Paxport’s Google Cloud Migration: Less Costs, More Service Availability
Paxport has been helping airlines and tour operators create new revenue streams and upgrade the passenger experience with a suite of technology-based solutions since 1994. When they reached out to us at Fastdev, all of their applications were being run on on-premise servers in conventional data centers. Costs were high and, compared to the rest of the IT industry, the availability of their services was in great need of improvement. Paxport decided it was time to migrate to the cloud—and the choice landed on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Here, we’ll describe how the process went and what benefits Paxport gained as a result.
Architecture before moving to Google Cloud
Prior to the cloud migration, Paxport had several powerful Dell servers that were acting as Linux-KVM hypervisors. These servers contained installed services (web servers, databases, etc.), and hosted virtual machines with applications and development tools on board. The complexity of the entire infrastructure grew with every virtual machine and service added. So, over time, investigating incidents and facilitating system maintenance required more and more time. Additionally, all operations were performed manually so specific skills were required in order to work with the hardware and command line on Linux systems which, once again, made infrastructure maintenance an overly time-consuming effort.
Top 3 reasons to migrate to the cloud
- Reduce time spent on maintenance
- Increase the availability of services
- Cut the infrastructure costs
To reach Paxport’s project goal, we joined forces with their engineers and got to work. Although the initial requirement was to implement a “lift-and-shift,” since some of the system components, like mail and FTP servers, changed during migration, our developers had to take extra steps to make the system more configurable. Network changes also required code and configuration changes, which were implemented in a timely manner to support the general migration plan.
Architecture after migration to Google cloud
Migration to the Google Cloud Platform has led to a more optimized infrastructure, and a number of significant benefits. Several dozens of role-based servers were configured by the Google Deployment Manager and Ansible. The division of servers according to roles, as well as the usage of Infrastructure as Code model management, has yielded greater flexibility in terms of cost. It has also made it possible for Paxport to scale their infrastructure quickly which, in turn, simplifies and reduces the overall time required for infrastructure management.
The number of incidents, as well as the time needed for their investigation, has decreased because infrastructure management has been simplified and unified, and hardware incidents have been completely eliminated.
Using Google Cloud Load balancer and Google cloud CDN allowed us to increase the availability of services and content delivery speed.
The risk of corruption or losing backups has been reduced, thanks to the use of Google Cloud Buckets which guarantees the safety and integrity of the information uploaded on it.
Besides that, following the successful completion of the migration, the insecure FTP service has been turned off and totally replaced by the Secure FTP service, which generally increases the security of the entire system.
Moving Paxport’s services to the Google Cloud platform has led to the achievement of a number of goals. These include:
– Reduced monthly costs: Overall spending was reduced by 80% by ending a contract with a data center.
– Support optimization: Physical servers decommissioning allowed us to manage the whole infrastructure remotely, entirely by ourselves, eliminating the need to get in touch with the datacenter support team and wait for help.
– Greater service availability: Physical servers decommissioning increased service availability since hardware issues don’t occur anymore on our side and cloud infrastructure makes their hardware outages invisible to us.
– Minimized risk of lost backups: The hardware Network Attached Storages replacement by Google Cloud buckets allowed us to minimize the risk of loss or damage database backups copies.
– Simplified scaling management: Implementing Infrastructure as a Code model management allowed us to make infrastructure deployment processes more transparent and simplify service scaling management.
– Faster content delivery: The introduction of Google cloud CDN allowed us to optimize content delivery speed and time for clients, and reduce the load on the web-front servers by caching data at Google cloud network endpoints.
– Reduced CPU consumption: Replacing software ‘keepalive’ services by Google Cloud Load balancer health-checks allowed us to reduce CPU consumption on web servers as well as the number of false positives which, as an added benefit, contributed to increased service availability.
– Increased productivity: Reducing the number of infrastructure issues and incidents allowed us to focus on features implementation and services optimization.
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