by Eric Grysko
In Student Services IT, we develop applications that support the student experience. Class Roster, classes.cornell.edu, was launched in late 2014 after several months of development in coordination with the Office of the University Registrar. It was deployed on-premises and faced initial challenges handling load just after launch. Facing limited options to scale, we provisioned for peak load year-round, despite predictable cyclical load following the course-enrollment calendar.
By mid-2015, Cornell had signed a contract with Amazon Web Services, and Cornell’s Cloudification Team was inviting units to collaborate and pilot use of AWS. Working with the team was refreshing, and Student Services IT dove in. We consumed training materials, attended re:Invent, threw away our old way of doing things, and began thinking cloud and DevOps.
By late 2015, we were starting on the next version of Class Roster – “Scheduler”. Display of class enrollment status (open, waitlist, closed) with near real-time data, meant we couldn’t rely on long cache lifetimes. And new scheduling features, were expected to grow peak concurrent usage significantly. We made the decision, Class Roster would be our unit’s first high-profile migration to AWS. (more…)