Softjourn

Case Study: Meeting CBI Requirements with AWS-Powered Data Processing

For many businesses, having a reliable partner who supports their software development is fundamental.
Bullet
Bullet

An Irish company founded by John Farrelly and Peter Connor, Bullet offers cloud-based accounting applications for entrepreneurs and SMEs to run their business.

Bullet and Softjourn have a history of successful projects, as our virtual team quickly became a trusted resource. Expertise, open communication, and trust are the key reasons our collaboration has spanned years and continues today.

Our previous projects included:

  • Handover of full technical support and maintenance
  • Getting Bullets payroll system ready for COVID payments within a short space of time
  • Development of accounting automation of the reconciliation engine
  • Get Bullets technical infrastructure Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) compliant

New Project - Migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS)

When Bullet decided to become a Central Bank Regulated entity it knew it needed a tier one infrastructure platform. Softjourn recommended migrating to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Softjourn fired up the project to build the architecture and manage the transition and provide all necessary support along the way.

“Particularly as a solo company owner, there’s a real danger of getting trapped in your own echo chamber,” says Connor. Having a team that gives you pushback and feedback is key.”

The specifics of such project imposed several issues:

  • choosing the right team of developers
  • thorough preparation and planning of the migration process

The Process

Our client wanted to further improve their system’s reliability and scalability. Migration to AWS would allow them to decompose their monolithic “all-in-one server” deployment to a modern component-based infrastructure.

Another important aspect of migration to AWS was the variety of services and data centers that Bullet could use to expand its business and meet its Central Bank of Ireland requirements on redundancy and security.

Case Study: Process of Migration to AWS

Preparation

The project required thorough analysis and planning, so a number of steps were taken to prepare for the migration:

  • Review existing system components, technologies, software versions
  • Review data flows, scheduled jobs, and external integrations
  • Adjust existing codebase for containerized delivery
  • Prepare AWS architecture specification
  • Prepare estimate of infrastructure maintenance cost
  • Prepare DB migration plan
  • Define CI/CD processes, blue/green deployment
  • Draw up a migration process plan

Brainstorming

Many factors increased the complexity of Bullet’s migration and required several brainstorming and problem-solving sessions:

  • Auth flow was handled by Jetty service and had encapsulated logic
  • User sessions had to be preserved during instance failure or deployment process
  • DB engine versions were outdated, and there were code dependencies
  • Mobile application had constraints
  • Target migration downtime had to be under 15 minutes

Tools

Several of AWS’s own services were used to execute the migration successfully:

  • DMS with the help of specially written scripts allowed a smooth real-time DB migration
  • ECS was used to manage the runtime environment
  • EFS allowed shared files to be accessible on every container
  • ELB provided traffic routing between working nodes
  • EventBridge took the hassle out of running scheduled jobs
  • RDS provided easy DB monitoring, patching and backups
  • SNS delivered critical notifications about the system
  • CodeDeploy provided production updates with no downtime
  • CloudWatch provided insights into system performance and health

Benefits of Migration to AWS

Observability. Since migration, our client can monitor system performance and resources utilization via CloudWatch dashboards, check system load metrics on ALB monitoring, and review all errors from multiple components in the CloudWatch Log Groups.

Scalability. The new architecture is designed for scaling, as enough computing capacity is provided to handle spikes in load and, with a small additional configuration, autoscaling policies can be activated.

Reliability. Now, our client has two instances that process requests. Sessions are seamlessly shifted from one to the other. Since these instances are in different availability zones, this eliminates the risk that, if one zone stops working, the system will not be available on another.

Seamless blue-green deployment. The new deployment process doesn't cause system downtime, so new features or bug fixes can be added as soon as they are ready.

Database improvement. With automatic snapshots placed on S3, the availability and reliability of data have been significantly increased.

Disaster recovery. All AWS components in the new infrastructure are designed for high availability and reliability. The application will be automatically deployed in the new instances in case of AZ failure, and DB can be restored from the snapshots stored on S3.

Project Achievements

Softjourn’s team of skilled developers not only met all of Bullet's requirements, but also advised on the best options for finding an optimal solution that balances between price and quality. Through this project, Bullet gained everything it needed to successfully deliver its services to more customers, and today, our client can:

  • Offer services to more banks
  • Expand their user base
  • Deliver a superior customer experience
  • Provide frictionless processes

Collaboration Based on Trust

There’s real power in knowing your partners and relying on them, especially for a fast-growing company like Bullet. Migration to AWS has helped Bullet offer better services, but it also gave Softjourn an opportunity to support our clients while achieving greater security and compliance.

Bullet is now among a handful of AWS resellers with a CBI license that makes them one of the most trustworthy partners for entrepreneurs and small businesses.“Bullet has a lot of moving parts,” says CEO Peter Connor, “so the key goal was trust. Everything else filters down from that.”

For Bullet, the advantages of using AWS include:

  • Ease of use
  • A diverse array of tools
  • Unlimited server capacity
  • Reliable encryption and security
  • Flexibility and affordability
  • Redundancy
  • Scalability

About Bullet

An Irish company founded by John Farrelly and Peter Connor, Bullet offers cloud-based accounting applications for entrepreneurs and SMEs to run their business.

Bullets home is Dublin, Ireland the tech hub of Europe with Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Tiktoks, Stripe, and about 50 other European HQ’s there. Bullet can’t compete against highly funded companies for resources, so it turned to Softjourn to deliver a full team in a workable time zone.

About Softjourn

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, with R&D Centers in Ukraine and Poland, Softjourn, Inc. is a global technology services provider that finds custom solutions for our client’s toughest challenges.

Our 200+ employees skillfully evaluate, identify, plan and develop innovative, creative solutions. We become your trusted partner by proactively collaborating on all design, build-out, and deployment.

Contact us as together we can give new life to your ideas!