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When Oracle GoldenGate was suddenly unable to be used for database replication Mission worked around the clock to ensure a successful move to AWS.

Highlights

  • Mission, which holds AWS Healthcare Competency status, migrated the healthcare technology company’s Rackspace-hosted Oracle database to AWS.
  • Mission worked closely with mPulse for weeks, ultimately completing the migration with less than one hour of database downtime – well within mPulse’s requirements.
  • mPulse calculates that the successful migration from Rackspace to AWS saves the company $10,000 every month – while also simplifying its infrastructure and HIPAA compliance.

The Challenge

After acquiring MessageBeam, mPulse Mobile needed support migrating the acquisition from its Oracle database on Rackspace to AWS.

In 2018, mPulse Mobile completed a strategic acquisition of the healthcare communications company MessageBeam, which added to mPulse’s advanced voice technology and mobile web capabilities. Through this acquisition, mPulse looked to further enhance the abilities of how healthcare organizations can communicate with their patients through patients’ preferred channels. In doing so, mPulse enables healthcare organizations to provide more personalized engagement in order to drive healthy behavior and positive outcomes.

“The whole project was done very professionally. There were times when we were frustrated in terms of thinking ‘how are we going to get this rather complex project done?’, but the team at Mission kept chugging along and got us to the finish line. There was always the reassuring feeling that they’ve got this under control, even when the unexpected hit. Working with Mission has really been a great experience.”

Kunal Agrawal
Engineering Manager, mPulse Mobile

While mPulse Mobile had been an AWS customer since 2015, MessageBeam’s infrastructure relied on an Oracle database stored on Rackspace. In the interest of consolidating this infrastructure, improving scalability, adding efficiency, and saving on costs, mPulse wanted to migrate the MessageBeam database to AWS.

However, mPulse Mobile faced a number of challenges in pursuing the migration. mPulse did not have the bandwidth to execute a migration of this magnitude. Additionally, the data in question was both high volume and high velocity; it was a 400+ gigabyte production database being written to every single second.

At the same time, as a technology provider working in the healthcare industry, mPulse required the migration and the completed AWS deployment to be in complete compliance with HIPAA’s strict requirements – including full data encryption, among other security measures. To complete this migration, mPulse realized it would need the support of a capable managed services provider with deep expertise in AWS, Oracle database migration, and the knowledge of healthcare industry best practices to ensure compliance. Given the high-velocity, high-usage characteristics of the MessageBeam database, the migration would also need to be completed with absolute minimal downtime or interruption to service.

The Solution

mPulse Mobile tapped Mission to handle the migration to AWS – which became more complex than anticipated.

mPulse was introduced to Mission by its AWS account manager, and Mission first got to work performing a Well-Architected Review . This process identified opportunities for improved cloud security, efficiency, cost expenditures, and other key optimizations to its AWS architecture. In working with Mission, mPulse recognized that the managed AWS provider offered a skillset well-matched to completing the database migration from Oracle on Rackspace to AWS – especially considering Mission’s deep AWS and database expertise and its AWS Competency in Healthcare.

However, completing the migration required overcoming a number of unexpected challenges. Mission initially planned to carry out the migration from the Oracle database on Rackspace using Oracle GoldenGate to replicate the data. In Mission’s testing, this process was successful in migrating the staging environment. However, while the staging database included 40 GB of data, the production database contained 400 GB. Unfortunately, this volume caused Mission and mPulse to run against a limitation in GoldenGate: the replication couldn’t scale or function properly given the sheer amount (and complexity) of the data involved. This meant Mission had to discover a new path forward.

What followed was weeks of intensive, highly agile work by the Mission team, working in close collaboration with mPulse to come to a successful resolution with a now-shortened timeline. Through heavy testing and an equally heavy workload, Mission created a migration solution, interfacing with mPulse nearly every day to get the migration completed.

In the end, Mission succeeded in migrating the Oracle database to AWS, implementing a primary Oracle instance on Amazon EC2, a disaster recovery instance providing redundancy, and further EC2 instances as needed to serve mPulse’s needs.

The Benefits

With Mission’s support throughout the migration process and after, mPulse Mobile moved to AWS with minimal downtime and continues to optimize its architecture with Mission’s guidance.

mPulse set a goal of completing the migration process with less than two hours of downtime – and Mission was able to migrate the Oracle database from Rackspace to AWS well within that timeframe. mPulse finds that the AWS migration now saves the company $10,000 each month. Whereas before it was necessary to maintain two separate and HIPAA-compliant environments, relying on AWS as a single cloud platform has greatly improved operational efficiency, especially from a regulatory compliance perspective.

Looking forward, Mission is assisting mPulse as it comes onboard under the AWS Marketplace Channel Incentive Program. Doing so will help keep mPulse’s cloud costs down and allow it to leverage Mission for additional AWS optimization strategy and execution.

About mPulse Mobile

mPulse Mobile, the leader in conversational AI solutions for the healthcare industry, drives improved health outcomes and business efficiencies by engaging individuals with tailored and meaningful dialogue. The company combines behavioral science, analytics and industry expertise that helps healthcare organizations activate their consumers to adopt healthy behaviors.

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