Case Study: The Movember Foundation
The Background and Requirement
From humble beginnings in a Melbourne pub, The Movember Foundation has rapidly become a world-leading not-for-profit organisation. Since 2003, 5.2m people have joined The Movember Foundation’s cause to raise much-needed money for men’s health.
Men’s health is in crisis. Men have poorer health outcomes than women and have shocking rates of testicular and prostate cancer. Every minute, a man dies from suicide somewhere in the world.
The Movember Foundation is obsessed with improving men’s health. A year-round not-for-profit, the foundation has funded 1200+ groundbreaking programs across the world.
What was The Movember Foundation’s challenge?
There are 600,000 NFPs in Australia alone and only so many dollars people can spare for 600,000 worthy causes. Movember has to be different.
Movember.com facilitates the entire Movember campaign experience, raising the vast majority of total revenue for the organisation, while delivering an awesome experience for every ‘MoBro’ and ‘MoSista’. The overwhelming majority of Movember’s revenue and traffic is generated in October, November, and December.
The Movember Foundation needed to migrate from Private Cloud with complex legacy systems into AWS without impacting upon their organisation. They also sought to mature their DevOps capabilities to release products earlier and often to the public.
“Working with Bulletproof has been pivotal in The Movember Foundation’s infrastructure transformation. We’ve worked together on a vitally important strategic project for our organisation, migrating away from legacy systems to a well-architected AWS solution that will scale as we continue to grow.”
Byron Hill – The Movember Foundation
What was the solution?
The Movember Foundation have been working with Bulletproof since 2007 and together had identified a significant change to their technology stack. Bulletproof were responsible for moving Movember away from a physical/hybrid environment towards an AWS solution that provided the versatility required for seasonal traffic and transactions.
The platform began with a single environment with mostly hand-crafted servers running on the Bulletproof VMware environment. Not long after it was realised that testing, content and development environments were required.
Bulletproof built Puppet-managed Infrastructure to manage all the environments and keep the configuration the same. As Movember grew, the VMware environment they shared with other Bulletproof customers was no longer adequate. Bulletproof then designed a mixed dedicated VMware and Physical environment located closer to more of Movember’s key clients in the US.
After further growth and several more environments (for demoing to partners and performance and security testing), Bulletproof started to work with AWS to help Movember cope with the massive influx of requests during the Movember campaign. It was soon realised that AWS as a platform was the right solution for Movember.
The automation that was previously built, morphed into CloudFormation with an approach to use managed services where possible, reducing the requirement of Bulletproof and Movember staff to management complex components that aren’t their normal bread and butter. As part of this infrastructure transformation, Bulletproof replaced Movember’s existing complex legacy systems with AWS components and services including:
- RDS & EC2/Autoscaling
- S3 & CloudFront
- SQS, SNS, SES
- And many others
Additionally, Bulletproof were able to provide Movember with the DevOps expertise to guide their team to the appropriate technical solution, collaboratively working together to take full advantage of AWS cloud.
“The project we’ve embarked on with Bulletproof has been a game-changer. On top of moving to AWS, we’ve also matured in our DevOps capabilities internally. Bulletproof worked with us to introduce automation with CodeDeploy, Jenkins, and CloudFormation, meaning we can take full advantage of the cloud. With the ability to scale in we can save a lot of money. We are even able to completely turn off environments when they are not required.”
Byron Hill – The Movember Foundation
How have The Movember Foundation benefited so far?
Movember were able to move the ‘whole house’ and none of their 4m members noticed.
Thanks to the AWS migration project, Movember achieved approximately a 70% saving.
Due to how the AWS environment is built and the capabilities of AWS, Movember is able to scale to accommodate rapid spikes in traffic.
Moving to AWS has allowed for a 2 faceted approach to DR. Not only can we utilise multiple availability zones, but we can also build the entire production stack in another region. As the entire stack is all managed in code there is very little cost in maintaining a DR site as we can stand up the entire stack from 0 to be exactly production-like at a moment’s notice. This has provided Movember with the uptimes they require during campaigns but also with an ability to reduce costs without compromising on SLAs.
Movember’s team enjoys a very collaborative approach to support. Not only do they get 24/7 incident response, but they also enjoy daily interactions with Bulletproof’s DevOps support team that helps augment their development and business teams to achieve fast turnarounds with new code and new infrastructure requirements deploy in hours or even minutes and not days or weeks.
What’s next for The Movember Foundation?
The Movember Foundation continues to grow and evolve, they require an agile approach to infrastructure and application changes and all year round high SLAs. The Movember donation platform provides core functionality to their business and together we are providing ongoing improvements for both economic benefits and technological benefits. This means that more money can go to the men’s health causes that Movember supports.