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AWS Migration

A Story of Owning Change

About Imprev

Imprev Inc. powers Automated Marketing Services (which include Listing Automation and custom Marketing Centers) for many of the most respected brands in real estate. Headquartered in the tech-hub of the Pacific Northwest, the company has led the real estate industry with cutting-edge technology since its launch in 2000.

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We saw the tremendous cost-savings potential of AWS. By using the industry-standard service, we can invest the majority of our time and energy into enhancing our solutions…Thanks to 1Strategy’s deep, technical AWS expertise and flexibility during our migration, we were able to leverage the strengths of AWS quickly.

Paul Cooley, Chief Technology Officer for Imprev

The Challenge

Imprev supports over 20% of all real estate agents in North America. By the end of 2016, Imprev’s colocation data center was supporting more than 260,000 users and processing hundreds of thousands of images and multimedia marketing solutions daily.

While they had developed a state-of-the-art colocation center—with Tier 3 high reliability standards and quality systems like Cisco and F5 networks, Dell servers, and Netapp storage—Imprev knew that the high costs of maintaining a data center didn’t make sense anymore with the arrival of the cloud. Maintaining their current center would mean a large investment in equipment upgrades, as well as the continued financial and time expense of maintaining the environment.

“We’ve always pushed ourselves to provide outstanding performance and reliability for our clients. With that in mind, we’ve known for the past 9 years that the cloud is where we need to end up. It doesn’t make business sense for us to invest in the dedicated staff and expertise to continue to support a data center; and most importantly, a data center doesn’t have the elasticity needed to efficiently keep pace with our growth,” said Paul Cooley, Chief Technology Officer for Imprev.

After years of watching Amazon Web Services (AWS) grow, mature, and become the industry standard, Imprev decided that it was time to move to the cloud.

Why Amazon Web Services

Imprev chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) to cut costs while still providing their customers with an outstanding experience. “We saw the tremendous cost-savings potential of AWS. By using the industry-standard service, we can invest the majority of our time and energy into enhancing our solutions,” said Cooley.

Imprev partnered with 1Strategy, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, to lead them through the migration. “Working with 1Strategy was a no-brainer,” stated Cooley. “Thanks to 1Strategy’s deep, technical AWS expertise and flexibility during our migration, we were able to leverage the strengths of AWS quickly.”

1Strategy conducted a Well-Architected Review to examine the business impact of their design and architecture, provided Imprev with a detailed, best-practices AWS migration plan, and held a post-production architectural review to determine if there were any additional elements needed to leverage the AWS ecosystem.

The Benefits

Imprev now uses AWS to run its innovative platform and automation service, which allows the company to process tens of millions of requests per month, focus on platform enhancements, and easily meet each new client’s unique business requirements.

Imprev experienced immediate cost-savings and elasticity once they moved to AWS. Tapping into Amazon RDS and Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS), Imprev optimized their costs by right sizing their current instances and choosing a 1-year (40%) Reserved Instances for a number of their Amazon EC2 servers.

“We’ve been able to scale our environment in real-time and lower operational costs. Our monthly cost is comparable to maintaining the colocation center without needing to invest in equipment upgrades,” said Cooley.

1Strategy guided Imprev through the entire migration process. To minimize risk, Cooley knew that their migration journey would require two stages: a low-latency incremental data synchronization process on the backend data and a big-bang, full client traffic transition to AWS. The changeover moved from environment to environment starting with testing, Q&A, and staging before finishing with production. The process of moving Imprev’s platform to AWS took just 4 months with less than 20 minutes of downtime during the cutover. As of February 2017, Imprev’s entire client-facing platform now runs on AWS. They bridged some ancillary services over several months afterward before completing the full move to AWS, which allowed them to strategically move high-risk processes over piece by piece.

Imprev used Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) to migrate their MySQL data. Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) was a drop-in replacement for Network File System services provided by its on-premises NetApp. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) were used in handling their image object storage. In summary, Imprev migrated their MySQL databases (up to 150 GB) from their colocation center into Amazon Aurora, 20 TB of data into Amazon S3 using custom in-house developed software, and their App Servers to AWS.

“All along the way, 1Strategy had a positive style of guiding and assisting our IT department that saved us time. They encouraged us to view the migration process through a new mindset—a cloud mindset—instead falling back to our colocation point of view,” said Cooley. “Post-implementation, 1Strategy looked at our applications from a third-party perspective, supplying us with a list of low-cost items that led to high-value changes in making our security better and allowing us to monitor performance and applications.”

The work described in this engagement was originally completed by 1Strategy, a TEKsystems Global Services company acquired in 2019. As of June 2023, 1Strategy has fully integrated with TEKsystems Global Services to continue to deliver AWS expertise to customers. Learn more about our AWS solutions.

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