At Church Community Builder we are passionate about helping churches grow disciples, and a large part of our commitment is to build reliable and high performing software that empowers you to manage your church effectively. In an effort to better our reliability and performance, we are migrating all of our supporting infrastructure and hosting to Amazon Web Services (AWS). We have planned this project in a way that will protect your daily operations as much as we can and keep the integrity of your data. We are extremely excited about the benefits of moving our infrastructure to the cloud and we’ve been preparing for a long time!
How will this impact my Church Community Builder Site?
We have built our plan to be the least disruptive as possible, but with a move of this nature there will be some inherent downtime. The planned outage for a church partner will be based on a number of factors, but the biggest impact will come from the size of the church’s dataset. We will be doing these moves in low-traffic time periods, and a church may experience an outage of up to 20 minutes during their initial migration. In the migration phase, we will have over-provisioned server sizes to accommodate the abnormal load of importing the large amounts of data we’ll be moving, so churches will experience a separate outage up to 30 minutes once the migration phase is over as we adjust the server size to be appropriate for daily operations. This work will be in the identified low-impact timeframe of 10pm-2am MST. Because of the way our migration will work, the outage will not be the same night for all churches and will be a rolling migration over the next 3 months. We will publish updates and information on our twitter account @CCBTech as this infrastructure upgrade is rolled out.
How we’ve been preparing
Moving our disaster recovery infrastructure
While a complete migration of our hosting services was just a dream over a year ago, we decided to start laying the foundation for a successful move. Our first project was to shut down our secondary co-located datacenter and set up our disaster recovery solution in AWS. Moving our secondary location allowed us to start architecting our infrastructure in the cloud and "get our hands dirty", while introducing little risk to our church partners and gaining the benefits and knowledge of how to build and operate there effectively.
Certifications and training
In addition to our hands-on experience while moving our disaster recovery services to AWS, we also sent our engineers to get officially certified as AWS Solutions Architects with Amazon and learn how to build reliable, resilient, and fast applications in the cloud. As part of this effort we also spent considerable time preparing our engineers to build our new infrastructure using infrastructure-as-code methodologies' allowing us to maintain a high change visibility and increase the deployment speed of our web stack.
Planning for the holidays
We know that the holidays are an incredible opportunity for the church to make an impact in their communities, and we want to do everything we can to make your holiday season a success! We have aimed for our migration plan to be complete by mid- to late-November to ensure ample time for us to address any quirks that were unaccounted for before Christmas. We will be heavily monitoring our entire infrastructure throughout November and December, and our engineers will be on-call 24/7 to make sure we can respond as quickly as possible if there are any surprises.
The security of your data is extremely important to us, and we’re doing a lot to prove it! We’ve started working with a third-party, independent company that will perform external network penetration testing against our new infrastructure to ensure that our churches are safe and protected as they live in the new environment. Our engineers are also building things with security best practices and the AWS Well-Architected Security principles in mind, and Church Community Builder will have a review of our security by an external Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP.)
We are super excited about this move and believe it will allow us to serve you even better! We are looking forward to continuing to partner with you!