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Database Migration — Desk.com Style

Editor’s note: This post was co-authored by Nadeem Asrar, Sr Database Engineer at Desk.com.

At Desk.com our TechOps team is always on the lookout for ways to increase the stability and performance of our support platform. After all, every millisecond counts when it comes to providing a next-level support experience for your customers.

In their latest feat, TechOps—a team of engineering rockstars strategically placed around the globe—successfully migrated our production database to a new home at Amazon Web Services. This was no small undertaking and the team put in a huge amount of preparation to ensure a successful migration, which was ultimately completed in a 15 minute maintenance window.

The performance improvements from the migration were immediately apparent across the board. From an agent perspective, this means increased efficiency when working with customers from the Agent Desktop.

Database Response Time - Milliseconds

Application Response Time - Milliseconds

Of course, the graphs only tell half the story. Performance improvements of this magnitude don’t come without some serious planning. Fortunately, our resident database maestro, Nadeem Asrar, documented the process in detail in order to provide a behind the scenes look at what was involved in making this project a success.

Planning and Execution

In a migration of this magnitude, ensuring data integrity is key. Our detailed migration plan was crafted to specifically target points in the process particularly vulnerable to data corruption such as initial import, replication to clone instances, and replication to disaster recovery servers. The end goal was simple: 100% ACID-compliance post-migration.

Indicators of Performance Improvements

After the cutover, we took an opportunity to quantify the results. The performance indicators below give some insight into exactly what was accomplished.

In Summary

The process was quite an undertaking, but the results of the migration speak for themselves. In some cases, we saw as much as a 2500% increase in database performance. As a direct contributor to the the overall performance of Desk.com, we’re excited about the implications these efforts have for everyone using Desk.com to support their customers.

Our aim in sharing this level of detail is to give you real insight into our commitment to providing an amazing experience for everyone that uses Desk.com. If you have any questions that are outside the scope of this post, feel free to reach out through the contact form that can be found on our Support Center. It just so happens that our TechOps team is made up of Desk.com Agents as well—they’d be happy to answer any technical questions you might have.

On a final note... Mad props to David, Matt, Nadeem, Nate, and Ryan for their efforts and attention to detail. I can assure you that the Customer WOW team appreciates everything you do to make our jobs easier every day!

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