In recent years, following the COVID-19 pandemic, the processes of globalization and the development of social networks have driven the growth of various online forms, and education is no exception to this trend. Even before the pandemic, online education was predicted to be a form that provides significant value.
This reality presents a new demand for schools and educational institutions: Which platforms to choose and how to effectively implement online learning? One of the choices that many schools and educational organizations in Vietnam are currently using is Vuihoc — a platform that supports online learning.
Vuihoc is likened to being a leading online school, facilitating students’ easy access to a wide range of subjects with rich lectures and diverse exercises. With the goal of building an interactive learning environment that mimics real-life interactions, Mr. Do Ngoc Lam, CEO of Vuihoc, stated: “The technology of the future is technology that is closely integrated with real life. Therefore, Vuihoc always strives to create a diverse, friendly, and immersive online learning platform so that students can interact as if in a real classroom, with real emotions and relationships. By using AWS, Vuihoc can reduce the burden on system administration tasks and focus human resources on longer-term goals.”
The Demand for Migrating to Cloud Computing
In 2021, to expand its scale and meet the high demand for online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vuihoc decided to migrate its application from using a domestic hosting service to AWS. This move was intended to leverage the strengths of cloud computing, particularly its flexibility and scalability. Additionally, the goal was to automate the software development process based on the advantages that cloud computing can provide.
Before migrating to AWS, Vuihoc utilized the hosting services of a different domestic provider. Consequently, the physical infrastructure architecture of Vuihoc was simple, compact, and met the needs for stable application operation and predictable user traffic.
However, with the increased demand for online learning during the period when Vietnam implemented social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Vuihoc faced difficulties in coping with a sudden surge in traffic, especially during peak hours. Servers were frequently overloaded, causing the application to become slow and difficult to access. The database also struggled to maintain availability due to the increased read volume.
AWS Services used by Vuihoc
VTI proposes solutions for Vuihoc using services provided by AWS. With a globally reliable infrastructure and flexible custom services, AWS has the capability to address the issues that Vuihoc is currently facing while opening up new possibilities for further robust development in the future.
In the transition to AWS, Vuihoc chose a solution that utilizes EC2 Instances paired with Autoscaling to automatically respond to the fluctuating user access demands throughout the day. Additionally, when Autoscaling groups are activated, they opt for Spot Instances instead of On-demand Instances, leading to cost reductions of up to 90%.
Regarding database issues, Vuihoc opted for Amazon RDS Aurora for MySQL to replace its current database. Amazon Aurora is a utility on AWS, being a compatible relational database with MySQL and PostgreSQL, combining the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases with the simplicity and cost savings of open-source databases.
A notable highlight for Vuihoc in the transition to the AWS environment is the data storage and information security capabilities. AWS covers the cloud computing space, deemed much more effective than traditional hard drive storage, providing students and teachers with a comfortable, stable, and secure learning space.
With a globally reliable infrastructure and flexible custom services, AWS has the capability to address all the challenges that Vuihoc is facing while opening up strong development opportunities for this platform in the future.
The Benefits that Amazon Aurora Brings to Vuihoc
- Amazon Aurora is up to 5 times faster than standard MySQL databases and up to 3 times faster than standard PostgreSQL databases, providing Vuihoc with improved database performance
- Amazon Aurora offers commercial-grade database security, availability, and reliability at a fraction of the cost.
- Amazon Aurora automates time-consuming management tasks such as hardware provisioning, database setup, software patching, and backups, reducing the operational burden on Vuihoc.
To address the overload issue during peak hours when the read load increases, Vuihoc integrated the Auto Scale Read Replica feature of Aurora RDS. This capability allows the database’s read capacity to automatically scale based on user access, ensuring a smooth user experience even during peak hours.
To minimize latency when accessing Vuihoc, VTI proposed integrating ElastiCache for Memcached, a service for temporary data storage in RAM. This helps store data in a cache, enhancing application and database performance. ElastiCache for Memcached enables users to access data with microsecond-level latency and high throughput for optimal application performance.
The migration to AWS also simplified the security setup. Using a bastion host on AWS VPC, Vuihoc could address security vulnerabilities by restricting access. Application access is now limited to relevant parties, reducing the risk of potential security exploits.
Incorporating CI/CD into the software development process on AWS, VTI helped Vuihoc build with Gitlab CI, combined with AWS CodeBuild and AWS CodePipeline. These AWS services automate CI/CD, and the Blue/Green Deployment method reduces downtime, ensuring a seamless user experience during the integration process.
By choosing VTI as a partner for the migration of their technology infrastructure to AWS, Vuihoc has demonstrated a wise decision. This choice has effectively addressed all issues related to access, security, latency, and availability. The transition to AWS has enabled VUIHOC to address the practical challenges it was facing while opening up additional potential for robust future development.
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