CASE STUDY

Reducing Costs and Increasing Resiliency for ABG Rateshop 

Avis Budget Group logo a D3Clarity Master Data Management, Data Intelligence, Data Governance, Cloud Migration and Cloud Production Support consulting client.

CLIENT:

Avis Budget Group

EMPLOYEES:

10,000+

INDUSTRIES:

Automotive
Travel & Hospitality

SERVICES:

Application Migration Service
Cloud Architecture Strategy
Cloud Cost Management
Cloud Security Services

PLATFORMS:

Customer

ABOUT:

Avis Budget Group (ABG), a global mobility solutions leader with brands such as Avis, Budget, and Zipcar, has a footprint across approximately 180 countries with over 11,000 rental locations. The company’s commitment to innovation and superior customer service drives it to offer diverse services — from hourly and one-way rentals to long-term vehicle rentals and car-sharing solutions — focusing on seamless digital and mobile technologies for enhanced customer experience.

CHALLENGE:

Executive Summary
Avis Budget Group (ABG), a US-based automotive rental company with an international presence, maintains a complex technical landscape to keep its operations running successfully. D3Clarity began the migration of Rateshop, an ABG application for gathering competitors’ rates and delivering competitive pricing. The primary aim of this migration was to reduce the cost associated with the legacy platform and was an extension of the ABG Wizard Modernization program. The biggest cost savings for this project came from use of Autoscaling, deployment automation, and use of AWS services vs “role-your-own” in EC2 (e.g., RDS, CloudWatch, ECS). The migration to AWS cloud provided greater scalability, flexibility of hardware, the ability to recreate the environment, a stricter development process with DevOps, enforced security access and protocols, and reduced system costs by rightsizing.

About ABG
ABG needed to migrate and modernize Rateshop, its application for gathering competitors’ rates and delivering competitive pricing. The primary aim of this migration was to reduce the cost associated with the legacy platform and was an extension of the ABG Wizard Modernization program.

The legacy on-prem solution was operated in an on-prem data center and suffered numerous outages. The migration to cloud provided greater scalability, flexibility of hardware, the ability to recreate the environment, a stricter development process with DevOps, enforced security access and protocols, and reduced system costs by only using what is needed to support the load.

Customer Challenge
ABG needed to migrate and modernize Rateshop, its application for gathering competitors’ rates and delivering competitive pricing. The primary aim of this migration was to reduce the cost associated with the legacy platform and was an extension of the ABG Wizard Modernization program.

The legacy on-prem solution was operated in an on-prem data center and suffered numerous outages. The migration to cloud provided greater scalability, flexibility of hardware, the ability to recreate the environment, a stricter development process with DevOps, enforced security access and protocols, and reduced system costs by only using what is needed to support the load.

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SOLUTION:

What we delivered:

Why AWS

ABG was considering maintaining an on-prem system or migrating to the cloud. ABG was focused on building infrastructure that could scale quickly as they did not want to be hindered by hardware constraints and they also were optimizing for costs. Speed of execution, the ability to quickly change and deploy virtual hardware, and the ability to rightsize costs were all compelling reasons for choosing AWS.

As ABG was considering doing a proof-of-concept (POC) in the on-prem system, D3Clarity built another POC in the AWS cloud to show the differences and provide an apples-to-apples comparison of what was going to be used. Ultimately, ABG found the AWS cloud solution compelling enough that they chose that direction to move the business.

Why the Customer Chose the Partner

ABG engaged D3Clarity, an AWS Partner and a leading provider in data and cloud solutions, to help develop and implement a solution involving master data management and to show what the cloud infrastructure could offer.

ABG chose D3Clarity for its proven record of working with Fortune500 clients in data and cloud engineering services. D3C is known for its reliability in all stages of product and project management, from planning and architecting unique solutions, to implementation and knowledge transfer, and in day two operations and after-hours emergency support. For this project especially, D3Clarity’s expertise in on-prem database migrations to the cloud and for its deep experience in data analytics and governance.

