This is how Concurrency Labs helps you grow on AWS

You’re expecting growth in your business. But one thing is to have 10 customers and a very different one is 10,000 customers, not to mention 1 million. You know that running slow applications that crash will kill your business growth. You also know that running applications that cost more than they’re worth will eat your profit. Inefficiencies will be amplified. That’s why fast, reliable and cost-effective applications are the engine your company will grow on.

Thankfully, you’ve chosen AWS, which is the most powerful cloud platform in the world.

It all sounds good, but one big problem is that AWS is complicated. Having AWS expertise is essential, but it’s not enough. You need a process that simplifies AWS. That’s why we created the “Ready for Prime Time” methodology, which is designed specifically to help you grow applications on Amazon Web Services.

Our 4-stage “Ready for Prime Time” methodology

These steps are valid whether you’re building, migrating or already operating applications on AWS.

4-stage diagram

1. BUSINESS FIRST

Outcome: Know WHAT needs to be done - set goals.

The first thing we do is to identify and quantify Business Flows. We determine how much revenue is generated by each Business Flow today, either directly or indirectly. You also tell us your business growth goals. We identify the underlying systems that support your business. This way we identify critical systems (those that have the most impact on revenue). The final step in this stage is to define System and Customer Experience goals.

2. PREPARE

Outcome: Know HOW we are going to achieve goals.

We start by running checklists on your AWS architecture and components. We complete AWS Service Assessments and an AWS Skills Assessment. We define an AWS Tagging Criteria designed to help with cost management and resource tracking. We create load test plans and identify required Business, Customer Experience and System metrics. We prepare a plan to reduce your AWS cost by 25% or more.

Everything gets added to an optimization plan, with deadlines and accountability. It’s important that the current iteration is contained within 12 weeks or less.

3. EXECUTE

Outcome: See results in Production.

We build test environments using CloudFormation, create metric dashboards, execute and automate load tests, analyze test results, estimate AWS cost and find opportunities to lower it, validate against Customer Experience and System goals. Complete AWS Capacity Planning, which covers current usage and expected usage based on projected business growth. We prepare for production deployment by creating operational procedures, runbooks and a deployment strategy. The final step is the actual deployment to Production and final validation of goals.

4. SUSTAIN AND IMPROVE

Outcome: Prepare the next iterations - set the bar HIGHER

Take a fresh look at goals, metrics, tools, test plans, operational procedures, AWS skills. Find out what worked and what didn’t work in the current iteration. Find new goals and set the bar higher on existing ones. Create and expand a knowledge base with our findings from the previous iteration. We do Capacity Planning (3, 6, 12, 36 months) based on projected business growth. Find the most tedious and time-consuming tasks your team executes manually - automate those tasks.

The “Ready for Prime Time” methodology finds the right balance of Performance, Price and Availability for your business. Security is not a trade-off.

Our whole methodology is based on your business priorities. For your applications to grow, they must have the right mix of Performance, Price and Availability. At the same time, your applications must always follow AWS security best practices.

Here are some examples:

Performance: how fast your systems respond to customer transactions, how many transactions per second will your systems handle, how will your systems react to spikes in traffic, how will your systems sustain usage growth over time.

Availability: how will your systems react to internal or external failure, how quickly will your systems recover from internal or external failure, how prepared is your team to handle operational emergencies, which processes do you have in place to reduce the possibility of failure, how do you communicate failure internally and to your customers.

Price: how do you reduce existing AWS cost, how do you make AWS cost predictable and traceable, how much money does it make sense to invest in Performance and Availability.

Security: ensure you’re following AWS’ shared responsibility model, implement security, access and auditing best practices. Security is not negotiable and it is independent of all other optimization variables.

Performance and Availability cost money

In an ideal world, all your applications can handle 1 million transactions per second with sub-millisecond response times, are 100% fault-tolerant and don’t cost a lot of money. But that’s not the world we live in. Performance and Availability cost money - the right balance varies by how critical an application is to your business and how it impacts your customers.

There is a point where the Return on Investment for Performance and Availability starts to fade. But there’s also a point where low cost puts your customer experience and business revenue at risk.

That’s why the #1 step in our methodology is to identify and quantify your business flows, so we can set and prioritize measurable system goals. Only then we continue with AWS technical optimization tasks.

Does this sound like something your business could benefit from?

Do you want to get peace of mind, knowing you’ve chosen the right AWS components that will fuel your business growth? I’ll be happy to walk you through more details. Just click on the button below to schedule a 30-minute call. I’m here to help!

ErnestoMarquezProfilePic

Ernesto Marquez
Concurrency Labs Ltd.
Owner and Project Director
Ex-Amazon (AWS) and AWS Certified Solutions Architect

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main pain this is going to solve for me?

