Case Study - Lower TCO & Read Replicas

A leading provider of mobile promotion solutions lowers TCO on AWS with CloudBasic


Overcomes Multi-AZ shortcomings of AWS by using CloudBasic’s RDS AlwaysOn to get fully accessible Read Replicas; Lowers costs thanks to CloudBasic’s support for SQL Web Edition

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The client, a publicly listed advertising company, powers the cross-device promotional programs of prominent brands and retailers around the globe via its signature incentive marketing technology platform hosted on AWS. The company uses a fully managed RDS SQL Server Enterprise edition with Multi-AZ mirroring and encryption. However, access to the mirrored SQL Server instance is not offered by AWS, curtailing the client’s ability to offload the primary database server and use the standby replica for reporting purposes. To offload the primary RDS, and get read access to the mirrored SQL Server instance, the client used CloudBasic's RDS AlwaysOn to replicate multiple databases to RDS SQL Servers Web Editions for their public facing reporting portal, greatly reducing TCO in the process.

The Client

A leading provider of mobile promotion solutions improves TCO on AWS with CloudBasicThe client is a public advertising company, with offices around the globe. It provides marketing promotions, rebates and loyalty solutions to a long list of diverse customers, including Fortune 500 brands, and prominent ad agencies. It launched in 2007 with the mission to bridge traditional advertising with mobile technology.

In the decade that followed the company experienced consistent growth and broadened the scope of its services to include receipt processing, loyalty, rebates, contests & promotions, rewards, mobile messaging, data analytics, and other technology driven marketing solutions, ultimately becoming a global leader in shopper marketing and mobile promotion solutions.

The Case

At the core of the company services lies a sophisticated incentive marketing technology platform, which powers a comprehensive suite of solutions. With millions of interactions generated by the clients and their respective users, the system accumulates enormous amounts of user and transaction data.

An advanced technology platform of this scale is a natural fit for the cloud. The company chose AWS, deploying an RDS SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Encryption and Multi-Zone Mirroring.
While Amazon’s Multi-AZ service, which replicates the data from the primary database to a standby instance in a different Availability Zone (AZ), provides peace of mind with protection against infrastructure failure, it does not provide access to the standby replica. Consequently, users benefit from the “Increased Availability” only in the event of Availability Zone failure or other qualified events, when the automatic fail-over kicks in.

With the heavy read loads on the databases, particularly from the client-facing data analytics tools, the company really needs to use the DB replicas, for reporting and other load balancing purposes.

The Solution

AWS RDS Multi-AZ vs. CloudBasic's RDS AlwaysOn

With CloudBasic’s RDS AlwaysOn you can deploy true Multi-Region server replication scenarios, even with MS SQL Server Web Edition, with full access to the Read-Replica, while still paying 1/2 less than the AWS Multi-AZ deployment. View sample replication scenarios to compare cost and benefits.

CloudBasic’s RDS AlwaysOn Geo-Replicate for RDS / SQL Server was the perfect fit for this situation. While many clients use it to create secondary standby databases for Disaster Recovery, the convenient access to the standby DB replica has made it a popular tool to balance read loads for Reporting, Business Intelligence (BI), and demanding data analytics applications.

To offload the primary RDS, and to get around the RDS Multi-AZ shortcoming of not providing access to the mirrored SQL Server instance, the client used RDS AlwaysOn to replicate more than 20 databases to RDS SQL Servers for their client-facing reporting portal.

CloudBasic’s support for SQL Web Edition with asynchronous replication allows the replica RDS SQL Server to be a smaller, less expensive type.

The Results

Taking full advantage of a mirrored RDS SQL Server, while substantially reducing TCO in the process!

If the client had chosen the classic synchronous replication, their replica RDS would have been RDS SQL Server Enterprise Edition, which comes with the hefty price tag of $5.81 per hour  (r3.2Xlarge, Virginia), or $50,756 per year.

However, thanks to CloudBasic's asynchronous support, which costs only $0.42/h, or $3,669/year, the client was able to use the smaller RDS M3.Large instead. This resulted in annual savings of $47,087 for each primary RDS SQL server.

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