Transforming Al-Qutaibi Bank's Lahdat Application with AWS Solutions

Boosting Availability, Performance and Security: How cirrsugo Transformed Alqutaibi Bank’s Cloud Infrastructure
July 2, 2024 by
Rama Odetallah

 

Al-Qutaibi Bank's Lahdat application, a crucial platform for conducting financial operations and paying utility bills, faced performance, availability, fault tolerance, and security challenges due to its previous cloud infrastructure. cirrsugo migrated and rearchitected the application using AWS, resulting in enhanced performance, high availability, robust security, and cost efficiency. 

 

About Al-Qutaibi

Al-Qutaibi Bank's Lahdat application allows customers to perform financial transactions and pay utility bills anytime, anywhere. The application Comprises of two main services: transaction processing and an administrative system.

 Challenges

 Al-Qutaibi's application was originally hosted on a different cloud platform with just one application server and one database server. This setup led to:

        Lack of high availability and fault tolerance

        Absence of automated backups  or disaster recovery measures

         Low speed

          Significant risk during failover events 

          Lack of advanced  monitoring services

        Downtime, risks, and time-consuming and costly maintenance

The Solution

cirrsugo preformed seamless migration with minimal downtime, and modernized the system to focus on security, high availability, fault tolerance, and cost efficiency. The new architecture includes decoupling application components and leveraging AWS managed services for application, database, and storage.

Key elements of the solution:

Migration:  AWS Application Migration Service was used to migrate the Lahdat application and database to AWS.

Application Hosting:  The application was hosted using Auto Scaling groups (ASG) across three Availability Zones (AZs), ensuring high availability and scalability. This setup, integrated with an Application Load Balancer (ALB), provided self-healing and even traffic distribution, automatically replacing unhealthy servers. ASG policies were configured to dynamically adjust the number of servers based on traffic fluctuations, optimizing costs. AWS Lambda, integrated with EventBridge, continuously updated the ASG launch template with the latest application AMI created via AWS Data Lifecycle Manager (DLM).

Data Protection:  AWS Data Lifecycle Manager (DLM) is used to automate AMI backups for the application servers, with retention periods set according to business needs. Multiple AMIs are created throughout the day to prevent data loss and allow for rollback to previous application versions if necessary.

Database Management: AWS Always On Failover Cluster Instances (FCI) with primary and  standby database instances to  prevent data loss and ensure continuous data availability and reliability.

Monitoring and Security: Amazon CloudWatch metrics and alarms monitor resource utilization and automatically notify based on predefined thresholds. CloudWatch logs and Logs Insights store and query server logs. AWS CloudTrail, combined with CloudWatch metric filters and alarms, notifies in case of critical events like root access or resource deletion. AWS Network Firewall enhances security and restricts traffic.

Disaster Recovery:   Using Infrastructure as Code (IaC), enabling the easy deployment of a new disaster recovery (DR) environment with a single click. All configurations are managed through Terraform code, allowing us to maintain configuration history and utilize rollback features. The application data is continuously replicated to the DR region using AWS Data Lifecycle Manager (DLM), ensuring quick creation of the application in the DR region. Additionally, AWS Database Migration Service (DMS) is used to replicate database data, ensuring seamless and up-to-date data availability in the DR region.


Results

The modernized platform significantly improved Al-Qutaibi's KPIs:

Availability and Scalability: Increased by over 90% by implementing multiple servers across multiple Availability Zones using Auto Scaling Groups.

Automated Backups and DR: Automated backups and continuous data replication provided robust data protection and disaster recovery.

Security: Enhanced by more than 50% due to improved security measures.

Cost Efficiency: Costs reduced by optimizing services and using the right types of servers and storage, with Auto Scaling Groups ensuring no unused servers.

Performance: Application and database performance increased by more than 60%.

Simplified Maintenance: Automated updates and configuration management streamlined maintenance and reduced manual intervention.

90%
Increased 
Availability and Scalability

50% 
Increased 
Security

60%
Increased
Performance


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