Brian Reavey
Brian Reavey
Systems Architect, Technical Operations
Brian Reavey is a Systems Architect in Technical Operations, supporting AOL's advertising division, AOL Platforms. Starting at in 2003 (acquired by AOL in 2004), Brian has spend the past 13 years supporting online advertising platforms via Linux/UNIX Systems Administration, Technical Management, and Systems Architecture. Always up for a challenge, as part of AOL's AWS program, Brian has been working with engineering, product and operations to help migrate AOL Platforms into AWS with the least amount of impact to production, project schedules, and the bottom line, as possible.
Elastically Scaling Your Legacy

AOL Platforms' (AOLP) experience bringing legacy applications to Amazon Web Services in an elastically-scaling fashion. In our presentation, we would like to talk about how we have worked to move the AOLP Real-Time Bidding application stack from AOL datacenters into AWS regions across the globe.

Topics covered:

  • Operational solutions to cloud infrastructure problems
  • Infrastructure-as-code: full deployments via CloudFormation
  • Blue/Green deployments of full stack
  • Retrofitting service discovery into legacy stacks
  • Self-healing infrastructure
  • Live demo of RTB capacity buildout possible


  • What is RTB? 22B real transactions/day (not talking CDN traffic here, but actual server requests)
  • Why is this a good match for elastic scaling?
  • What is our tech stack? Why couldn't we just use auto-scaling groups? Old static architecture from AOL Datacenters
  • Why were we doing this migration? Time-to-market for capacity increases, easy of regional deployments, cost savings with elastic capacity.

Evolved implementation:

  • Phase 1 - Basic cloudformation stacks
  • Phase 2 - Full AWS API management
  • Phase 3 - Increasingly autonomous system blocks for capacity
  • Phase 4 - Service discovery, full automation Lessons learned:
  • What is CloudFormation good for? What isn't it?
  • The AWS API - 1000 ways to die
  • Scaling logic for multi-tiered systems
  • The Need for Speed - how long until more capacity comes online?
  • Working within constraints - what to do when you have no dev resources?

Presented with Aaron Stahl