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Corporate Website Migration

A Story of Owning Change

About Sorenson Communications LLC

Sorenson Communications LLC connects people by delivering the world’s most trusted service and innovative products for the Deaf community, which include Sorenson Video Relay Service (VRS®), the highest-quality video interpreting service; the ntouch® VP and the ntouch VP2 videophones, designed especially for use by deaf individuals; ntouch PC, a software that connects users to Sorenson VRS by using a PC and webcam; ntouch for Mac®, a software that connects users to Sorenson VRS by using an Apple® computer; and ntouch Mobile, an application empowering Sorenson VRS communication via tablet and mobile devices. Sorenson is the leading provider of Video Relay Service.

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Cloud Architect Pat Reilly and the 1Strategy team provided us indispensable AWS guidance and expertise, jump-starting us to leverage the powerful capabilities of AWS.

—Dave Cloes, Senior Systems Engineer, Sorenson Communications

The Challenge

Sorenson was operating a legacy LAMP stack on an on-premises data center for their corporate website. A LAMP stack is a combined package intended for web development and is an acronym for four open-source components: Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. However, Sorenson faced the challenges and limitations of this legacy system, including the extensive cost and complexity of managing and upgrading their aging hardware needed to run it on-premises.

Why Amazon Web Services

To continue to support the communication needs of the Deaf community, Sorenson Communications turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to determine if migrating their customer-facing website to this platform would deliver solutions faster and more reliably to their customers. In addition, Sorenson’s team reached out to 1Strategy, a Premier Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN), for their expert direction on best practices and practical solutions when migrating to AWS.

Sorenson Senior Systems Engineer Dave Cloes had favorable past experience with AWS, and this was a key contributing factor in selecting AWS over other cloud service providers.

“Sorenson’s solutions are critical for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community,” said Cloes. “With AWS, we determined that we will be able to provide these solutions, maintaining our highest qualities in a real-life setting while scaling to support and meet the demands for our customers.”

The Benefits

With the help of 1Strategy, Sorenson began their journey to migrate their corporate website to AWS in two separate phases. Phase 1 consisted of rehosting, or what’s commonly referred to as a “lift and shift migration.” 1Strategy moved their existing website from their on-premises hardware to AWS with zero downtime at launch.

For Phase 2, 1Strategy created a new, production-ready WordPress copy of Sorenson’s corporate website hosted on AWS. This will enable Sorenson to have their site highly available and scalable, while including native AWS services integration. Once deployed, it will replace the existing corporate website and can be launched later according to Sorenson’s future plans.

Both of these phases required a fully functional development, test and production environment to ensure that the launch of each website was successful. Monitoring of AWS resources was also paramount.

Sorenson reports that migrating their corporate website to AWS has benefited the company in many ways, including:

  1. Availability: Sorenson is able to make their website on AWS highly available and redundant by utilizing multi-AZ (Availability Zone) deployment.
  2. Scalability: With tens of thousands of website visitors each week, there was a prodigious need to be able to scale up and down based on the way their website traffic ebbed and flowed. AWS offered Sorenson the ability to spin up the correct amount of EC2 instances during the peak of customer traffic while not having to pay for overprovisioning during traffic lulls.

Not only will Sorenson gain the low cost, elasticity, flexibility and scalable benefits from migrating to AWS, but the company will also be able to retire some aging hardware. No longer will Sorenson need to worry about maintaining on-premises servers or worry about the collapse of aging hardware and accompanying downtime. In the end and in the coming years, migrating to AWS will lead to lower maintenance costs for Sorenson, allowing them to use their resources on developing advanced technology to further support their customers.

“Sorenson is not in the business of running a data center, but we are here to help connect and support the communication needs of the Deaf community,” said Cloes. “Cloud Architect Pat Reilly and the 1Strategy team provided us indispensable AWS guidance and expertise, jump-starting us to leverage the powerful capabilities of AWS.”

“In a short time, we were able to develop a POC of the lift and shift for our core product, TruCare, which was completed on time,” Zawil expressed. “Our engagement with 1Strategy has been very pleasant and rewarding in that we built the platform for TruCare in AWS and acquired the core AWS skills to move to the next step of our cloud strategy.”

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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