Bitlancer has worked with Vista Higher Learning (VHL), a global leader in language education, since 2017.

Initially we worked on a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution, helping to improve orchestration and configuration management tooling and processes to make it easier to onboard new customers.

More recently we’ve helped VHL with two cloud automation projects:

  1. Migrating from a self-managed Elasticsearch (ES) cluster to the AWS ES Service, while also decreasing cluster size
  2. Create automation to manage an acquired partner platform, while establishing best practices and organizational standards like infrastructure and configuration as code

Elasticsearch Migration

Back story: VHL needed to migrate from a self-managed ES cluster to the AWS ES Service, with the goal of decreasing the size of the cluster for improved performance and scalability.

How Bitlancer helped:

  • Implemented infrastructure as code to deploy the new cluster
  • Implemented Logstash changes to support the new cluster
  • Assisted with migration testing and the production migration
  • Help tune Elasticsearch to decrease the cluster size, including:
    • Reviewing data flows
    • Tuning settings such as indexing and replicas
    • Assisting with performance testing
  • Implemented a custom Elasticsearch data archival process and management tools to further support decreasing cluster size
    • Implemented a daily process to snapshot data and unload data from ES
    • Implemented tooling to support loading and unloading data from ES as needed

Infrastructure and Configuration as Code Adoption

Back story: After VHL acquired a partner platform, Bitlancer helped write automation to manage the platform, with the goals of understanding and documenting the platform’s operation and enforcing generally accepted best practices and organizational standards like infrastructure and configuration as code.

How Bitlancer helped:

  • Implemented CloudFormation templates to provision and manage the infrastructure, including VPC, EC2, Route53, Elastic Beanstalk, S3, RDS and more
  • Implemented Chef cookbooks to configure servers
  • Updated configurations as needed in line with best practices (network architecture, multi-AZ deployments, organizational naming standards, backup schedules, etc.)
  • Used new automation to stand up new environments, and performed extensive testing/validation to ensure parity with existing environments
  • Helped migrate from the original production environment to a new, managed production environment