AWS 101: Using Amazon RDS to Solve Online Auction Availability

Posted by Robin Suttell, Content Marketer, - Jun 24, 2020

Downsizing a home, a loved one’s estate or even a business can be challenging. How do you get rid of all that stuff? Canadian-based online auctioneer MaxSold virtually connects sellers and buyers together in Canada and the United States.

They do this virtually for users across Canada and the United States. On the selling side, MaxSold handles all aspects of any liquidation. Workers catalog items for sale and manage auction marketing for all listings on the website. MaxSold handles all the marketing to prospective buyers to view, and ultimately bid on, a seller’s auction items.

Since opening for the first bid in 2010, the site has completed 16,000+ auctions and fields 168 annual page visits from users in 35 metro areas. The company needs to maintain a reliable website at all times.

Historically the company had maintained servers in a local data center but made the move to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud by using Amazon RDS and other essential services, including Amazon EC2 and discovering what is Amazon S3, among others.

MaxSold had maintained servers in a local data center but made the move to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud by using Amazon RDS and other services. @OnixNetworking

The latest installment of AWS 101 examines how the online auctioneer improved site reliability with this migration.

Data Center Challenges Hinder Auction Availability

Technician walking in hallway of server roomThe company’s third-party data center caused access issues, poor performance and unacceptable response times to the online auctioneer’s website and applications. Recent, rapid company growth overtaxed the host applications, making them unable to reliably support the company’s business.

MaxSold leadership wanted control of their application instances, improved performance and guaranteed high availability, especially seeing that its business operates online.

“You want to be able to count on it to be available during the countdown at the end of the auction, or we’re flooded with complaints,” says Jon Lenton, Senior Director IT. “It often was a problem going into the weekend on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We knew we needed to find a more reliable solution that would scale with the growth of our company.”

Finding Answers by Using Amazon RDS

MaxSold had worked with Onix in the past and turned to this trusted partner to examine the feasibility of using some AWS services to improve site uptime and reliability.

Deployment_and_migrationOnix created an AWS instance to start the migration process. Using CloudEndure, they migrated MaxSold’s computing environment from the data center to AWS and accomplished this in less than 2 weeks. One notable service use was the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS).

Using Amazon RDS makes it easy to set up, operate and scale a cloud-based relational database. It provides cost-efficient and resizable capacity while automating time-consuming administration tasks, such as hardware provisioning, database setup, patching and backups.

Because it's highly scalable, using Amazon RDS would allow MaxSold’s IT pros to adjust the database’s compute and storage resources using an API call or a few mouse clicks with virtually no downtime. Data would remain available and durable in a platform that’s optimized for high-traffic applications.

The new AWS environment also relies on other services, including Amazon EC2, ElastiCache, VPC, ELB, CloudTrail, S3, Config, Route 53, CloudWatch, API Gateway, SNS, DynamoDB and Elemental MediaStore. All of these services combined to create the best cloud computing infrastructure for the online auctioneer’s needs.

Onix also worked with MaxSold to become more efficient in how they run servers by creating a staging server environment with a machine that could be used for testing when needed but turned off as needed.

Maintaining Live Bidding in the Cloud

MaxSold customers immediately experienced faster, highly available and fault-tolerant service, while MaxSold gained access and control of its infrastructure on AWS. The migration to AWS also included 53% cost savings over the initial deployment.

“After we did the migration, Onix continued to work with us to refine the server setup so we could get the highest performance and availability for the best daily cost. Our confidence in our computing infrastructure has dramatically increased.” - Jon Lenton, Senior Director IT, MaxSold

auction itemsMoving to AWS and using Amazon RDS and other services has allowed MaxSold’s in-house IT team to devote more time to innovating the auctioneer’s core business — connecting buyers with new treasures. They no longer had to fear that the site would crash in the middle of a heated bidding war.

“After we did the migration, Onix continued to work with us to refine the server setup so we could get the highest performance and availability for the best daily cost,” Lenton says. “Our confidence in our computing infrastructure has dramatically increased.”

We want to be sure you understand all that Amazon Web Services has to offer, so be sure to check out other blogs in our AWS 101 series. You'll learn more about what is Amazon S3, deploying AWS Lambda to run code and using Auto Scaling to manage your infrastructure, among other topics. Take a look:

AWS 101: An Introduction to Modern Cloud Computing

AWS 101: What is Amazon WorkSpaces?

AWS 101: How Does Amazon EC2 Work in Cloud Computing?

AWS 101: What is Amazon S3 and Why Should I Use It?

AWS 101: How AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) Works

AWS 101: How AWS Cloud Security Securely Protects Your Data

AWS 101: Why You Should Be Deploying AWS Lambda to Run Code

AWS 101: Using AWS Auto Scaling to Manage Infrastructure

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Robin Suttell, Content Marketer

Robin Suttell, Content Marketer

Robin is Onix's Content Marketer. She has devoted her career to the written word, developing strategic, thoughtful, relevant copy that educates, engages and entertains, both as a working journalist and marketing pro. At Onix, she oversees all marketing content initiatives for the leading cloud consultancy and solutions provider. When she's not doing the content thing, Robin continues to hone her skills an amateur car and shower singer while dreaming of gigs at a piano bar, a la The Fabulous Baker Boys. No one has called, so she remains content writing about cloud computing trends.


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