Executive Summary

Send Photos to Prison

Flikshop helps families stay connected with their incarcerated friends and relatives in over 2,000 jails, prisons, and juvenile facilities across the United States. Several times individuals in jail, prisons, and juvenile facilities lose their connection with their loved ones. Flikshop helps reconnect those incarcerated individuals with their families. Not only does Flikshop bring incarcerated individuals closer to their loved ones by sharing postcards, but it also helps them make an easier transition back home.

Customer challenge

The Flikshop app is deployed in AWS EC2 and contains 18 APIs, 3 web services, and 4 worker services. Every API and service is deployed in each EC2. Flikshop requested for a portable, extensible, open-source platform to manage containerized workloads and services that facilitate declarative configuration and automation. Additionally, they wanted to secure important keys in source codes.

Partner Solution

ITTStar developed, tested, and deployed infrastructure that was configured based on Kubernetes. This was accomplished by utilizing Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Elastic Block Store (EBS), Autoscaling, and Elastic Load Balancing (ELB).
In addition, Amazon Route 53 was used as a highly available and scalable cloud Domain Name System (DNS) web service. We set up self-healing and configured Autoscaling at the Pod level to minimize downtime for maintenance and upgrades. This new solution ensured no disruption of services and enabled proactive mitigation of potential demand issues.

Why AWS?

The client was already on the AWS Cloud platform. Initially, the client was using 27 instances for 27 APIs, later ITTStar deployed each API as a micro-service and deployed it in the K8s cluster with 5 nodes which reduced the cost to 3/4th of the initial. Old deployment was done manually, now ITTStar has automated that by using the CI/CD tool (Jenkins). It reduced the deployment time. ITTStar configured K8s-lens and Prometheus for monitoring. With K8s deployment, there is zero down time.

Why Flikshop chose ITTStar?

ITTStar has previous experience working on similar implementations that combine our strong skill sets around DevOps and excellent customer support. We were able to satisfy our customer’s needs through our extensive experience, solid processes, and vital customer service. We provided our client with a smoother transition to a new platform on Kubernetes with autoscaling configured and monitoring by implementing all the requirements they asked for.

Impact & Result

ITTStar's unique solution transformed Impresari’s business functioning in the following ways:

  • Flexibility - ITTStar automated this previously manual process by using CI/CD (Jenkins) and configured K8s-lens and Prometheus for monitoring. With this automated process, there is zero downtime.
  • Scalability - We enabled horizontal Pod autoscaling in Kubernetes in the new solution.
  • Cost Reduction - The client initially used 27 instances for the 27 APIs. ITTStar deployed each API as a micro-service and then deployed them in the K8s with 5 nodes to reduce the initial cost by 3/4th.
  • Security & Resilience - We ran instances in a private subnet, controlled network access to the instances, and configured HPA for better security and resilience.

About Flikshop 

Flikshop helps families stay connected with their incarcerated friends and relatives in over 2,000 jails, prisons, and juvenile facilities across the United States
The Flikshop app lets users send photos and personal messages directly to their loved ones through physical postcards
Flikshop allows families and loved ones to stay connected with incarcerated individuals by sharing moments instantly through the app.

Customer Testimonial 

“We had an incredible experience working with ITTStar. They were incredibly responsive, very capable and awesome communicators along our development journey.

ITTStar's team has been one of the best:

  • The ITTStar team maintained a diligent, detailed, and professional approach through the entire project, from planning to execution to follow up.
  • ITTStar always made us feel as if we were one team working to achieve a common goal.
  • The team members are very knowledgeable I will recommend this team a 100% of the time.

Marcus Bullock, CEO & Founder, Flikshop