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CBS Webstores - Case Study

The Problem

CBS Webstores was a green-fields deployment. They chose AWS cloud to go to market quickly. This was driven by both the desire to not have any upfront hardware costs to run an application, as well as a lack of server room space to run the hardware. Choosing AWS cloud was the obvious choice.

The AWS Proposed Solution

A 2-tier architecture consisting of a web tier and a database tier.

The web tier servers web content to users with an application load balancer distributing traffic across 2 availability zones. AWS WAF is deployed on the application load balancer to protect against common Layer 7 attacks.

The database tier consists of Amazon RDS running Microsoft SQL Server Std. edition across 2 availability zones. Amazon CloudWatch monitors the system to ensure that all critical metrics are within a defined threshold. Amazon S3 is used to store backups of the EC2 instances. A bastion host is used is control administrative traffic to the EC2 instances and to minimize the attack surface from the Internet. Amazon SES is used to deliver Emails to customers of the webstores.

The Outcome

CBS Webstores can scale with ease and give their developers the opportunity to innovate and improve the website interface and features to meet customer requirements, without having to worry about physical servers and hardware. This allowed them to innovate and improve the website interface and features to meet customer requirements. They can also save costs by switching off the dev servers after hours when they weren't in use and switch them on again in the morning before the developers started their day.

Lessons Learned

It’s easy to quickly ring up a large bill while using cloud services. It’s vitally important to keep track of your cloud spend and always have visibility of what is running in your account. It’s also recommended, and a best practice, to setup alerts when your cloud spend reaches a set threshold. CBS webstores was experimenting with AWS dedicated hosts to look at the possibilities of BYOL Microsoft licenses to the AWS cloud.

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