Mastering next-gen AWS cloud deployment

It’s the buzz everybody is talking about in tech: micro-services and cloud deployments. But few companies actually have been able to successfully make the move into this promising but challenging field. RB Group has done it.

Having a strong and robust back-end is a must-have for any application in aviation. RB Group’s RosterBuster and RB Connect platforms therefore rely on Amazon’s industry leading AWS platform. But hosting applications in a cloud environment is just the first step. If we stopped there, we would have been stuck with an expensive and inflexible solution.

Cloud deployments

The underlying infrastructure needs to be reformed to truly reap the benefits of the cloud. This is easier said than done. Micro-services play an important role. This architecture promises an application that is robust, scalable and cost effective. To achieve this, the application’s fundamentals need to be re-envisioned. From the traditional ‘Monolith’ approach towards small and reusable web services and components.

Jaco van den Bosch
To help us with development, we asked Jaco van den Bosch, a student from The Hague University, to investigate and build a working stack. He created a continuous deployment flow through Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk service. In a step-by-step approach, the team was then able to apply this on our entire platform. Jaco has also helped refactoring our application into micro-services.

Recently we were able to finalize our Continuous Deployment process. We now deploy our AWS apps using Elastic Beanstalk. We use CircleCI to trigger our builds. Every piece of code is automatically merged, checked for errors, tested and deployed… in a single click!

AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Elastic Beanstalk allows us to deploy using Docker containers to small optimized EC2 instances. This is fast, scalable, maintainable and secure.

Jaco: “A build is now ready and deployed within a minute or two. I really like working with Docker and micro-services. It is powerful technology that is rapidly changing the world of devops.

I know from experience that devops can be a challenging task. With our new setup we can instantly upgrade our servers. Not only the virtual hardware but also the software can be updated by changing just a single Docker configuration line. Gone are the days of painful installations and repetitive risky maintenance tasks.

As our system matures and we refine our micro-service architecture further, we will be able to scale cost-effectively on AWS while maintaining our agility.