About RE/MAX of Southern Africa

RE/MAX of Southern Africa, which was founded in 1994, is regarded as the pioneer of the RE/MAX international expansion as it was the first country franchise to be sold outside of North America. RE/MAX of Southern Africa was recognised as the top RE/MAX region in the world for 2012 at the group’s Las Vegas convention in March 2013. RE/MAX has over 2 400 agents operating from over 164 offices in 5 countries in Southern Africa.

The Challenge

www.remax.co.za was running on a bare metal solution which meant that scaling the platform was a manual, time consuming and costly process. Although the hosting solution was stable, it wasn’t very flexible in terms of adding additional features and components compared to cloud-based solutions.

Baobab Web Services were therefore tasked to find a highly available cloud-based hosting solution at the same cost of their existing bare metal hosting environment.

The Solution

After some initial testing, keeping in mind that the code was written specifically for the bare metal solution, the original solution was simple – we had to implement an EC2 autoscaling cluster utilizing a MySQL database running on EC2. For centralized storage S3 buckets were implemented. All traffic was routed through an application load balancer. Since the original migration from bare metal to cloud a number of improvements have been made, which would not have been easily doable on the bare metal solution. The improvements include

  • Lambda functions for scheduled tasks in order to remove the load from the web servers
  • Automated code deployments through Code Pipeline
  • CDN capabilities for images through Cloudfront
  • Custom caching solution running on an additional EC2 cluster sitting behind a network loadbalancer

AWS Technologies used

  • EC2 (autoscaling cluster)
  • RDS (primary with read replica)
  • Lambda (serverless architecture for scheduled tasks)
  • CodeCommit/CodePipeline/CodeDeploy (automated code deployents)
  • ELB (application and network load balancers)
  • S3 (centralized storage)
  • Cloudfront (fast content delivery globally)

Customer Benefits

  • Increased scalability and flexibility of hosting platform
  • Rapid release cycles through automated code deployments
  • Increased uptime
  • Successful migration to the cloud
  • Improved redundancy
  • Improved backups and disaster recovery

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