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Lytho (formerly inMotionNow) streamlines workflow and asset management for creative and marketing teams to enable them to catch and hold audience interest while driving deeper levels of reach and engagement. With massive amounts of content being produced through their platform under stringent deadlines, catastrophically losing content contained in the Lytho system could lead to seismic breakups in both reputation and customer loyalty. Lytho had a process for backups and the ability to rebuild their environment in the event of a disaster, but they felt they needed to go further with the responsiveness of their approach considering the stakes at play.

Lytho Environment

Lytho utilizes Microsoft Windows Servers in Amazon EC2 running Microsoft IIS and SQL Server. The servers reside behind elastic load balancers in a VPC, spanning multiple availability zones. Amazon Cognito is used for application user identity and authentication.

“We had taken snapshots of our servers and we were doing backups of our database. But bringing it online is one thing, reconnecting it all and having everything in place without significant downtime is another,”
“As we continue to grow we’re concerned about security, stability and resiliency. We knew that we needed something more robust and highly available without having to figure it all out at the moment an event occurs”

—  Kevin Conlon, Director of Application Operations for Lytho.

To test their current disaster recovery process, Joe Sanders, Systems Administrator for Lytho, performed disaster recovery exercises to determine what Lytho’s response time would be. “We poured over all the backups and our retention policies and we came to the conclusion that if there were a severe outage—like if somehow our Amazon Web Services account was completely wiped—we were talking about a 24-hour timeframe to come back online in the best case scenario,” Joe explained.

Arpio delivers automated disaster recovery inside AWS

Arpio provided a better disaster recovery process to protect Lytho’s client projects and data. Arpio’s SaaS solution securely connected to Lytho’s AWS environment to enable fully automated cross-region and cross-account recovery. Once connected, Arpio discovered all of the critical AWS resources that needed to be protected for their production workload. Within minutes, the data and infrastructure was backed up in an alternate region and locked down in a separate AWS account. Testing the recovery process happened almost as fast. Within hours of getting started, Lytho had tested and validated that cross-region and cross-account recovery was working for their application.

“To the credit of Arpio, this was an easy process,” Kevin shared. “It now seems sort of ridiculous not to do something like this. I’m not even sure how we could have managed replicating some of the services inside of AWS, such as Cognito.
There’s a lot of complexities, a lot of interaction within AWS, and using Arpio makes it so that we don’t have to have it all memorized right out of the gate if we decide to try something new. Arpio is constantly growing into other spaces, so they can support us if we want to start using other services.
AWS doesn’t stop moving, but now we’re working with someone who has figured out the hard parts and can protect us regardless of the direction we’re heading.”

Change without fear

“Another important point is that if we experience turnover, and someone new makes a change not knowing all the nuances of our configuration, it’s no problem if something breaks,” Joe added. “It’s a safety net where we don’t have to worry about figuring out how to revert everything. We just roll back to the Arpio backup and we’ll do a retrospective on what went wrong and take our time to figure out what needs to happen next.”
“The beauty of this is that if I decide to go to Boca Raton and something explodes, there’s a system in place that takes some of the human element out of having to get it all back together again,” Kevin explained. “It’s sort of set and forget. We know the system is in place. We know it’s running. We’ve run through the tests. It replicates what we have right now and we can make decisions against that or take snapshots at points in time where we could change back to any point.”

Restoration in minutes

“Going back to that 24-hour time-to-restore that we had estimated previously,” Joe added. “ It’s far different from the mere minutes that it takes now with Arpio.
Knowing that there would only be a 5 minute changeover to get everybody back online before they realize there is a problem is much, much better than having to tell every single client that they need to push their deadlines back for a week.
That alone makes this approach more than worth the investment.”

Support at the speed of AWS

Lytho plans on adding ECS as part of their future architecture, a feature recently added by Arpio. “It’s great knowing that when we’re ready, all we need to do is flip a switch and magically everything will be backed up right to that point,” said Kevin. “It’s a fantastic way to ensure the stability of our future growth.”