Jain Group of Institutions Case Study
India’s 4th largest city locked down overnight to contain COVID-19 as 14,000 students were eagerly waiting to take their end of semester exams. Like a lot of schools, Jain Group of Institutions, one of India’s premier private universities, had to react overnight and pivot to online instruction and testing. Their on-premises infrastructure was not scaling to administer the exams.
On May 27th, at about 5 PM, they got a call from Intuitor, one of their partners. Jain Group of Institutions (JGI), a premier university, based out of Bangalore, was scheduled to start administering end of semester exams to 14,000 students, online, starting June 1st.
JGI’s exam application was written in .NET on SQL server, connecting 8 different SQL databases on Windows Servers, protected by traditional firewalls and front-ended by a web-UI. The application was remotely monitored by Intuitor. The application had to support 14,000 students, with four exams per student and 3,500 concurrent connections. In addition, the test setting by the professors, the test-taking by the students, and the grading needed to be secured.
Testing showed that JGI’s application was unable to support the scale, and traditional scaling methods like adding more servers were failing. All options were on the table including postponing the exams while they moved their current application to the cloud, or they bought and implemented a SaaS-based testing platform which would cause business process and other unknown training related disruptions.
A motivated IT team, JGI Anveshana that relentlessly pursued excellence under the threat of COVID-19, MontyCloud DAY2 – an intelligent cloud management platform, and a super talented cloud team that was excited with the challenge, all came together to make it right by the students. We quickly agreed that under the circumstances it was best to migrate the existing application to AWS, and close the skill gap with an automation platform focused on outcomes and delivering SLAs. The team devised a phased plan with the following goals for phase 1:
- Provision, secure and enable guardrails for well-managed AWS cloud accounts and environments
- Move away from the on-prem application to a well-managed MontyCloud DAY2 powered cloud application that can be spun up on-demand, and scaled as needed
Start a pilot for 500 students to take their mock exam, monitor, tune and right-size the infrastructure
- Automate routine operations and remediation based on learnings from the pilot and configure for next phase for supporting 2,000 students
- Complete exams for all 14,000 students. Manage the university’s infrastructure & all 8 exam applications with MontyCloud DAY2
The stopwatch started with a countdown for 5 days to accomplish all of the goals in Phase 1.
With MontyCloud’s well-architected blueprints, customers AWS infrastructure was set up, configured, hardened, and tested in about three hours. Next, the exam applications were deployed using custom blueprints by the end of day one. After testing the exam application on the second day, JGI was ready to test run a pilot exam with a small batch of 500 students.
Cost was not a factor in phase 1, so JGI was over-provisioned in their infrastructure to ensure a smooth conclusion of the scheduled exams for this semester. However, the projected $35,694/Month AWS bill was neither tenable nor required. Having administered the exams at scale, with DAY2 Monitoring the team now had enough data to right-size the infrastructure.
What started as USD $35,694/Month projected in cloud costs when they initially moved to AWS, has now been reduced by about 5x to USD $7,616/Month. This was accomplished as part of the accelerated transformation while still delivering on the primary mission, thanks to both well-architected blueprints, and ultimately well-managed applications powered by DAY2.
Now, MontyCloud is in the next stage of helping Intuitor to continue monitoring and managing JGI’s AWS infrastructure via DAY2. As an MSP, Intuitor uses MontyCloud DAY2 to provide 24X7 cloud operations and support for clients.