About Club AutomationClub Automation a leading cloudbased software provider with a mission of contributing to a healthier and more active world by empowering more-efficient health and fitness club management. Based in Chicago, the company offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that enables health and fitness clubs to run their facilities effortlessly.
To address that concern, Club Automation sought to move its SaaS application to a new cloud technology provider. “We needed more agility and scalability than we had with our previous hybrid-cloud solution, which included a secure but legacy private-cloud environment,” Longin confirms. “We had to scale ahead of required capacity, which was costly and required a lot of planning. We wanted to be more agile, so we could quickly roll out new apps and features for our customers.”
As Club Automation considered new cloud technologies, it also needed to ensure strong security for its application workloads. “We operate in a cardholder environment, and our solution needs to be PCI compliant and highly secure,” Longin says. “We can’t allow access to our backend systems by anyone other than our developers. We had to eliminate attack surface areas within a cloud environment, and we needed the security to enable our business to move our workloads to the cloud safely.”
Why Amazon Web Services
To safely migrate its SaaS application workloads to AWS, Club Automation chose to work with Barracuda Networks, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Technology Partner with an AWS Security Competency certification. Barracuda provides firewalls engineered for AWS to help customers deploy a comprehensive security architecture and increase protection against cyberattacks and advanced threats. “I had a previous business relationship with Barracuda and was impressed with the stability of the solutions,” Longin says. Club Automation deployed Barracuda CloudGen Firewalls to help secure the company’s AWS environment. The firewalls are installed on an Amazon EC2 instance in the Club Automation Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC). Each firewall sits in a public subnet, protecting against unauthorized access to the private subnets where the cardholder data environment is located.
Club Automation was able to easily purchase and deploy the Barracuda firewalls through the AWS Marketplace, an online store where customers can find software and services from AWS partners so they can build solutions and run their businesses.
Club Automation is taking advantage of Barracuda firewalls to help secure its growing number of AWS services. “We are using the Barracuda CloudGen Firewalls, provisioned through the AWS Marketplace, to effectively guard our application against web-based attacks and application layer attacks,” says Longin. “The Barracuda solution plugs in seamlessly to our AWS environment, and it is doing its job of minimizing the attack surface area and helping our customers keep club member cardholder data protected.”
Club Automation has also decreased the amount of time the configuration process took with its previous firewall solution. Barracuda offerings on the AWS Marketplace support AWS CloudFormation templates, which allow developers and administrators to deploy applications within a stack of AWS-related resources. “The Barracuda firewall is a self-service, cloud-based solution that takes less than 15 minutes to get up and running, as opposed to the hours and sometimes days the previous solution took,” Longin says. “Provisioning new users is much simpler and faster. Instead of opening a support ticket and waiting for it to be addressed, we can just go into AWS and provision new users ourselves. This is a key benefit for us as we keep growing.”
Relying on Barracuda, Club Automation enabled its IT team to securely move its SaaS workloads to AWS. “We had considered using a cloud solution a few years ago, but cloud offerings were not what they are today, and security solutions like Barracuda’s were not available,” says Longin. “Our move to AWS would not have been possible without Barracuda firewalls,” remarks Longin. “Using Barracuda helped us safely transition more of our workloads to AWS, and we expect our full production environment to be all-in on AWS by the end of the year.”
In addition, Club Automation benefited from the ease of deployment from the AWS Marketplace. “It couldn’t have been more simple,” says Longin. “All we had to do was find the solution and then quickly configure and deploy it through the AWS Marketplace. In the software industry, it’s rare when something works as expected, but the AWS Marketplace did just that.” In the near future, Club Automation expects to use the marketplace for the upcoming Barracuda metered billing service. “With metered billing, we will be able to consume Barracuda services in the same way we consume AWS services, which will be very cost-effective for us,” Longin says.
Previously, Club Automation had been holding back on expansion and had only grown through word of mouth, because it was concerned that its IT staff could not support rapid expansion. Now, using AWS, the company is poised for major growth. “We are ready and able to grow,” says Longin. “We have started hiring inside sales representatives and creating marketing plans, because we have a platform that enables scalability and expansion while also allowing us to maintain our high standards of customer service. To keep growing fast, we need agility and innovation. That’s what fueled our transition to AWS and Barracuda, and it will continue fueling our growth in this industry.”