Major VA University

The Project

A major Virginia University with multiple campuses, more than 25,000 students and more than 5,000 faculty and staff had a desire to leverage a cloud hosted environment for the university’s Content Management System, CommonSpot. The university sought a CommonSpot cloud offering to reduce the resources required and the overall cost of managing the existing Adobe ColdFusion and CommonSpot Web infrastructure. The primary goal of the project was to provide all of the benefits of running in the cloud, such as reducing cost through economies of scale, improved site redundancy, availability, and scalability, as well as  elimination of platform concerns.  The university chose Fig Leaf Software’s proposed solution to off-load the infrastructure support of the CommonSpot Content Management Server (CMS).

The Solution

Fig Leaf’s comprehensive solution for the university included management of all server and network hardware, software, and load balancers required to run the university’s multiple CommonSpot enabled websites on an ongoing basis. In addition to 24×7 infrastructure monitoring, management, and site upgrades, Fig Leaf has provided the following services to the university:

  • Cloud Hosting
  • Managed Services
  • Redundant, load balancing multi-server hosting for Authoring and Read-Only Production servers
  • Multi-zone locations across disparate data centers
  • 24×7 monitoring and disaster recovery
  • Development servers
  • Software maintenance, upgrades and proactive patching

The new university environment implemented by Fig Leaf runs in the Amazon Cloud and has its primary servers, production, and development within the Amazon East region, with a backup for disaster recovery within the Amazon West region. Fig Leaf maintained a Windows environment for both development and production application servers, but migrated and converted the CommonSpot databases from Oracle into Microsoft SQL Server.  This significantly reduced both the license and maintenance costs for the university while at the same time simplified the infrastructure architecture. Fig Leaf also used the Amazon VPC environment to deploy a secure network in the cloud to ensure that only the proper production servers are visible and reachable by the university’s end users or the public, depending on individual site.

The Results

Fig Leaf migrated the entire site infrastructure into the Amazon Cloud. This time frame included time for the university to test and approve the new environment and load test prior to going live. Fig Leaf used Amazon’s Highly Secure VPC Service to maintain a constant connection the university network and the Amazon hosted environment. Fig Leaf upgraded the production environment with zero downtime. Final upgrades were replicated into the disaster recovery environment.

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