Guest Column | August 30, 2019

Spotlight On MSP Client Success: Mission

Sales Success With Reviews

In this SPOTLIGHT ON CLIENT SUCCESS, Mission’s Chief Operating Officer — Service Delivery Phaedra Divras shares how her company is driving the success of its clients.

Solutions Provider: Mission

Client Name: Autumn Games

Describe this client’s problem that precipitated the need for your solution(s). Autumn Games is a global video game publisher known for publishing Skullgirls, among other cross-platform titles. The company had been using Docker to deploy application server software (using a pipeline connecting to an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) machine for development) but needed a managed cloud provider to help bolster its pipeline and introduce more efficient scalability in production.

The game publisher also required better support with infrastructure automation, change management, active guidance in the latest AWS best practices, and improvements with the reliability of its applications on AWS. Because the studio’s biggest concerns were reliability and operations, Autumn Games looked for a provider able to eliminate single points of failure and improve resiliency. It also wanted a managed provider to allow its technical staff to focus on game development.

What solution did you implement and how did it address the client’s challenge? Once vetted and selected as a managed service partner, Mission immediately engaged in an AWS Well-Architected Review to make sure all sides aligned on the current state of Autumn Games’ workload. This was followed by a directive from Autumn Games to move to a managed services environment that would help the studio achieve its full potential on AWS while maintaining reliability and operational excellence.

Mission was able to move the gaming company’s infrastructure to a managed services environment. Improvements were then made to Autumn Games’ cloud environment based on the output of the Well-Architected Review, and Mission delivered the operational support and professional services necessary to implement CI/CD pipelines for Autumn Games’ infrastructure and applications. This included a re-architecting of the environment to include a custom DNS failover for the MongoDB stack using both AWS Lambda and Amazon Route 53.

Autumn Games utilized AWS for its application workload, as first implemented by its previous provider. The game publisher’s workload consists of a Java 8 application running on Docker containers, using Amazon EC2 instances behind elastic load balancers. Autumn Games also leveraged AWS CloudFormation for infrastructure automation, Amazon CloudFront as the CDN, and Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring the infrastructure.

On Mission’s recommendation – and in-line with Autumn Games’ requirements – Mission then proceeded to streamline cloud processes by leveraging infrastructure-as-code tooling and managing infrastructure programmatically. Mission developed a multi-account infrastructure orchestration process using Jenkins as the orchestrator and Terraform as the template tool. The CI/CD pipeline polls a version control repository for changes and, depending on the branch, deploys infrastructure changes to the specified AWS account. Mission also isolated all components in the environment that were single points of failure, and then redeployed them as autoscaling groups with load balancing.

How is the solution helping the client do business more efficiently? Mission provided Autumn Games with Well-Architected Review remediations across all pillars of AWS’ Well-Architected Framework. This included ensuring that Autumn Games’ log centralization, root MFA, password policies, AWS CloudTrail enablement, instance rightsizing, operational runbooks, environment documentation, full-scale monitoring, and other critical components were all well-architected per current best practices.

By leveraging AWS more advantageously, Autumn Games improved the security, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of their business. The result of the engagement gave Autumn Games more confidence adding to its existing infrastructure and introducing new capabilities that can support new modes for its upcoming games – mission-critical needs to its business.

How is that success being measured and attributed to your solution? For the managed AWS provider, success has been measured by Autumn Games increasing their services provided by Mission.

Has this solution led to any new business opportunities or product/service offerings for your company? Containerization is one of Mission’s core strengths, so the solution referenced further deepened Mission’s expertise with container orchestration technologies – including both Docker and Kubernetes. Because of this, AWS continues to introduce Mission to new opportunities for client workloads requiring container expertise. In addition, because Autumn Games is in the video game industry, the work Mission completed for them introduced the managed AWS provider to new opportunities within this vertical.