Case Study: AppKeeper Delivers Freedom from 24-hour Monitoring along with Dramatic Cost Reductions
The IT division of a leading digital advertising agency needed an easy, cost-efficient way to provide protect for applications running in AWS EC2 while eliminating alert storms and unnecessary IT tasks. They implemented AppKeeper and minutes and saw an immediate, cost-saving improvement in application availability.
INFOBAHN, a subsidiary of INFOBAHN Group, Inc., is a Tokyo-based digital advertising agency that provides digital branding, advertising, and content management for customer-owned media outlets. The IT division of INFOBAHN Group, Inc., is a small department that provides complete web server management services for media owned by its customers, and for its sister company, Mediagene Inc., owner of leading content media sites such as “Gizmodo Japan,” “cafeglove,” “Life Hacker” (Japanese edition), “BUSINESS INSIDER JAPAN,” “ROOMIE,” and others).
Approximately 80% of INFOBAHN customers who use Amazon Web Services (AWS), rely on a Content Management System (CMS) to deliver the most up-to-date content to their readers. Because INFOBAHN’S customers have high expectations for uptime and strict availability SLAs in place for these CMS tools, they outsource the monitoring and management of the servers they run on to a managed service provider (MSP).
It is very important to INFOBAHN that they met both their own internal and their customers’ and availability service level agreements (SLAs). They were also using an MSP to monitor some of their internal servers while they monitored others, which required closer management, themselves.
“While we could continue to outsource the monitoring of servers for our customers’ systems. This model would not work for our internal servers because it would not scale as the business expanded,” said Yu Amano, IT Division Manager, INFOBAHN Group. INFOBAHN was already spending almost US$1,400 per month for an MSP to monitor their internal servers and their internal team could not manage more servers themselves.
Amano and his colleagues were receiving failure notifications night and day. Every notification required Amano or his colleagues to drop everything, investigate the cause and resolve the issue.
Recognizing that they needed a better solution, Amano considered SIOS Technology’s SIOS AppKeeper availability software for AWS EC2. They tested AppKeeper with their WordPress server, by taking down the Apache service on it and checking the AppKeeper notification emails and fault logs to verify the status and the actions taken by AppKeeper.
“We performed verification tests many times, including stopping a service, and we confirmed that it started as expected. We could see that AppKeeper was reliable. We also found that after a very simple configuration process, it provided automatic monitoring and restoration of service,” said Amano.
SIOS AppKeeper is offered as a software-as-a-service that supports automatic monitoring and restoration of AWS EC2 services and instances. It monitors them via the AWS API and detects and recovers from failures quickly.
AppKeeper restores the application operation automatically by detecting and first restarting application services. This step typically restores services in seconds. If a restart of the service fails it then restarts the entire instance. It issues a failure report that shows any failure occurrences and recoveries based on the relevant information obtained before and after the recovery from the virtual machine services, and AWS.
If customers select the EC2 Auto Scaling functionality, they can easily add more instances for AppKeeper protection. AppKeeper will automatically scale to monitor these new instances in near real-time and, if desired, apply designated settings automatically.
In early March 2017, INFOBAHN started monitoring its internal servers using SIOS AppKeeper. “After submitting our AWS credentials through the online sign- up process, all I had to do was to choose the settings for the steps I wanted AppKeeper to take when it detects a failure. It took 10~15 minutes to configure AppKeeper by just clicking on the screen as described in the online user’s guide,” said Amano.
Amano said that since they started using SIOS AppKeeper there have been no failures that they were unable to automatically recover from. SIOS AppKeeper even helped protect them from human error. “Sometimes other IT members have unintentionally brought the Active Directory server down. I received email notifications from AppKeeper when I was out saying that the service had been restored. Restores were so smooth that I didn’t even notice it until I was told,” Amano laughed.
INFOBAHN is considering expanding its use of AppKeeper to monitor all their internal AWS servers. They are also considering using AppKeeper for customer projects in the future. “If we have SIOS AppKeeper, we can install the necessary CMS such as WordPress and Movable Type on one server with AWS and provide added value that the services recover automatically when they fail,” said Amano.
About SIOS AppKeeper
SIOS AppKeeper software continuously monitors and protects applications in AWS EC2 from service interruptions and downtime while eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming manual intervention.
Learn more at: https://us.sios.com/products/sios-appkeeper/
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