help with this problem and I connected with them to resolve their issues.

After doing an initial assessment, I found several areas to focus on. I first observed that OT Pavimentos was running their database and their web server on the same EC2 instance. This can cause problems as both the database and web server may become bottlenecks under heavy load. As websites scale it’s better to move them to different servers.

I first focused on their database. To improve its performance and reliability I migrated it to Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). Amazon RDS offers a fully managed database that is fully compatible with what OT Pavimentos was already running. This made offloading the database relatively easy and straightforward. Amazon RDS comes with many features, such as resizable capacity and automatic patching, which the customer could start to take advantage of too.

Next I focused on their web server. I first assessed their current performance using Apache Benchmark tests. I then tuned their web server’s FastCGI/PHP-FPM configuration parameters to better handle their traffic. This will help OT Pavimento’s future scaling needs as they expand to other countries.

To ensure their website remains performant and reliable I added an application load balancer. This means if one web server stops for any reason (or slows down) customers would still have a great experience as they would be automatically routed to the performant web servers. To do this I started by migrating the customer’s website domain to Amazon Route 53, which offers highly available DNS while providing flexible routing features.

I then focused on their website security. To ensure OT Pavimentos’s customers can always access their website securely, I switched the customer’s website SSL certificate over to AWS Certificate Manager. This way OT Pavimentos can take advantage of fully automated renewal and deployment of their SSL certificates.

Finally, to address backup and recovery I deployed a life cycle manager to take EBS volume snapshots on an automated basis and deployed nightly snapshotting of RDS retained for 7 days. This means that should anything go drastically wrong with OT Pavimentos’s servers they can always roll back to a previously saved state.

As we implemented these changes, I walked OT Pavimentos through their projected monthly bill. We discussed several strategies to optimize their costs in light of the new set up. Once the project was completed, their website was not only more stable, as they had originally requested, but also more reliable, secure, and recoverable. I look forward to the opportunity to work with OT Pavimentos on IQ in the future.