Centralization of online payment portal and gaining popularity through strategic social media marketing

The Client

DIRECT BOOKER is an online travel community based out of Croatia, and connects those looking for a place to stay during their vacations. Their existing payment platform was not very popular among the customers and more than half the clientele never knew that DIRECT BOOKER’s online booking portal existed.

Challenge

DIRECT BOOKER needed a revamp in both its payment portal and the way it was marketed online. They had issues with their existing hosting solution, since it lacked backup supply and had a single internet connectivity with virtually zero security. The website, therefore, could not establish enough authority among its customers and despite the company’s otherwise good rapport with its customers, they did not choose to pay online.

“Owing to multiple IT roadblocks that the client faced, it now wanted to move to AWS but due to no previous experience in handling cloud architecture, it was apprehensive. We offered to manage DIRECT BOOKER’s AWS cloud platform, and also market their payment’s page on social platforms just so that customers can know that one indeed existed.”

Cyfuture Cloud Architect

Solution Delivered

DIRECT BOOKER needed a portal with response time less than 10 msec to ensure smoothest experience possible on their website. Given their emphasis on uptime, scalability and latency, we proposed a solution that included the website being entirely managed by Cyfuture’s technical experts.

1. Creation of VPC

Cyfuture’s first step was creating a virtual private cluster. After detailed analysis, we decided that a private cluster would be the best fit because security was the key here. VPC was configured along with other crucial things that included –

  • Adding IPv4 CIDR Blocks to a VPC along with subnets
  • DNS and DHCP creation and configuration.
  • Elastic IP addressing
  • Cloud watch monitoring with configuration for alerts and monitoring.

2. VM Provisioning:

Once VPC was at place, functionality to deploy VMs was provided. This was done in line with the company’s initial request for safe and secure payments portal. Cyfuture ensured that all user accounts tokens are correctly mapped and access rules are correctly configured. This was subsequently entailed by the following setup –

  • Creation of an IAM user and Key pair
  • Creating appropriate security group and VM for inbound and outbound traffic.
  • OS hardening and EC2 tagging.
  • Tagging of EC2 resources.
  • CloudWatch monitoring for the servers.
  • Instance IP addressing both for private and public.
  • Backup of volumes and retention policies for snapshots and scheduling.

3. ELB Features:

The solution would have been incomplete without elastic load balancing (ELB), running directly on AWS. Since DIRECT BOOKER had erratic traffic spikes, load balancing was a need, without which the network would have failed to deliver 10 ms latency, as promised. We undertook the following as ELB measures –

  • Setting up of either ELB or ALB as per the requirement.
  • Creation and configuration of listeners.
  • Setup of listener rules.
  • Testing of the load balancer across the underlying instance’s and target groups to be done in conjunction with app team.
  • Setting up of Cloudwatch metrics.
  • Setting up of Cloudtrail logs.
  • For spike workloads enable pre-warming on the Load balancer.

4. RDS setup:

Relational database service was subsequently added to allow DIRECT BOOKER to easily undertake functions it had since then lacked. Cyfuture configures RDS based on an exhaustive checklist to ensure that requirements delivered are tailored to suit RDS just as they want it –

  • Setup of RDS with correct instance type and database with version in correct region and AZ.
  • Configure license included or BYOL option.
  • Setting up for security group and firewall access for RDS.
  • AWS RDS maintenance setup and configuration.
  • RDS master account setup with username and password.
  • Testing of recovery setup of DB.
  • Authentication and access control setup.

What followed next was a series of events, short-lived and precise, and with each action, the proposed solution inched closer to DIRECT BOOKER’s business specifications

  • Domain addition
  • Setting up appropriate configuration for the DB in terms of accessibility.
  • Backup and retention of DB data.
  • MySQL Data migration.
  • Mail server migration.
  • CDN Implementation.

Solution Specifications

The final solution that emerged out of configuration had the following specifications –

Managed Support Services:

24×7 Monitoring


  • Site Availability
  • CPU
  • Disk
  • Memory/Traffic
  • Application specific services monitoring

Server Management


  • Monitoring
  • Maintenance
  • Application Installation

User Management


  • Launch/Start/Stop/Terminate/Tagging
  • OS patching (Linux/Windows)
  • Server Hardening
  • File Permissions

Database Management


  • Database Monitoring
  • DB Support

Backup Management


  • Snapshot Management
  • Scheduling (Daily/Weekly/Monthly)
  • Data Retention

Network Management


  • Virtual Network Management
  • VPN Management
  • Network Monitoring

Deployment Support


  • Package Installation of Servers
  • Support to Application Teams

The Result

The scenario changed quickly within a month of deployment and social media marketing. Users who had so far been skeptic now actually booked apartments online and did not shy away from making payments online. DIRECT BOOKER received its very first Tier III solution and its downtime went down to less than 4 hours in a year, without a single outage till date. Cyfuture’s

N-N redundancy ensured that the website never went down again and this greatly enhanced user experience online. The cloud services that DIRECT BOOKER was pitched was AWS’s, known for extremely low latency and exceptionally fast response. The uptime reported was close to 99.95% and response time almost never exceeded the threshold 10 ms,

Cyfuture’s tactical social media campaign brought the desired traffic to DIRECT BOOKER’s website, a feat that it had long yearned to achieve.

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    Cyfuture Inc.

    7852 Percussion DR
    Apex, NC 27539
    Wake County

    Ph:   +1-919-802-6652
    E-mail:   us@cyfuture.com