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Blue Sage Partners With Mission To Achieve Modernization, Cost Optimization & Security

Executive Summary

Blue Sage Solutions, a provider of mortgage lending software hosted on AWS, first met Mission through a complimentary security assessment. That relationship quickly blossomed into broad AWS strategy, support, and execution. Mission now delivers managed security (that helps Blue Sage win new business), impactful AWS cost optimization, and a modernization and optimization strategy culminating in containerization and transformative automation. Mission serves as the backline of Blue Sage’s own team, freeing its internal engineers to focus on application development and product improvements.

“The DevOps engineers we work with at Mission are a backline for our team. They’re experts. We can pose any question to them, and they tell us how best to move forward. They also proactively and regularly present and implement improvements to our practices. Without a doubt, having Mission on our side has and continues to be a huge benefit.” 

Brian Stuart
Director of Cloud Infrastructure

The Challenge

Blue Sage has relied on Mission to overcome an expanding scope of challenges since the initial contact. “We were introduced to Mission through our AWS representative, who told us that the AWS Premier Partner was offering complimentary security assessments,” said Stuart. “We jumped at the opportunity. That was the beginning of a valuable relationship for our company.”

As a solution provider in the mortgage industry, Blue Sage serves customers that hold security as a top concern. After working closely to complete the security assessment in 2019, Blue Sage and Mission stayed in contact. Mission recommended Mission Cloud Foundation for ongoing security, governance, cost optimization, and alignment with AWS best practices. Mission also demoed CloudHealth, a visualization solution part of Mission Cloud Foundation, to show Blue Sage the potential for increased performance and reduced spending.

Concurrently, AWS tapped Mission to assist Blue Sage with a database review project. The success of that project and the accumulated trust Mission had built led Blue Sage to move forward with Mission Cloud Foundation, consulting services for high-touch 24/7 AWS guidance and support, and the Mission Instant Discount Program (IDP) for an immediate 5% discount on AWS billing. Blue Sage subsequently added Mission Cloud Secure, Mission’s fully-managed threat detection and response solution for protecting AWS Cloud deployments. 

As the relationship between Mission and Blue Sage continued to grow, Blue Sage sought further support to achieve modernization and optimization goals within its AWS environment. Mission advised containerization, infrastructure standardization, and automation, and set up a solutions architect on demand (SAOD) consultation to walk through the plan. This conversation led Blue Sage to confidently implement Mission’s Managed DevOps (aka Cloud Elevate) service as its strategy for meeting these goals.

Blue Sage also faced a challenge in that each customer had a bespoke environment; infrastructure and deployments were not fully standardized across customers as much as Blue Sage felt it could be. The company wanted to introduce a more efficient code pipeline that utilized components within a standardized shared model across clients, while still maintaining deep segmentation between accounts. These replicable components would allow Blue Sage to efficiently onboard new clients and manage existing environments. 

Why AWS?

Blue Sage selected AWS as the leading cloud provider in the field, given the high importance of offering the best service available to its large enterprise customers. The company also chose AWS for its ability to achieve account isolation between various customer accounts.

Why Mission?

“Our customers are large enterprise mortgage lenders closely concerned with securing their clients’ data. The security Mission offers as a 24/7 service ensures our protection, and is very marketable to our customers. Being able to highlight this robust security service backed by Alert Logic is a big selling point for us, in addition to the highly-effective security safeguards it provides."

Brian Stuart
Director of Cloud Infrastructure

Blue Sage’s expanding relationship with Mission began with Mission’s offer of a complimentary security assessment, brought to the company’s attention by its AWS representative. It continued as the AWS representative recommended Mission to perform a database review for Blue Sage, as an expert provider familiar with the company. In working with Mission, Blue Sage came to realize that its in-house DevOps expertise could be significantly increased for achieving the full scope of its cloud modernization goals, and that Mission’s Managed DevOps (aka Cloud Elevate) service offering was crucial to its strategic planning and execution.

Strategy and Solution 

Implemented in 2021, Mission Cloud Foundation proved tremendously beneficial to Blue Sage in delivering AWS cost optimization. Mission quickly identified key cost areas where the company could realize substantial savings, including its S3, EBS, and EC2 spending. Because Blue Sage’s platform is composed of several horizontally scaled applications, right-sizing was a constant challenge. Mission discovered 22 unused EBS volumes and found that all its data stores needed updating. The provider also recommended a shift away from the reserved instances (RIs) Blue Sage was experienced with, starting an initiative to transition from expiring RIs to achieve cross-account cost savings.

With Mission’s Managed DevOps (aka Cloud Elevate) service in place, Mission spearheads initiatives to modernize and optimize Blue Sage’s development practices in preparation for a move to container environments. Mission has introduced a path to cloud native development, leveraging an Infrastructure as Code (IaC) pipeline to standardize and automate infrastructure and subsequent operations across customer accounts. Mission has provided considerable value by monitoring Blue Sage’s environment and proactively surfacing pain points and opportunities for more effective processes.

“We rely on Mission to be our backend expertise when it comes to continuing to operate our environment in new and better ways. With Mission, our internal engineers can focus on application development and improving our products, knowing that cloud management, optimization, and modernization efforts are in good hands.”

Brian Stuart
Director of Cloud Infrastructure

Results and Benefits

At Blue Sage’s request, Mission is the company’s strategic and consulting lead when it comes to evolving its cloud practices and ensuring goals are continually met. Blue Sage is currently in the middle of Mission’s strategic roadmap for preparing to utilize container-based environments, which will conclude in the middle of 2022. Led by Mission’s Managed DevOps (aka Cloud Elevate) service, this modernization enables seamless standardized deployment for each application and customer as needed. On the application development side, Mission introduces modern best practices, such as using feature flags, and consistently identifies and highlights optimization opportunities.

Blue Sage now has Mission Cloud Secure with Alert Logic deployed to protect its customers’ production and other operational accounts with enterprise-grade security and complete 24/7 responsiveness. Blue Sage’s customers have console access to view their security posture in segmented accounts, and can pull reports to verify compliance with PCI DSS, SOC, and HIPAA. Mission also put together a service orientation training for Blue Sage to use in its production rollouts for its customers. Through Mission Cloud Secure and Mission Professional Services, Mission also performs bi-annual pen testing on Blue Sage’s six main applications.

“We’re a rapidly growing business with a relatively small staff for what we’re accomplishing. Mission’s expertise fills the gap when it comes to making sure we’re following AWS and cloud modernization best practices and proceeding down the right technology path. Whereas a year ago we didn’t see containerization as a viable option, Mission has now made our future clear, and is the right partner to help us reach our goals.”

Brian Stuart
Director of Cloud Infrastructure

Next Steps

Blue Sage is planning on accelerating its container adoption goals. Mission is also slated to implement AWS-based black box disaster recovery for each of Blue Sage’s environments, enabling air-gapped backup protection against ransomware and other threats.

AWS Services
  • AWS S3
  • AWS EC2
  • Amazon SES
  • Amazon SQS
  • Amazon SNS
  • AWS Step
  • AWS Lambda
  • AWS CloudFront
  • AWS CloudTrail
  • Amazon CloudWatch
  • AWS Security Hub
  • AWS Shield
  • Amazon GuardDuty


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