Amazon Web Services (AWS)


As Faculty Success grows, it’s critical that the servers supporting our clients are able to grow as well. The performance and scalability of AWS best meets these needs.

You’ll experience three key benefits:

  • Availability: Faculty Success will be less at-risk of downtime due to the increased fault-tolerance offered by AWS. This means your users will experience even higher levels of system availability.
  • Performance: With a faster platform and more servers, you’ll see interaction times with the system pick up.
  • Scalability: AWS provides a platform for limitless growth, which means no more pain points for you as we support more clients.

Take Action

Please have your technical teams make the appropriate IP address changes to allow communication to the platform. Confirm that your spam filters are configured to whitelist emails sent from our IP addresses and that your firewall rules are configured to allow connections to our new IP addresses.

The IP addresses to add are:

Security and Risks

How secure is AWS?

Amazon’s response to security vulnerabilities is far faster than most "on premises" platforms can respond. For example, two of the most widespread and potentially impactful security vulnerabilities, commonly known as Meltdown and Spectre, were mitigated and patched on AWS and other cloud providers in the early days following the announcement of the vulnerability. On premises platforms had to wait for patches to be released by the manufacturers.

With that being said, all infrastructure, public or private cloud, needs a team vigilantly watching to ensure that their data is safe. Watermark continues to provide "security in layers" on any platform. Security in layers means there’s not one mechanism or control that protects data security - but many.

What risks are inherent with AWS?

There are risks on any platform. Inherent risks with AWS are focused around individual data center vulnerability and human error. Watermark mitigates data center risk by maintaining and regularly testing a disaster recovery site on the other side of the country. Human errors are also a serious concern. Watermark uses a configuration management and provisioning system that requires little human interaction with individual servers and systems. We use "Infrastructure as code" to limit our exposure to human errors. Additionally, we monitor, audit and test for to ensure our systems are available and secure.

How does the AWS impact disaster recovery capabilities?

Faculty Success currently replicates data in "snapshots" every five minutes. This "Recovery Point Objective" (RPO) will remain in AWS. Our "Recovery Time Objective" (RTO) is currently 30 minutes.

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