About Asia School of Business

Asia School of Business (ASB), established in collaboration with MIT Sloan by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2015, is a premier school of management in Asia. ASB’s mission is to develop principled and transformative leaders who will create a positive impact in the emerging world and beyond.

The Need for Automation-Driven and Optimized Infrastructure

Since the school was founded in 2015, it has grown significantly, scaling up the number of Master’s programs and Executive Education short courses offered. This translated to greater infrastructure needs, leading to the exploration of architectural changes for its AWS infrastructure with the primary objective being cost optimization and performance improvement of their overall cloud environment. To meet their unprecedented requirements and bring automation and complete security to their AWS infrastructure, ASB partnered with Blazeclan seeking managed services support.

Blazeclan’s Managed Services Solution

Keeping in mind the impacts such as downtime in the accessibility of ASB’s academic resources, Blazeclan’s cloud architects came up with an automation-driven solution. The solution involved a set of suggestions and considerations for making ASB’s infrastructure highly secure and resilient while meeting their immediate requirements.

ASB had two accounts, each based on a three-tier architecture, namely, a web server, application server, and database server. The development and production environments for both the accounts were hosted on the same server. ASB’s consultants wanted to continue keeping the same server for applications and web in order to reduce cost.

Blazeclan advised ASB to not use this approach for their production environment, as there were potential risks of downtime if any disruptive incident occurs. They were suggested to move their databases from EC2 to RDS. A two week-long test for RDS was performed on the development environment and only after ASB was comfortable with the outcome, their databases were moved to the RDS. The same approach was then implemented for their production environment.

Key Takeaways from the Solution Implemented

  • ASB’s AWS environment was made CIS compliant, following the norms such as S3 buckets must be kept private and no security group should be open to all.
  • The instance types were moved to the reserved instance (RI) category.
  • ASB was able to maintain availability of its online resources for its students, staff, and faculty, while making significant changes to reduce cost and improve performance in ASB’s cloud environment.

"Blazeclan has been our close partner since 2016 & is also our first AWS Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Provider of our School’s Student Information Systems. Their constant push to deliver excellent service has given us the assurance that we are in good hands. They have a dedicated team with exceptional quality, has deep technical expertise and was able to understand well of our constraints and requirements and we benefited from their many years of MSP experience to their AWS customers.” Blazeclan was a strong partner and helped us to understand our users concerns, suggested an adapted technical solution to fullfil them and developed this solution with a great project management.”

- Michael Yap, IT Director at Asia School of Business

Benefits Achieved by ASB

  • Cost Optimization: Leveraging reserved instances and moving databases from EC2 to RDS reduced the overall cost of their infrastructure. Also, automated data backup enabled them to ebb their manual efforts.
  • Security Enhancement: Every IAM user is enabled with multi-factor authentication while the practice of password rotation was implemented. Moreover, AWS WAF is implemented for preventing attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and DDoS.
  • CIS Compliance: The AWS environment of ASB was made fully compliant to CIS standards by following all the best practices.

$1000

Cost saved annually

100%

CIS compliance achieved

70%

Cloud environment performance improved

Tech Stack

Amazon EC2 Amazon VPC Amazon RDS
AWS WAF Amazon S3 Amazon CloudFormation
ALB Amazon CloudWatch

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