Cloud Infrastructure Development for a Finance and Credit Broker

Executive Summary

Enra Specialist Finance (“Enra”) is one of Europe’s fastest-growing property finance and specialist lending companies. Enra operates in both broking and lending markets, through its subsidiaries West One Loans, Enterprise Finance and Vantage Finance.

Enra had 17 AWS accounts resulting in exceptionally large bills and an “on-premises over cloud” infrastructure, lacking autoscaling, containerization, etc. Advascale re-designed the entire infrastructure, aiming to cut costs and to provide a scalable, modern, true cloud-based infrastructure.

Customer Challenge

Enra inherited a set of AWS accounts that cost $17,000 USD per month. Developer teams without deep knowledge of cloud computing configure instances according to principles that are native to servers. As a result, the Enra’s infrastructure was static and overcrowded with several unused instances, EIPs, and other resources. They had a totally “on-premises over cloud” environment with no automation, no spots, and no reservations.

If this had not been addressed, Enra would have faced increasing AWS costs, as without proper use of cloud computing (autoscaling, load balancing), the same compute power would be several times more expensive. Additionally, they would be faced with the overwhelming maintenance effort as they would have to manually configurate all elements in their environments.

The infrastructure had to be re-designed from the ground up, to ensure that Enra’s infrastructure could scale alongside the company’s growth. With Advascale’s help, Enra has seen a significant reduction in monthly costs and significantly improved performance of its core platform.

Advascale Solution

Enra reached out to Advascale for an infrastructure Cost Optimization project with a focus on the adoption of automation elements specific to pure cloud. Advascale introduced several adjustments by re-designing the infrastructure.

“It is not my first time working with the Advascale team. They are experts at what they do, and they are always available and respond quickly, which is extremely rare to find.”

Aris Karidis, CTO, Enra

Advascale first performed an audit to provide a plan for reducing costs, resource resizing, resource sizes, and reservations. The resulting document provided the guide to cleaning up the resources/cutting the expenses, and such information as project period, all costs, and expected results.

After that, it was decided to:

  • Move existent applications to high availability and scalable architecture
  • ​Use Kubernetes – by using Ocean
  • Cost-optimized with ECO
  • ​Make two environments, prod, and non-prod, in separate accounts
  • ​Send VPC flow logs and CloudTrail logs to separate accounts
  • ​Implement CI/CD by using Rolling updates

The application was deployed to the Kubernetes cluster managed by Ocean. Production and non-production environments were deployed to different AWS accounts using Terraform and Terragrunt.

Both environments have the same architecture but differ in resource sizes. As the database Aurora RDS for MySQL 5.7 with a separate reader for the production environment was used. For the session handler and caches, a Redis Replica Set

CloudTrail and VPC flow logs were sent to S3 on a separate account. EBS encryption was enabled for the application regions.

Results and Benefits

The result of the project is:

  • Cost decreased six times;
  • Real-time visibility into cloud spending achieved;
  • Hhigh availability and scalable architecture performed;
  • All unused instances, EIPs, and other resources optimized;
  • ​New architecture allowed to invest less time in managing services.

The new infastrature is now deployed in three accounts within the Ireland region. All services for every account were analyzed to reduce costs and plan appropriately for resource resizing, resource sizes, and reservations.

The total cost has been reduced to $5800 per month, down from $170000 per month.

Therefore, Enra’s IT infrastructure has become more scalable, cost-effecient, and reliable due to the AWS featiures implemented by Advascale.