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AWS Architecture & Cloudformation

A Story of Owning Change

About Workfront

Workfront, located in Lehi, UT, is a cloud-based Enterprise Work & Project Management solution designed to help any enterprise team—marketing, finance, etc.—unleash their value by focusing on the right work, doing their best work, and working faster than ever before. Customers include world-class enterprise companies like Intuit, Sony, Tommy Hilfiger, Dell, Merck, Trek, and Cisco.

Workfront’s year-over-year growth has landed many accolades including and for the fifth year running, a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based IT PPM Services, because of their ability to execute and completeness of vision. Workfront regularly receives awards for their project management, software, and organizational culture. For more information, visit

Workfront Logo

Workfront’s initial migration of a production application into AWS was launched quickly while leaping past issues with guidance and direction from 1Strategy.

James Lehnhoff, Director, Engineering at Workfront

The Challenge

Companies use Workfront in every industry and in every type of department to streamline their work and get things done faster and better. The company’s customers routinely report greater efficiency, higher productivity, and more satisfied teams using their products. However, with these great business results, come great technical challenges as well. Today, Workfront provides a robust technical infrastructure and ecosystem to help customers get their work done, which in turn requires the following compute services and processing power:

  • 155+ Million – Weekly Page Hits Processed
  • 62+ Million – Weekly API Hits Processed
  • 17,500+ Client Transactions Processed Per Day
  • 426,000+ Active User Accounts
  • 200ms – Round-Trip Time of Production Connection
  • 100ms – Application Response Time to Production Connections

Because of the company’s ability to execute and provide resilient, complete solutions to customers, large technical scaling and growth challenges are always on the horizon; especially considering the cloud application services total addressable market (TAM) in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) segment is expected to have a 20.3% CAGR, reaching $37.7 billion dollars in 2016 and beyond. (Gartner, 2016).

With these data points in mind, the decision was made to begin the cloud evolution strategy within Workfront, leveraging AWS and 1Strategy. This consisted of a phased “lift-and-shift” approach into a hybrid SaaS model with an end goal of becoming cloud native.

Workfront’s biggest challenges in their migration to AWS were the following:

  • Migrate to Amazon Web Services quickly, so as to maintain tight deadlines
  • Receive architectural design guidance and security best practices
  • Understand the use of AWS infrastructure and services

Why Amazon Web Services

To expand and to continue in helping thousands of enterprise teams in a fast-paced global market, Workfront recognized that AWS offers unparalleled benefits to its potential market growth now and in the years ahead. Workfront recognized that AWS is the proven leader in the IaaS cloud market with a 30% segment share in 2014 alone. With $4.7B in annual revenue, and a 51% year-over-year growth trajectory, AWS is the incumbent leader in the market and in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

“With such features and future-proof solutions such as the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), it’s easy to see why Amazon is at the top of the list for market analyst’s vendor product scores,” said George Thomas, Senior Director, Infrastructure and Platform Operations at Workfront.

Vendor Product Scores For Cloud Applications

The Benefits

Workfront engaged 1Strategy to assist with their initial compute and storage migration into the AWS cloud ecosystem. 1Strategy implemented a Proof of Concept (POC) for migrating a portion of Workfront’s core infrastructure services; which included such scope items as:

  • Industry best practices
  • Security segregation policies
  • Business unit cost controls
  • Architectural guidance around building and sustaining the newly created AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

This project also included assistance with Disaster Recovery (DR) strategies, configuration management and automation deployment through Amazon’s CloudFormation templates, as well as custom education, training, and other consultancy advice on various cloud-based technologies and solution implementation details.

James Lehnhoff, a Director of Cloud Engineering at Workfront, stated the following around the value-add 1Strategy brought to the table. “1Strategy proved to be a very valuable partner and a cost-saving resource. They were able to engage with our internal teams, help us make initial architectural decisions, and launched us into AWS on-time and without issue.”

Another benefit of 1Strategy, in addition to assisting with Workfront’s AWS cloud migration solution aside from the consultancy and cost-avoidance, was the performance increases that the enterprise application experienced moving from on-premise datacenter hardware into the AWS IaaS cloud ecosystem. For example, Service Level Targets (SLTs) dropped by 40%+, and performance increased 20%+ across the application stack on average.

Service Level Targets

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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