Product Migration to a Sustainable Platform

Executive Summary & Engagement Scope

Wolters Kluwer wanted to migrate their flagship product, Ovid, to a more sustainable platform. The existing Ovid platform was based on decades-old technology, which was not sustainable for future maintenance and application enhancements. The customer wanted to breathe new life into the already-existing application. The components on the Windows Server 2008 needed to be migrated.

Engagement Drivers

 The principal objective involves migrating the application to cloud while addressing the following points:

  • Migrating the application to the cloud to optimize resources accordingly
  • Implementing build and testing automation for improved efficiency
  • Upgrading the drivers and libraries that help maximize productivity

Proposed Solution

People Tech Group began its solution implementation by conducting a thorough analysis of the existing application’s architecture to strategize a comprehensive migration plan for the customer.

  • Plan was to migrate 2.5 million lines of code from legacy datacenter platform to the cloud (over 70 applications)
  • Our solution involved going-live with Ovid services on Linux and Windows servers deployed in AWS US and EU regions (NoVa and Dublin) in an Active-Active configuration
  • The legacy solution was built by hand, plan was to implement full DevOps automation of builds and deployment using Jenkins and Chef
  • Our solution enabled interoperability among existing Content Generation System and other business systems
  • Migrated and recompiled the code, while updating the third party components
  • Utilization of F5 load balancers and an AWS WAF Solution helped mitigate attacks
  • Configuring the AWS EC2 instances and the auto-recovery feature aid in safeguarding the environment
  • Created new automated test scripts, to optimize the resources
  • Utilization of AWS Snowball helps to transfer 15 Terabytes of production data to the cloud swiftly
  • Extensive load and failover testing was planned to ensure smooth operations and optimization of the resources in production
  • Usage of Route 53 helped in a seamless global traffic management

AWS Services Used as Part of the Solution

Route53: This is a sophisticated DNS management and registration services provided by AWS. The DNS service was migrated from NTT to AWS Route53.

Security Group (SG): AWS firewall uses stateful inspection technology to protect AWS resources such as instances/servers or other components.

Network Access List (NACL): Unlike the security groups which operate at the instance level and are stateful, NACLs are stateless and operate at the subnet level, adding another layer of protection.

AWS WAF: The Web Application Firewall service by AWS protects layer-7 traffic, specifically HTTP/HTTPS.

AWS EC2: The auto-recovery feature and the configured instances help in continuity of operations, while securing the environment

AWS Network Load Balancer: This is an AWS service that distributes end user traffic across multiple cloud resources to ensure low latency and high throughput for applications.

AWS Advanced Shield: This is an AWS service that works with other edge services such as Route53, AWS WAF, ELB to ensure their protection against DDOS attacks.

AWS CloudTrail: Logging of all events in the cloud was done through AWS CloudTrail, which records all API calls made in a particular environment.

AWS Snowball: This helps in transferring data at a faster rate while safeguarding the information.

Microsoft Workloads on AWS

Windows Server: Used for Identity Management with Active Directory

Microsoft SQL Server: for high-performance transactional data management and control

Legacy Architecture

Ovid Servers - Architecture

AWS End State Architecture (Northern Virginia for US; Dublin for EU)

AWS end state architecture

Third party solutions or applications used

  • SQL Server and Oracle Databases
  • Oracle Golden Gate replication between various cloud regions was used for the Db data
  • NetApp NFS Cluster
  • AD CMS offering


  • Savings of over $1.5M per year
  • Increased application performance in terms of response times
  • Created a future-ready and scalable cloud platform
  • Migrated and secured a large amount of data using AWS cloud
  • Application modernization to the latest versions of all technologies provides enhanced security and maintainability
  • Addressed legacy component security and support issues
  • Over 1000 reusable test cases were automated providing assurance the application functionality was maintained in the transition and providing a comprehensive test suite for testing future changes

Lessons Learned

  • Building a reusable migration platform environment on AWS that can be used for additional application migrations and POCs
  • Leveraging automation assets and frameworks to accelerate CI/CD automation
  • Engaging stakeholders and experts early on to maximize productivity

Posted by People Tech Administrator

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