A leading state agency based in the United States, its mission is to safeguard, protect, and further public health and the environment. Their public-facing website is a vital resource, offering information on environmental issues and actionable steps to address them.
These critical services depend on a heterogeneous database IT estate that requires constant availability, backup, and optimal performance. Hosted on AWS, the world’s leading cloud provider, these databases including Oracle 19c, SQL Server, MongoDB, and others were initially self-managed by multiple operations teams. The agency’s IT staff was responsible for not only managing these databases but also developing new applications to better serve residents.
In order to meet the escalating requirements for performance, scalability, and high availability, the agency evaluated multiple solutions including different database-as-a-service (DBaaS) choices. After an extensive Proof-of-Concept (POC), the agency made a strategic decision to migrate from self-managed AWS EC2 instances to Tessell DBaaS Platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The agency faced several challenges before adopting Tessell’s DBaaS from the AWS Marketplace:
High Availability/Disaster Recovery
- Lack of resiliency and recoverability posed a significant challenge and unacceptable risk.
- Setting up a new recovery instance in the event of a failure was complex and manual.
- Automation scripts were in place, however the end-to-end process was error-prone and hard to validate in business continuity simulations.
- The backup process was time-consuming, especially for large databases.
- Commvault software was used to back up production databases once a day, with less frequent backups for downstream environments.
- Potential data loss of up to 23 hours in various failure scenarios.
- Numerous manual processes for creating database copies and cloning production servers.
- At least 30 minutes of downtime when patching the customer-facing portal
- Lack of high availability resulted in time-consuming recovery processes.
- Challenges in managing users and permissions as the agency and database count increased.
- Increased security risks due to self-management and lack of dedicated infrastructure.
- The Chief Information Security Officer spent considerable time justifying the lack of data encryption during state audits.
- No assessment of Oracle databases for industry best practices.
- Application patching significantly lagged the infrastructure patching.
Tessell addressed these challenges through a comprehensive approach:
Seamless Zero Downtime Migration
- Meticulous migration plan ensuring minimal downtime.
- Successful migration of Oracle databases as well as the very complex E-Business Suite.
Operational & Lifecycle Management
- Implemented cross Availability Zone deployments for 24/7 availability.
- 99.99% uptime SLA with automatic failover in case of instance issues.
"I am grateful for Tessell production support availability 24X7 at our terms. Tessell completed the migration ahead of schedule and has even helped us with unrelated issues."
-- Senior DBA
The migration of the Oracle databases (to start) to Tessell DBaaS on AWS produced significant outcomes:
- 99.99% high availability, minimizing planned downtime.
- Automatic failover to a reserved instance in case of production server failure.
- HA for Oracle E-Business Suite.
- Continuous backup of all production and secondary environment Oracle databases.
- Instant data restoration down to the second without requiring a DBA’s assistance.
- PITR for any point in time during the last 35 days
- Default encryption for both data-at-rest and data-in-transit.
- Always updated patching
- Automated data masking using scripting.
- Automation of manual processes and differentiated data management.
- Patching customer portal is now less than one minute downtime (rolling clustered patching)
- 1-Click patching for infrastructure and applications. Automated roll-back using pre-patch snapshots if required.
Oracle Best Practices
- Implementation of industry best practices baked into the Tessell platform and incorporated during migration.
- Tessell functionality allowing consolidation from 6 servers to 2 came without any disruption of service
- The CISO raved about Tessell’s security advantages, saying his state audits will now be less cumbersome.
- DBAs’ appreciation for the time saved on administrative tasks.
- Elimination of backup software requirements resulted in taking costs out.
- Elimination of manual Oracle and OS patching, improved team morale and freed up more time for strategic initiatives.
- Mitigation of downtime risk, and avoiding costly measures for disaster recovery, resulted in better sleep for everyone.
Tessell's expertise in database migration and optimization successfully transformed the database landscape for our client, a state agency. The migration to Tessell DBaaS in AWS resulted in enhanced availability, security, and cost-efficiency, providing lasting benefits to the organization and its mission.