Stefan Knight | Mon, 22 Jan 2018
a discussion with John Wessel, IT Ops Manager Greenville, South Carolina, USA www.freshwatersystems.com
Freshwater Systems was founded in 1989 to provide water filtration systems to both consumers and businesses. Since its earliest beginnings, the business has changed with the times and now roughly 60% of sales come via their online marketplace. John Wessel, IT Ops Manager was kind enough to share his insights on their journey to the cloud and how they use GorillaStack to schedule resources and optimise cost with AWS.
The journey to the cloud began about a year ago when the company took a close look at its reliance on digital systems. Whilst their marketplace was externally hosted, the other links in the digital chain to customer fulfillment were on in house servers. If one system or network connection went down, customer orders could not be fulfilled. Like many traditional businesses, the IT infrastructure was at risk of becoming a single point of failure for the business.
The decision to move to the cloud was relatively easy, given the alternative would have been to build out redundant infrastructure in a geographically diverse location which would have been very costly and require perpetual diligence to maintain and kept secure.
It didn’t make sense to just lift and shift the legacy servers running a variety of software directly into AWS. John and the team re-architected their environment to make the best use of AWS. This meant meeting the challenge of ongoing running costs for their Cloud environment.
One of the great advantages of AWS is that you don’t necessarily need to run everything all the time and you can save money if you optimise your runtime. The CIO had worked in a prior company where the team had written a bunch of custom code to optimise their environment and save materially on their AWS bill. John wondered if there might be a better way than writing a bunch of custom code that would need to be maintained. He ran a search for “EC2 scheduling” and found GorillaStack.
With GorillaStack’s Rules Engine he has setup scheduling for EC2 and RDS that reduces monthly spend by double digit percentages. GorillaStack gives them confidence that their environment is performing in keeping with their predefined rules and achieves the CIO’s desired outcome of a truly elastic and optimised environment.