If you’re in the middle of significant business growth and your systems are not ready for it, your company is going to suffer. We make sure that your AWS-based applications don’t put your growth plans at risk.

How do I know if this is for me?

Your business is experiencing or is expected to go through considerable growth. You want to ensure your AWS-based applications don’t become an obstacle for that growth. For example, you need your AWS-based applications to handle 10x the amount of transactions they handle today, without any degradation to the customer experience or without AWS cost getting out of control.

When should I implement this methodology?

As early as possible, even when your applications still don’t get a lot of usage. When an application grows, so do its inefficiencies. And some inefficiencies are structural, meaning they require some radical changes to correct them. You want to avoid this situation as much as possible, therefore you should think about how you’re going to grow your applications from day-1.

OK, but how do I make sure I don’t over-engineer my applications?

We are well aware of the risk of over-thinking or over-engineering systems too early. Making such a mistake results in investing time and money on features that are not really necessary on day-1. That’s why we identify and quantify your business flows and growth goals at the beginning. This gives us clarity over which activities are critical for your business growth. Doing 12-week iterations also helps us focus on things that are really critical for your business growth.

What type of organizations is this for?

We work with organizations and leaders who can drive change quickly. Ideally, you’re a company with 5-50 employees and you can make decisions without going through multiple layers of approval. You have the power to hire service providers (like me), hire engineers (if needed), update internal processes, approve AWS expenditure, etc., quickly.

What if I’m a bigger company?

As long as you lead a relatively small organization within that company and you can effectively drive change, this can be for you. The key element is that you can implement processes rapidly within your team. This methodology is not designed to transform a large enterprise.

What if I am building a new application, or migrating to AWS?

Our methodology still applies to you. As long as you’re using AWS, this methodology will ensure your applications can handle any expected growth. You can actually gain more and have a cleaner implementation if you apply the principles of our methodology early in your AWS adoption journey.

How is this different from the AWS Well-Architected Framework?

While the “AWS Well Architected” framework is the best repository of AWS best practices, it is generic in nature and it doesn’t tell you when and how to implement them. Concurrency Labs’ “Ready for Prime Time” methodology is consistent with the “AWS Well Architected” framework. We take you one step further by focusing on how and when to implement AWS best practices to enable growth of smaller companies using AWS.

How do you deliver it?

This methodology consists of a documented series of steps. When we work together, we go through an index that has all the steps in the methodology. There are multiple document templates and checklists - some are completed by you and others are completed by Concurrency Labs. There is a shared project plan, which is updated collaboratively. We use collaboration tools, such as Basecamp, Slack, e-mail and video conferencing. I’m also open to traveling to your location to get started and meet your team in person.

What type of technical work is performed as part of this methodology?

The following are some examples of technical deliverables and tasks: writing automation scripts, assessing AWS components, setting up and updating AWS components (i.e. EC2 instances, VPCs, CloudWatch Dashboards, tags, etc.), creating CloudFormation templates, running and analyzing load tests.

Do you do application tuning?

No. In most cases we can achieve significant optimizations by using the right AWS components. However, there might be cases where fine-tuning your application code could help. If this is the case, your development team should be in a better position to implement optimizations at the code level. Our methodology covers setting up the right monitoring tools and test procedures, which will uncover issues that need application tuning and it will make it possible to validate when a code optimization is successful or not.

Who does the actual technical work?

Concurrency Labs can implement all the technical work, or your team can do it. Who does the technical work will vary according to your team skills, capacity and priorities. The amount of technical work will also vary based on your current situation and what is actually needed. We work with you to prepare a proposal that clearly states the type and amount of work as well as accountability.

Do you have a money-back guarantee?

Yes. If at the end of the “Business First” stage you’re not satisfied with the steps in our methodology, or we can’t arrive at optimization goals that meet your business goals, or there’s any other reason that makes you not want to continue - then we refund 100% of any fees incurred, as per our proposal.

Do I get to keep document templates and process?

Yes. You get to keep the templates, reference material and documents that our methodology consists of. You can only use them for internal projects, though. In other words, you’re not allowed to sell them.

What happens after you’re done with an optimization project?

We work based on optimization iterations and goals. Like any service provider, we will eventually move on. But we’re not your typical consultant or freelancer. A BIG difference is that at the end you will have a process with valuable templates and documented steps. Your team will know how to implement future iterations and will have the processes and documents to do it. If you want Concurrency Labs to help you with multiple iterations, we will be happy to do so. But when you’re ready to do them on your own, we will leave behind the necessary tools and knowledge. We want you to be successful in the long term.

I want to know more - how do I get in touch?

Just click on the button below to schedule a 30-minute call!



You can also send me a message, I answer 100% of my e-mails...

ErnestoMarquezProfilePic
Ernesto Marquez
Concurrency Labs Ltd.
Owner and Project Director
Ex-Amazon (AWS) and AWS Certified Solutions Architect