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Minfy helps The Bihar School Examination Board Migrate its Windows Workloads to AWS Cloud

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The Bihar School Examination Board is established for holding and conducting an examination at the end of the Secondary School stage, for prescribing course of studies for such examination and for carrying out such duties as may be considered necessary for the purpose as stated in the Act, Rules and Regulations of the Board. Bihar School Examination Board conducts Annual Secondary School Examination in the month of February/March and Supplementary School Examination in the month of August/September on the basis of course/syllabus as prescribed by the state Government.

Challenge

As a part of the Digital India initiative Bihar state examination board has developed an online university collaboration platform that allows students to apply for multiple graduate colleges admission, application status tracking & admission status and results tracking as well, all in single click.

Core Problems stated by the State Education Board & Universities were:

1. Frequent downtimes during load on their on premise hosting.
2. Unable to match access spikes on physical DC set-up.
3. Unable to scale database for shorter duration due to licensing issues and hardware unavailability.
4. Uneven traffic as the portal usage will be high only during admissions & results, infrastructure agility is the most imperative component on the expected solutions – Scaling up more servers during admissions & scaling down after
the admissions are over.

With High profile public-sector involvement and impact on the exam results/data provided to be showcased on this platform, which has high media vicinity, the unpredictable nature of the viewer count, including the high data volume, the challenge put across the team was to come up with a solution covering all aspects of scalability.

The view count was expected to be in hundreds per second with a target audience of 30 Million students. The application should be able to withstand such a load without any downtime. Since there is payment transaction is also involved there could not have been a downtime for even a few seconds.

Solution

Minfy’ s Enterprise Cloud Architects worked with the Infrastructure team of the customer to migrate their website on AWS paying special attention of cost, scalability & security.
The proposed solution will enable them to scale from a minimal set of users to thousands at any given time. To accomplish this requirement, the solution was implemented using services such as AWS Autoscale, AWS EC2, AWS Elastic Load balancer and AWS S3.
● A highly scalable and available web architecture was proposed on AWS for this workload.
● Application was designed using .Net by an ISV partner with ALB, Active Directory and Multiple Application Servers for modules.
● AWS Auto Scaling will manage un Healthy EC2instances. AWS AutoScaling will ensure minimum number app& dev EC2 instances are always running ,In event of failure , new instances will be launched between 30-120 seconds automatically .
● To ensure on high availability the image of the application server has been launched in another availability zone to make sure the
application availability if any disaster strikes i.e if the primary Availability Zone goes down.

Benefit

1. Serverscould handle a consistent load of over25000 sessions without any downtime.
2. During the last two days before the deadline for the application for admissions the load increased multi-folds. Additional base servers were launched to address those workloads.
3. Compared to the previous year where in there were frequent down times, this year experienced none.
4. Application performance was maintained as Core and RAM usage was maintained below 75% due to Auto Scale.
6. Additional compute could be provisioned on the database as well during the last few days of registration
7. More or less all the users who had applied to various colleges on the platform logged in on a single day within the first hour to check for results asity got declared.

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