Founded in 2002, AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation is a direct mortgage lender operating six major loan centers in forty-nine states and employs over 5,000 individuals. It is best known for pioneering the first truly digital mortgage experience to borrowers. Technology and digital innovation are at the heart of AmeriSave’s business model.
AmeriSave benefits from significantly low operating costs derived from having automated the process of manufacturing and processing loan applications. As AmeriSave continues to grow rapidly, an efficient and elastic technology stack is integral to its success. For that reason, AmeriSave embarked on a journey from on-prem to cloud native.
“Technology is a key part of AmeriSave’s success.” - Maciej Miechowicz, SVP of Enterprise Architecture, AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation
From Monolith to Microservices
Before seeking to modernize, AmeriSave operated a fully on-prem legacy infrastructure. Their data center hosted more than 150 servers with applications running in ColdFusion, an application development platform. A traditional load balancer was used to route traffic, which was not overly complicated in this monolithic setup.
AmeriSave’s first step to modernization involved adopting microservices. The team ported legacy applications into microservices deployed on-prem in Docker Swarm environments. This new architecture was inherently more distributed, resulting in increased network traffic internally. But, AmeriSave continued to use a legacy reverse proxy solution, NGINX, to route traffic to these new Docker microservices.
With their applications ported to a microservices architecture, the next stage AmeriSave explored was migrating these services to the cloud. Cloud infrastructures are more flexible and reliable than on-prem infrastructures. By removing the need to maintain and operate systems in-house, they allow companies to focus their time, money, and resources towards creating business value.
Maciej Miechowicz, the SVP of Enterprise Architecture, and his team began migrating AmeriSave’s infrastructure onto Microsoft Azure. They chose to build their new, cloud native environments with a fully managed Azure Red Hat OpenShift cluster. This new platform increased reliability and security, reducing the effort required to deploy containers at scale.
Committing to Cloud Native Networking
Lifting and shifting an entire application from an on-prem infrastructure into the cloud requires broad considerations, which is why AmeriSave has been reevaluating its IT strategy progressively. Workloads have one by one been moved into OpenShift environments in Microsoft Azure. To continue along their journey, AmeriSave needed powerful networking solutions that could switch traffic quickly and seamlessly between Docker Swarm and OpenShift environments.
The team first looked into Azure Traffic Manager, a DNS-based traffic load balancer, and Azure API Management, an API management platform. The solution could reroute traffic between OpenShift and Swarm. However, it was cumbersome to use as single configurations involved hundreds of lines of code. The lack of automation within this solution would become exponentially more complicated when used by hundreds of services. This solution lacked the simplicity, efficiency, and scalability required by AmeriSave.
While exploring alternatives, Maciej Miechowicz and his team evaluated and selected Traefik Enterprise to underpin the networking required to aid in migrating the environment.
“Over the past couple of years, we have been migrating into the cloud and deploying cloud native applications. A key part of that strategy involves Traefik Enterprise.” - Shakeel Osmani, Principal Lead Software Engineer
AmeriSave built a two-layer architecture that allows them to transition to Kubernetes while still running production environments in Docker (see diagram below). The Traefik Provider feature allows Traefik Enterprise to route requests to other Traefik Enterprise instances. With hybrid support for legacy and cloud native applications, AmeriSave can transfer traffic seamlessly at high throughput between microservices deployed in Docker Swarm on-prem and microservices deployed in OpenShift on Microsoft Azure.
“Our current two-layer setup with Traefik Enterprise is working miracles for us.” - Maciej Miechowicz, SVP of Enterprise Architecture, AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation
This architecture has given the team at AmeriSave a number of key advantages.
Traefik Enterprise is easy to configure and highly scalable.
With Traefik Enterprise, AmeriSave can automate and scale networking with a few simple clicks in the console. Unlike the solution built with Azure Traffic Manager and Azure API Management, Traefik Enterprise is drastically more simple to configure, lightweight, and can be fully automated. The platform is also simple to scale on demand, as the team can elastically add or remove nodes as needed.
“The integration of Traefik Enterprise into our environment was a very smooth and seamless process.” - Maciej Miechowicz, SVP of Enterprise Architecture, AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation
"We currently have three or four deployments for different environments as well as a deployment for disaster recovery. We can add loads on demand, and the architecture is highly elastic." - Shakeel Osmani, Principal Lead Software Engineer, AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation
Traefik Enterprise enables instant rollback.
Before Traefik Enterprise, migrations from Docker Swarm to OpenShift environments were complicated and labor-intensive. Every migration required coordination with the networking team. Problems encountered during migrations required phone calls with the infrastructure team to rollback the deployment immediately. With Traefik Enterprise, migrations are now seamless. If a problem occurs during migration, the deployment can be instantly rolled back in one click.
“We’re amazed at how well Traefik Enterprise works. It would not be possible to rollback applications that misbehave instantly without Traefik Enterprise.” - Maciej Miechowicz, SVP of Enterprise Architecture, AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation
Traefik Enterprise is resilient.
Any minute of service interruption in web traffic directly costs AmeriSave millions of dollars in business. Unlike NGINX, Traefik Enterprise does not have to be reloaded every time a single service’s configuration is updated, losing requests in the process. This makes applications more resilient by eliminating service interruptions.
“Traefik Enterprise is a solid solution that offers high performance. It was the only viable alternative for us.” - Maciej Miechowicz, SVP of Enterprise Architecture, AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation
Traefik Enterprise is feature-rich.
Traefik Enterprise delivers out-of-the-box features for traffic management, high availability, scalability, and advanced security. Authentication delegation and custom pathing resources are two features AmeriSave has found particularly useful. Traefik Enterprise centralizes authentication delegation, meaning each application does not have to individually authenticate. Advanced routing options, such as custom pathing, give AmeriSave flexibility in configuring complex path schemes for routing traffic to applications.
“We’re really, really impressed by the capability of Traefik Enterprise.” - Maciej Miechowicz, SVP of Enterprise Architecture, AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation
AmeriSave is still in the midst of migrating their applications into the OpenShift environments in the cloud. All new services being migrated to containers are routed through Traefik Enterprise. Once the migration is complete, Traefik Enterprise will handle 40,000 requests per second for AmeriSave. The team has not experienced any service interruptions with Traefik Enterprise to date. They continue to seamlessly migrate into the cloud, supporting their digital mortgage experience for their customers.
"It was a no brainer to move forward with Traefik Enterprise" - Maciej Miechowicz, SVP of Enterprise Architecture, AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation