Washington State University Migrates Their Campus Solutions Application to the AWS Cloud Using Burgundy Group’s Established Architecture and Proprietary Tools
Washington State University (WSU) engaged The Burgundy Group, Inc. (TBGI) to migrate their PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (CS) application to the AWS Cloud on February 15, 2022. CS went live on AWS on October 3, 2022.
WSU implemented CS beginning in 2011 and selected a cloud services vendor as their infrastructure solution (IS) as part of the implementation project. Following completion of the implementation project, WSU outsourced the support and maintenance of CS to a professional services vendor (PS). The problem was that there was sufficient gray area between the two vendor contracts, that resolving service requests in a timely manner became an issue.
As the IS and CS contracts approached maturity, WSU began researching alternative solutions. Based on TBGI’s proprietary PeopleSoft environment management solution for the AWS Cloud (Smart EMS) and a previously successful migration of Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges’ (SBCTC) four PeopleSoft applications to the AWS Cloud, WSU selected TBGI as their new professional services vendor. An important feature of the new contract was that all service requests, whether infrastructure or application related, would be handled primarily by TBGI.
Established Architecture and Proprietary Tools
TBGI created a standard architecture and a set of environment management automations (Smart EMS) during the migration of University or Arizona’s (UA) PeopleSoft applications beginning in July 2015. UA was insistent on using as much delivered AWS functionality as possible in the new architecture. TBGI fully embraced this approach and in addition created a set of automations to manage the migrated solution in the AWS Cloud.
The result of the project was a standardized architecture, made possible by a combination of CloudFormation templates and Docker containers, and TBGI’s proprietary event engine (Envy) which coordinates and monitors both AWS-delivered and TBGI-custom services to create and manage the PeopleSoft environments. This approach means that all PeopleSoft environments, including production, are reliable, consistent, and ephemeral. All environments can be managed, on a one-time or scheduled basis, using Smart EMS functionality.
Because TBGI was able to bring an established architecture and Smart EMS to bear on WSU’s migration project, the initial environments were available for user testing by early April 2022. That gave WSU significant latitude to schedule testing cycles and prepare for their go live well within contractual deadlines.
WSU was able to go live on time with no material issues well within their contractual timeline. Because the new professional services contracts require TBGI to manage all service requests, service request response and resolution times have shortened substantially. WSU did incur some additional costs as part of the migration but expects to break even in four years’ time. Overall, the project has been a terrific success.
Washington State University (Washington State, WSU, or informally Wazzu) is a public land-grant research university with its flagship, and oldest, campus in Pullman, Washington. Founded in 1890, WSU is also one of the oldest land-grant universities in the American West. With an undergraduate enrollment of 22,612 and a total enrollment of 27,539, it is the second largest institution for higher education in Washington state. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.
Established in 1998, TBGI provides PeopleSoft application, Oracle database and AWS infrastructure managed and consulting services. TBGI proprietary tools include a set of PeopleSoft environment management automations for the AWS cloud, Smart EMS. Smart EMS can (on a one-time or scheduled basis) launch, terminate, back up, refresh, up scale, down scale, apply operating system (OS) and PeopleTools patches, and monitor PeopleSoft environments in the AWS Cloud.