CloudComputing

NSDC achieves operational resilience and scalability benefits by migrating to the cloud

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is a not-for-profit public limited company, set up by the Ministry of Finance as Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. NSDC has trained more than 20.45 Lakhs students, created 538 Training Partners and 37 Sector Skill Councils (SSC) in various industries through various digital learning platforms including SAP S/4 HANA, Document Management systems etc.

BACKGROUND

The main objectives of the NSDC are to:

  • Upgrade skills to international standards through significant industry involvement and develop necessary frameworks for standards, curriculum and quality assurance.
  • Enhance, support and coordinate private sector initiatives for skill development through appropriate Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models; strive for significant operational and financial involvement from the private sector.
  • Play the role of a “market-maker” by bringing financing, particularly in sectors where market mechanisms are ineffective or missing.
  • Prioritize initiatives that can have a multiplier or catalytic effect as opposed to one-off impact.

CHALLENGES

NSDC committed to a cloud-first strategy with Amazon Web Services (AWS), taking advantage of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and many other AWS services to provide highly secure and scalable cloud-native applications and services to its customers. Minfy has bagged the deal in RFP process and started working with the NSDC in fixed contract term basis.

The client had to spend considerable time and effort in the procurement, up-gradation and maintenance of servers. In addition, the infrastructure could not effectively handle traffic fluctuations, thereby impacting business negatively.

Being a Government Sector Organization governed by various regulatory compliance’s, security to be considered a topmost priority. Over time, while the hardware fresh cycle that is moving to the cloud would be a more scalable, reliable, secure, and cost-effective solution. The ability to instantly replicate the complete environment, launch new servers for experimentation when needed, managed services like databases, load-balancer, etc. were additional characteristics required for reducing administrative efforts and thereby increasing the team’s productivity.

Cloud-based ‘pay as you go’ approach was the ideal solution for this customer. The cloud solution that was recommended by Minfy was to use the Amazon cloud infrastructure. In addition to cost savings, the reliability of the AWS public cloud was of significant benefit to the customer.

OUR APPROACH

More than needed to be migrated immediately for a number of intended outcomes, including frictionless user experience across all levels of interactions, gaining on-demand scalability during seasonal traffic spikes, development and testing, facilitating better collaboration between teams and processes to deliver higher quality services faster. Efficient roll out of required business opportunities, maintaining operational resilience and continuity of data was an urgent priority.

It needed detailed research and insightful understanding at every level for flawless execution. Minfy’s cloud readiness assessment provided the client with a structured, detailed analysis of the workload to help them gather strategic insights on the upcoming cloud adoption journey. It included anticipating details such as projected cost, risks involved, intended processes, potential migration paths and post-migration advantages.

FINDINGS

As a large migration project, moving multiple applications and platforms needed an expertly phased migration strategy to ensure consistency of application deployments, on-time vulnerability assessment and security testing. Depending on the nature of some applications and requirements involved, a lift and shift or rehost strategy was suggested to avail simple, fast and efficient deployment with minimal disruption to applications workflow. In some instances, re-platforming was needed to enable better scaling and leveraging a variety of cloud capabilities.

SOLUTIONS

  1. Segregate each Application Stack into Different different sub-network classification within a VPC
  2. Conclude the instance types to be used in each environment
  3. Create Network Layout Diagram
  4. Create Architecture Diagram
  5. Setup Direct Connect with GSP
  6. Setup Client2Site VPN to access AWS VPC with MFA for management
  7. Configured Cisco CSR Router prior direct connect from VPC for the Application Connectivity
  8. Address dependencies like local firewall and internet blockage to establish connectivity via VPN with AWS
  9. Configure Lambda Function within the VPC with Specific Subnets
  10. Configure IDS/IPS Solution on all the servers
  11. Configure Squid proxy server post ELB for the Application response
  12. Setup DNS name mapping against CNAME of the provided AWS resources like Cloud Front or ELB as per the Environment
  13. Configure the Primary & Secondary Domain Controller with the Client Domain Name shared and Setup all the instances as a part of it
  14. Configure Kinesis Stream
  15. Import Custom SSL certificate to AWS-ACM to be further used on Cloud Front, ELB level
  16. WAF to be implemented having CloudFront as the origin with rate based Rule
  17. S3 Endpoint Configured from VPC to have any s3 to & fro transactions

Third-Party Solutions used for the migration:

CloudEndure Migration helps you simplify, expedite, and automate migration to AWS. Continuous Data Replication takes place in the background, without performance impact, which minimizes cutover windows. When migration cutover is initiated, CloudEndure executes a highly automated machine conversion and orchestration process, allowing even the most complex applications and databases to run natively in AWS, without compatibility issues and with minimal IT skills necessary.

RESULTS

The cloud solutions ensured multiple system enhancements, lowered IT costs, and scaled application while enabling the client to effectively address varied tax processes and meet compliance requirements.  With the help of Autoscaling and Application Load balancers, we have architected the solution to scale without any hard limits. The entire solution was deployed within pressing timelines despite go to live dates were revised.

The smooth and strategic migration to the AWS Cloud made the needed architecture, process and systems available for the client to steadily meet the dynamic business needs in an evolving market.

It ensures that the client’s IT team has the required flexibility and governance to rapidly provision business applications while mitigating risks and ensuring business continuity.

Reduced dependency on outdated servers increased reliability, the client’s infrastructure has become more flexible to scale up or down as demand varies or new services require. The client saw Reduced infrastructure cost through containerization and a massive 62% increase in economies of scale after moving to the AWS cloud. The migration helped the client experience stronger operational efficiency.

Minfy has also performed major optimizations for NSDC through scheduling and right-sizing throughout their journey as MSP. The billing was reduced up to 40% through these various exercises and allowed NSDC to position itself to be more innovative through modernization.

Customer Obsession is and will always be our priority!

Author: Shashikant Pushpakar

Hands-on marketing & branding professional having 14 years of experience. Loves in no particular order of preference: The human approach in automated emails, startups (where no rule works except passion) and learning (mostly unlearning) digital tools to connect with customers.

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