AWS Public Sector Symposium

It has been a while since our last update, so now is the perfect time to give a little perspective as to where we stand with regards to our Amazon initiatives.

Amazon graciously invited Bob and me to present the Notre Dame AWS story and its fifth annual Public Sector Symposium.


We described how we got started with AWS in the context of migrating 18 months ago.  Over the past 18 months, we have experienced zero service issues in this, our most reliable and resilient service offering.  Zero.

Since then, as mentioned in our 2014 spring update when Notre Dame hosted the Common Solutions Group in May, we reviewed progress to-date in the context of governance, people and processes, and our initiatives to grow our institutional understanding of how to operate in the cloud.

Bob and I had fun presenting, and were able to give a synopsis on:

  • Conductor Migration:  ND-engineered content management system that migrated to AWS in March 2014.  You can read all about Conductor’s operational statistics here. The short story is the migration was a massive success.  Improved performance, reduced cost, increased use of the AWS tools (RDS, Elasticache), and a sense of joy on the part of the engineers involved in the move
  • ND Mobile App:  Instantiation of the Kurogo framework in providing a revamped mobile experience.  Zero performance issues associated with rollout.
  • AAA in the Cloud:  Replicating our authentication store in Amazon.  Using Route 53 to heartbeat against local resources so that in a failure condition, redirects to the authentication store in Amazon for traffic originating from off campus.  This was tested in June and performed as designed.  Since the preponderance of our main academic applications, including Sakai, Box, and Gmail, are hosted off campus, the result of this effort is that we have separated service availability from local border network incidents.  If campus is offline for some reason, off-campus students, faculty, and staff are still able to use the University’s SaaS services.
  • Backups:  We are in the midst of testing Panzura, a cloud storage gateway product. Preliminary testing looks promising – look for an update on this ongoing testing soon.

We are absolutely thrilled with the progress being made, and look forward to continuing to push the envelope.  More to come!


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