Ellucian’s Cloud Story
As a market leader, Ellucian began offering cloud-based solutions to accommodate institutions that wanted a path to the cloud. With the general industry trend of increased cloud adoption, the company was considering all options to deploy its industry-leading software to help transition its portfolio of applications to the cloud.
A proof-of concept AWS Test Drive of Ellucian’s flagship product was conducted. The cloud services team quickly converted the VMware image, and within days stood up its application in two different AWS regions in Virginia and Sydney, Australia. This proved that the team could reliably operate on AWS, run failover to multiple continents, and run the application with a tablet.
On the back of this success, Ellucian began to engage Hitachi Vantara business consulting services. These services would provide a thorough business case justification and return on investment (ROI) analysis of moving into the AWS Cloud.
After the consulting team provided the assessment report, which had a solid business case with multimillion-dollar savings estimates, Ellucian’s management team approved the shift in direction to move its application to AWS.
Based on the companies’ shared success, Ellucian engaged the consulting team to evaluate and transform its deployment and integration to adopt a cloud-based agile engineering DevOps process.
The solution needed to take into consideration that Ellucian has over 80 different product lines deployed all over the world, across multiple continents, leveraging multiple technologies (Microsoft SQL Server, Java, Oracle, open source and so forth), with an intent to deploy to multiple endpoints (hybrid, on-premises, AWS, private cloud and so forth). It was an ambitious project to develop a framework that would need to have the flexibility and agility to support all of these variables.
The team developed a CI/CD software delivery pipeline framework for DevOps (see Figure 1), built on AWS. It not only addresses those challenges, but also takes into account the future needs of Ellucian’s cloud adoption model. This framework is now being rolled out across all of its product lines, with the support of AWS ProServe team.