EZOPS Reduces Delivery Time for POC Environments to <1 Day


Executive Summary

Risk Focus conducted a Well-Architected Review for EZOPS and determined they could reduce the SLA to build POC environments by adopting best practices to create Infrastructure as Code. The end result was to reduce the SLA from the DevOps team to deliver POC environments from about 4 business days to 1 and to fully automate the process, thereby ensuring no manual errors.

About EZOPS

A fast growing AI startup, EZOPS found that the time to build and verify secure “sandbox” environments to work with clients was taking too long to create and validate. They sought options to improve the turnaround time and to keep up with demand.

The Challenge

A fast growing AI startup, EZOPS found that the time to build and verify secure “sandbox” environments to work with clients was taking too long to create and validate. They sought options to improve the turnaround time and to keep up with demand.

Why AWS

EZOPS chose AWS for the project so they could leverage the elastic nature of the cloud by spinning up “sandboxes” on demand. They liked AWS because it gave them the ability to create secure, encrypted environments for each client that could be completely destroyed at the end of the POC, ensuring the full protection of all client data. From a cost perspective, they saved considerably over the previous “hosted” infrastructure they had used, because they could limit running it to when they needed the environments and then destroy it at the end of the POC with no ongoing costs.

Why Risk Focus

EZOPS chose Risk Focus as the Advanced AWS Partner to do the Well-Architected Review based on recommendations from mutual clients and on Risk Focus’s deep experience with Financial Services and DevOps.

Riskfocus Logo

The Solution

To address the recommendations of the Well-Architected Review while keeping costs to a minimum, EZOPS asked Risk Focus to provide a solution that could be delivered within a budget of 10 days effort. The solution focused on the AMI construction and core AWS build, since these are the most fragile and time-consuming part of any deployment. EZOPS elected to defer automation of the account setup and VPN setup to focus on the most time-consuming and complex steps.

Risk Focus migrated the manual process of building an environment to infrastructure as code, automating 72 manual steps by creating a 2-step process to install a CodeBuild job into the AWS account and to then run the CodeBuild to build the infrastructure with HashiCorp Terraform. The solution had 2 parts:

Part 1 – Automation of the AMI build and Database Setup. This was solved by introducing the opensource software HashiCorp Packer to build the AMI and leverage Terraform to generate database passwords dynamically when CodeBuild job runs Terraform. The database setup was handled by leveraging the user data script in EC2 to initialize the database after the EC2 is created.

Part 2 – Convert the manual process to create 27 AWS entities, VPC, EC2, RDS, etc. to Infrastructure as code. This was delivered by creating a CodeBuild project installed using the Terraform command line. The CodeBuild project is then run with configurable parameters to complete the infrastructure build with the push of a button.

Results and Benefits

Risk Focus delivered the project in less than 2 weeks. EZOPS can now create an environment in less than 1 hour that used to take about 4 days, and it can now scale the reproducible process to staff in multiple locations. In addition, every deployment is fully auditable, because all provisioning is stored as code.

Learn More

Risk Focus is a consultancy solving capital markets business problems with technology and insight. We combine business domain knowledge, technology expertise, and disciplined process to ensure the success of the most challenging projects in the industry. Some of the largest exchanges and investment banks operate on systems built by Risk Focus. Our practices include Custom Application Development, Regulatory Reporting & Compliance, DevOps & Cloud, Streaming Architectures, and IT Strategy. We’re a Premier Confluent Systems Integrator and an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner with DevOps and Financial Services Competencies. Clients count on us to provide outcomes that advance their objectives on time and on budget.