Until 2020, UFE used a local data center with two local servers, but when 400 students accessed it at the same time, the system would shut down immediately due to overload. In late January 2020, the government of Mongolia announced a nationwide lockdown with strict quarantine measures.
All educational institutions closed within the space of a week and overseas students were recalled home. This presented UFE with a problem: how to continue providing all students with top-quality teaching while complying with the lockdown restrictions. The local power supply was unreliable and the server would need to be restarted manually after every power outage. Ankhtuya Dorisuren, UFE vice president, explains: “This made it difficult for students taking courses who lived in the countryside and needed to access resources and teach remotely.”
FIBO CLOUD, a company that has been specializing in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform for the past three years, has worked on UFE to move to the new system. The training platform UFE, which had been developed by the school for more than 10 years and is accessed by more than 6,000 students and 300 employees, was developed and transferred to the school's IT team in just 10 days which provided a continuous and reliable operation as a good world standard.
By using AWS cloud services, it bypassed the usually lengthy process of searching for and procuring on-premises servers—a process that would typically take up to 48 days. AWS supplied UFE with Proof-of-Concept (POC) credits so it could test which services it would need in advance, helping to speed up the whole process.
By using a combination of Amazon CloudFront for content distribution, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for static content, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for MySQL—all set up in the 10 days before the start of the new semester, UFE was able to continue offering all its classes and educational services online. After migration, 90 percent of students were using online services daily.
The move has improved the security of the University’s systems with 80 percent of its workloads hosted on AWS. Amazon Inspector allows UFE to see Amazon EC2 instance vulnerabilities. AWS CloudTrail provides better action logs and enables Multi-Factor Authentication for all accounts. And the database sits in a private subnetwork configured to only grant access from Amazon EC2 Spot Instances.
HIGHLIGHT / Result
Using Amazon CloudWatch, departments can access comprehensive data on traffic and use patterns to see when most students are online and examine learning behavior. With Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling at times of additional need, for example during exam time, the system scales itself, eliminating the need for manual intervention. And by using AWS, the UFE has achieved 99.99% service availability. In October 2020 UFE was one of five universities in Mongolia invited by the country’s Ministry for Education to present its successful digital transformation to other universities and the public.
Read the AWS article in detail at the following link.