SymSoft performed a Sitecore Upgrade and Microsoft Azure Cloud + DevOps implementation for the Los Angeles World Airports (LAX, VNY)

LAWA’s Sitecore Azure Cloud Deployment with DevOps supports millions of travelers every month.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) engaged SymSoft to perform a Sitecore upgrade of their existing solution, and deploy it to the Microsoft Azure Cloud, using Azure DevOps to ensure zero downtime during deployments, and ensure that the solution could handle surges in traffic during peak travel times. As part of the upgrade, SymSoft also enabled LAWA to leverage personalization capabilities of the Sitecore platform for their Intranet.

LAX website on mobile device
LAWA website on mobile device
LAX website on multiple devices

Challenge

LAWA’s previous Sitecore 8.2 implementation was difficult to manage and maintain by internal IT staff. They were unable to leverage Sitecore xDB for personalization, and had to interrupt the website availability when features and functionality were deployed. Security was also a primary concern with their Intranet SSO implementation, and searching on the website was not performant. Overall, the solution needed to follow Sitecore and cloud best practices to ensure that it could be efficiently managed by the LAWA team.

Results

SymSoft analyzed LAWA’s Sitecore solution and proposed an upgrade and Microsoft Azure Cloud approach that would not only enhance existing functionality, but would follow best practices and reduce the burden on LAWA’s staff to manage and maintain the solution for 4 highly-trafficked websites (LAX, VNY, LAWA, and the LAWA Intranet).

 

  • Performed a Sitecore upgrade from version 8.2 to 9.2.
  • Enhanced search functionality to increase performance.
  • Implemented security on Azure BLOB storage for Intranet documents.
  • Configured and implemented AAD SSO for LAWA’s Intranet.
  • Deployed to Azure using SaaS/PaaS, leveraging Azure DevOps for zero-downtime deployments.
LAWA website on a desktop computer

Project Highlights

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Sitecore® Experience Platform™ Upgrade

SymSoft upgraded LAWA’s Sitecore from version 8.2 to 9.2, resolving breaking changes and optimizing the code to follow best practices. This included enhancements to their solution to support personalization, secure Single Sign-On (SSO) with Azure Active Directory, security for documents hosted on LAWA’s intranet, and optimizations to Azure Search for performance and reliability.

DevOps, Continuous Integration, and Continuous Delivery with Microsoft Azure

SymSoft leveraged Azure DevOps, converting LAWA’s Team Foundation Version Control to Git. Implemented CI/CD to Azure PaaS deployment slots using Azure DevOps Pipelines, Azure Hosted Build Agents, Node.js, and NuGet. The new DevOps processes reduced overall deployment time by 90%.

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Screenshot of the LAWA website

Cloud Performance and Reliability

SymSoft used Azure App Services and Azure SQL for deployment of the solution, which included auto-scaling for the App Services and Elastic DTUs to handle the variability in traffic the websites receive. This provided the LAWA IT team with significant relief on travel holidays that would generate large spikes in traffic.

In addition to this, SymSoft implemented a blue/green deployment model, allowing LAWA’s staff to deploy changes to a preview deployment slot to validate their changes before making them live, resulting in rapid release of features and functionality and zero downtime for website visitors.

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