success/lendkeys-agile-transformation-with-aws-increased-deployment-frequency-by-200-and-reduced-infrastructure-costs-by-30

LendKey’s Agile Transformation with AWS

Case Study

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LendKey’s Agile Transformation with AWS:

LendKey’s Agile Transformation with AWS:

Increased Deployment Frequency
by 200% and Reduced
Infrastructure Costs by 30% 

Industry: Banking, Financial Services & Insurance

Delivery Center: CSA

Industry Context

Industry Context

In the finance sector, stringent regulatory requirements and evolving customer expectations drive the need for secure, scalable, and agile solutions. Enterprises are facing the imperative to modernize their infrastructure, improve security, and optimize operations, to remain competitive in an industry marked by dynamic market demands and evolving landscapes. To kickstart their transformation journeys and drive growth, organizations are leveraging cutting edge technologies and strategic partnerships.

Client Challenge

Client Challenge

Our client LendKey, a US-based company, revolutionizes lending through its innovative Lending as a Service platform. Specializing in student and home improvement loans, LendKey offers a comprehensive range of services, including loan application processing, customer service via call centers, loan management, and loan sales. The client aimed to be cloud agnostic, leveraging Terraform and Terragrunt for infrastructure management. However, this approach encountered technical difficulties, leading to operational inefficiencies. Despite an agile methodology on paper, legacy practices hindered rapid innovation and scalability, particularly evident in their once-a-week deployment schedule. Modernizing their infrastructure, improving security for finance industry compliance, and enhancing system observability emerged as pressing challenges.

Approach

We selected AWS as a platform of choice for LendKey’s transformation journey due to its robust suite of services, flexibility, and scalability, enabling seamless integration with GitOps practices and ensuring efficient and standardized infrastructure management. The services we deployed included: 

Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC): Transitioned their configuration management from Chef to Ansible, focusing on including all the existing security measures for their VPNs, firewalls, VMs while ensuring security compliance. 

Cloud-Native Development: Deployed ArgoCD and Artifactory, initiating the migration of some microservices to Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). This move not only facilitated a more modular and scalable architecture but also aligned with their goal of cloud-agnostic operations, leveraging the universality of Kubernetes and a GitOps strategy, for having a single source of truth in the code repository for all microservices infrastructure. 

Cloud Optimization: Standardized their entire infrastructure setup using Terraform, ensuring consistency, repeatability, and efficiency in managing cloud resources. This standardization was crucial in overcoming the previous challenges posed by their initial cloud-agnostic strategy. 

Cloud Migration: Planned the deployment of new Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) clusters for version upgrades to allow adequate testing time before the cutover. This ensured minimal disruption and high reliability of the lending platform during the transition. 

Data Pipeline Engineering: Implemented a serverless microservice that captures data from Amazon S3, transforms it via AWS Glue, and loads it into an Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) database using AWS Lambda. This approach significantly enhanced data handling efficiency and reliability. 

Monitoring & Observability: Integrated OpenTelemetry in all Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) - dependent microservices, significantly improving the observability and monitoring capabilities of their system. 

AWS Services

Amazon Elastic
Kubernetes Service (EKS)

Amazon Lambda

Amazon Simple
Storage Service (S3)

Amazon RDS

AWS Glue

Results

LendKey's journey from a legacy operational model to a modern, agile, and secure platform exemplifies the transformative power of AWS services like EKS and the strategic application of DevOps principles, led by the Encora team. This transition not only streamlined their processes but also positioned LendKey as a leader in the lending industry, ready to adapt to future challenges and opportunities. 

LendKey's strategic overhaul of their IT infrastructure and deployment practices led to transformative outcomes: 

  • Transitioning to a microservices architecture with Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) allowed for a shift from weekly deployments to the possibility of on-demand deployments. This enhancement facilitated rapid delivery of new features and updates, significantly accelerating LendKey’s ability to respond to market needs and customer feedback. 
  • By standardizing their cloud infrastructure with Terraform and optimizing their use of AWS services, LendKey could reduce infrastructure costs while improving operational efficiency. These savings and efficiencies were reinvested into further innovations and improvements within the platform. 
  • The migration to Ansible and the implementation of security-focused configurations ensured robust security measures, aligning with security compliance requirements. 
  • Integration with OpenTelemetry, helped achieve superior system observability, allowing for real-time monitoring and rapid troubleshooting. This enhancement led to improved system reliability and customer satisfaction. 

Deployment Frequency

Deployment Frequency

Infrastructure Cost

Infrastructure Cost