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Customer Challenge

Formerly known as Leaders of Evolution, Playbk Sports started their business with a basic WordPress set up and expanded and upgraded and reconfigured as business needs dictated. However, they quickly discovered that their infrastructure could not cope with the number of users that they were attracting. Attempts to fix the problem by their development team added additional services and cost, but did not alleviate the performance and reliability issues.

Fitzroy IT - The Perfect Partner

As an Advanced Consulting and Well-Architected Partner with a team of infrastructure experts and web developers, Fitzroy IT was perfectly placed to work with Playbk Sports to analyse, fix, test and maintain their infrastructure. Our experience in the education market, and in working with WordPress were also highly advantageous.

But the main reason that Playbk Sports chose to engage with Fitzroy IT was its friendly, dedicated and on-call staff, who were there at every step of the process.


The decision to choose AWS was based on Playbk Sport’s need to scale their services to a global audience and respond rapidly to changes in load.

AWS also support Playbk Sports through the EdStart program, providing benefits such as equity-free financial support through AWS Promotional Credit, technical training and support.


After being introduced to Playbk Sports, Fitzroy IT began by undertaking a Well-Architected Review of Playbk Sport’s environment. Well-Architected reviews provided an excellent way to understand a client’s expectations for their infrastructure, as well as determining how things have been set up.

The Well-Architected Review showed quite clearly that Playbk Sport’s infrastructure was not performing as intended. Numerous performance bottlenecks were identified, along with misconfigurations and unnecessary services. In the first instance Fitzroy IT undertook load-testing on the Playbk Sports Portal, using Apache jMeter and AWS ECS. This clearly identified issues with the auto-scaling configuration which were quickly remedied.

Once the auto-scaling was operating correctly, AWS Global Accelerator was identified as superfluous and was decommissioned, being replaced with AWS CloudFront.

While it may have been tempting for Playbk Sports to think enough had been done at this point, they saw the benefit in continuing the partnership to continuously monitor performance, reliability, security and ongoing costs. This continuous monitoring indicated that some downtime was still occuring and the judicious use of CloudWatch quickly isolated the issue as being related to the misconfiguration of EFS burst mode.

Monitoring also provided detailed performance-over-time numbers that allowed Fitzroy IT to confidently recommend a switch from the EC2 auto-scaling environment to a dockerised-setup utilising ECS, and fronted by WAF and CloudFront.

Next Steps

As the changes made to date have more than paid for themselves, Playbk Sports are continuing to look for avenues of improvement. These include:

  • Adopting reserved instances to realise even greater cost savings.
  • Benchmarking their applications to look for bottlenecks at the code level.

Architecture Diagram

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