Convey Services: Modern cloud management strategy supports scaling of virtual event platform

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Convey Services: Modern cloud management strategy supports scaling of virtual event platform

Modern cloud management resolves scalability, reliability, and performance – opening new market opportunities for growth

Cloud Conventions migrated their virtual event services to a new Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment to improve performance and reliability, as well as to rapidly scale in response to customer demand. However, the company soon realized that the ongoing monitoring, optimization, and management of their new AWS environment involved complexities beyond their internal capabilities. Cloud Conventions engaged Effectual as an experienced cloud partner to provide modern managed services expertise.

About Cloud Conventions

Cloud Conventions from Convey Services is an enterprise virtual/hybrid event management platform that redefines the exhibitor and attendee experience to allow companies to provide easy access to in-depth product information, showcase their brands with graphics and videos, create calls to action, and generate immediate sales leads. Used around the world for large managed events and smaller self-directed meetings, conferences and corporate kickoffs, Cloud Conventions automates exhibitors and virtual booths, continuing education, speaker sessions and reminders, invitations and email communication, while at the same time producing detailed analytics on attendee, session and exhibitor activity.

The Challenge

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Cloud Conventions was in a unique position to provide a sophisticated virtual event platform to replace a growing list of live events cancelled due to the new restrictions on live gatherings. While demand for their services was growing rapidly, the company began encountering performance and reliability challenges – including outages on their hosted infrastructure.

Despite Cloud Conventions’ repeated requests to address these urgent issues, the existing hosting provider was unresponsive. The company learned that the provider had them on a hypervisor that was out-of-date and obsolete and that they would not be able to upgrade for over 30 days. With numerous high-profile conferences in the US and around the globe scheduled within the next several weeks, this response was unacceptable.

Choosing the AWS Cloud for improved scalability and reliability

To resolve these issues and establish a secure, scalable environment capable of growing with customer demand, Cloud Conventions made the decision to migrate immediately to the AWS Cloud as a lift-and-shift move – with plans to pursue application and database modernization efforts in the near future.

Engaging Effectual to manage, modernize, and optimize workloads

Soon after Cloud Conventions’ development team finished migrating workloads to AWS, they realized they needed a partner with advanced cloud expertise to properly manage the new environment.

An AWS Premier Consulting Partner, Effectual is a cloud first professional and managed services company with a primary objective to enable modernization and solve business challenges with cloud technologies. Effectual’s Modernization Engineers™ deliver expert support and critical guidance on workload performance, acting as an extension of customer internal IT resources. The company also identifies opportunities to optimize security, operations, and cloud spend.

For Cloud Conventions, Effectual’s expertise and capabilities matched their needs precisely.

Adopting Effectual’s Modern Cloud Management Platform

After conducting an initial analysis of Cloud Conventions’ new AWS environment to ensure it was configured correctly, Effectual helped the company develop and implement a modern cloud strategy for governing the use of cloud services across their organization. This included onboarding Cloud Conventions to Effectual’s Modern Cloud Management platform to manage and monitor the health of their workloads, as well as to guide their cloud usage.

Effectual’s platform was developed using recommended controls by the Center for Internet Security (CIS) in conjunction with the AWS Well Architected Framework. The solution also applies Infrastructure as Code automation to deploy and manage customer environments. 

As a Modern Cloud Management customer, Cloud Conventions receives the following services and support:

  • Security & Compliance Management
    Effectual helps Cloud Conventions maintain a trusted security posture across dynamic cloud workloads by leveraging DevOps automation and continuous asset discovery, offering complete visibility into the managed environment.
  • Operations Management
    Effectual ensures that Cloud Conventions is maximizing cloud usage with streamlined procurement, cost management, monitoring, and support, including monthly and quarterly reviews to identify areas for improvement.
  • Shared Responsibility
    Effectual has helped Cloud Conventions establish a clear delineation of responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed tasks across their organization and the Modern Cloud Management platform (this includes 24 x 7 x 365 Security Operations Center (SOC) and customer support).

Solutions & Outcomes

  • Guided the company through Effectual’s Cornerstone Process, establishing the foundation of the customer relationship as well as a baseline understanding of Cloud Conventions’ existing environment
  • Onboarded Cloud Conventions’ to Effectual’s Modern Cloud Management service to ensure security, compliance, availability, and cost optimization for the company’s variable workload
  • Assumed management of the existing AWS environment including Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon RDS, and other web delivery services
  • Launched 24/7/365 support
  • Improved availability and fault tolerance by scaling out to multiple Availability Zones (AZ) in RDS, providing a highly available database solution
  • Utilized AWS Elasticache for Redis to store application session data, allowing Cloud Conventions to scale services more economically and handle unpredictable traffic spikes
  • Deployed Amazon CloudFront for secure, fast delivery of Cloud Conventions’ static, dynamic, and Video on-Demand content at a data transfer volume of 1 GB/month
  • Implemented Amazon S3 for increased scalability and data availability
  • Identified CIS compliance benchmarks that were non-compliant and prioritized them for remediation
  • Leveraged Qualys patch management to ensure that EC2’s remained hardened after deployment
  • To establish guardrails and security control policies for continuous compliance, deployed Amazon Control Tower – if changes are made to the environment that move them into non-compliance, Cloud Conventions will receive an automated email notification
  • Set up application monitoring and logging with Amazon CloudWatch to ensure a holistic view of operational health as well as the ability to respond to changes and optimize resources
  • Deployed AWS CloudTrail to log and monitor access to AWS services through the console
  • Used AWS Config to run continuous compliance checks using CSI, PCI, HIPAA, and GDPR benchmarks by means of conformance packs applicable to Cloud Conventions’ needs

Summary

Effectual’s modern cloud management services not only resolved Cloud Conventions’ scalability, reliability, and performance issues, but also allowed their development team to refocus time and energy on other core initiatives and opportunities. 

In addition, by moving to AWS with ongoing cloud management support from Effectual, the company can meet strict regulatory compliance for PCI, HIPAA, CIS, and GDPR. This has opened new opportunities for Cloud Conventions’ to bid contracts and expand its business into international markets.

Most importantly, Cloud Conventions can now onboard new customers and deliver engaging, high-quality virtual event services with the confidence that their infrastructure is well-managed, closely monitored, and optimized for the AWS Cloud.

Interested in learning more about our Modern Cloud Management services? Contact us