How we delivered:

Partner Solution

D3Clarity performed an 8-step process in collaboration with ABG’s architecture team and the executive business sponsor, specifically:

  • Defined a mission/charter for the project.
  • Defined a tangible set of current state problems to be solved or improved.
  • Defined success metric linked to tangible business value gained from these improvements. These included hard cost savings as well as softer efficiency and improved compliance-related gains.
  • Estimated future state costs in terms of migration and on-going AWS and prod ops support costs.
  • Completed an A-to-Z pilot to prove viability of the future state solution and to generate real costs used to future validate our AWS cost assumptions.
  • Execution of a phased implementation plan with deliverables linked directly to our defined success metrics.
  • Process definition, training, staff enablement and ongoing operation support to assist the client in owning production ops of the future state solution.
  • Establishment of a repeatable process to be reused for future migration projects.

This project included modernization and was not a direct lift and shift. In our current state analysis we captured the following:

  • Current state infrastructure solution architecture, including networking, security protections, servers/VM config (proc, RAM, type, OS) as well as storage (by type).
  • We also captured business-level performance requirements and areas business users felt they would benefit from performance and availability related enhancements.
  • Our solution design was based on exceeding these “business defined” performance requirements vs a classic app performance technical requirements.
  • Real-world performance was testing at multiple stages as we continued to right-size the solution components for the right mix of cost and performance.
  • The ultimate test was direct feedback from the support team (business users) via multiple feedback surveys and working sessions.

D3Clarity paid particular focus on the business requirements of the end users to determine what kind of infrastructure was to be deployed following best practices (especially following cloud security protocols of least-privilege, IAM etc.). D3Clarity sized the infrastructure of the cloud such that it serves the application needs for the next 2 years, provisioned the infrastructure and network bandwidth to meet the end-to-end response time within the current SLA and the response time within the cloud to be under 200ms.

The architecture was designed to make sure the application and databases are highly available and horizontally scalable to accommodate the future volume growth. D3Clarity also employed a CI/CD DevOps pipeline to enable faster release cycles for the enhancements and bug fixes to the application.

Security is of paramount importance to us and especially this client, so we saw that any communication across the wire would be encrypted with TLS1.2 handshake while also adhering to PCI DESS secure communication guidelines. Data at rest would be encrypted and free of PCI information, also adhering to PCI DESS data privacy guidelines. All PII data on cloud would be compliant to the GDPR guidelines and we ensured that the application is ported onto the cloud platform without any changes to its functionality.

Furthermore, ECS architecture was set up to be multi-AZ between the us-east-1 and eu-west-1 regions. If a server or AZ becomes unhealthy, the containers would be deployed to the other AZ until it is healthy. Failover decisions are made from the CI/CD pipeline and triggered based on CloudWatch events.

RESULTS:

Deliverables:

Business Value:

Results and Benefits

While working this project it was discovered that the current state and the future state were a lot different than what ABG originally had anticipated; the amount of work that required to “modernize” simply to meet the minimal future state security requirements was much higher than originally planned. This resulted in the project taking longer than originally specified, but in the end, the solution was more robust and efficient than what was modeled in the POC. The focus on cost savings was delivered with noticeable improvement and with the function to further adjust spend depending on what ABG required.

Cost savings and operational resiliency was achieved by D3Clarity optimizing the infrastructure needs based upon typical customer demands for a rental car company. From the on-prem system, EC2 and RDS purchases were realized with roughly 80% savings overall and 20% during peak-demand seasons when traffic is high. Furthermore, by moving away from outdated hardware and into the AWS environment, the Rateshop application realized an increase in uptime at a whopping 92%.

After the migration was successfully completed, D3Clarity held knowledge transfer sessions to educate the client on maintenance and best practices. Through applications set up on AWS to allow cost visualization, the client was able to understand how to monitor their usage and how to take proactive measures to review costs against the estimate. This allowed the client to tweak EC2/RDS purchase commitments to further optimize AWS spend for this project in the future.

About D3Clarity
D3Clarity is a professional services firm and an AWS Advanced Tier Partner with special competency in database and application migrations. We understand the critical balance between innovation & governance. Our services enable a data-driven, cloud-empowered future for our clients. We partner with enterprises to elevate the quality & management of data & critical infrastructure along with the people & process supporting it. Our turnkey data & cloud solutions deliver improved data quality & governance, master data management, data preparation for trustworthy analytics, modernized cloud applications by making infrastructure secure, reliable, & affordable.

At D3Clarity, we are passionate about modernizing businesses through the power of data and cloud technology. We believe that data is the lifeblood of any organization. When harnessed effectively, it can drive profitability, enable more thoughtful decision-making, and propel businesses into a future where success is certain. We are not just a company; we are data and cloud evangelists on a mission to empower your organization.

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