How this company handled their technical debt to start creating a new suite of services

Project Overview

The company is the market leader in their industry. They found tremendous success by prioritizing feature development for over 20 years, but they were also saddled with technical debt.

After being acquired, the new CTO stepped in and decided to hit pause on new feature development. Too many issues were occurring in production and they needed to catch up. 


The company knew what problems they needed to fix:


Problem #1
Outdated Cloud Environment

Migrate to a new V2 AWS environment managed with infrastructure as code and much stricter security controls to get a handle on security vulnerabilities.


Problem #2
Inefficient Software Development Lifecycle

Streamline the maintenance and deployment process of the existing legacy applications by applying 12-factor principles.


Problem #3
Unmanageable Microservices

Replace the legacy microservices with a new suite of applications built from the ground up using a component-based architecture.


Problem #4
Lack of Observability

Alert the development team when incidents happen so they can be addressed before getting out of hand.

The company tried to resolve their issues internally, but the process was slow-moving.

Knowledge was siloed between the Infrastructure and Software teams making efficient communication difficult, and all the teams had other business critical goals to address.

  • And that’s when they found NextLink Labs.

NextLink Labs loves managing
legacy environments

The company found NextLink Labs through our blog posts and guides for managing technical debt in legacy applications.

NextLink Labs also stood out due to the staff’s holistic DevOps expertise and experience working with Terraform, AWS, and Datadog.

Who's Involved

NextLink Labs started the engagement as a supporting team with a small number of DevOps engineers and software developers.



‘The Big Migration’


Migrate legacy applications and eliminate technical debt. Transition ownership of the legacy environment away from in-house engineers,  so they can instead focus on building a new suite of applications.

During the first few months, the NextLink team collaborated closely with the client's in-house engineers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the technical environment. This allowed the NextLink team to take a tailored approach and prioritize tasks that would directly benefit the client.

After three months, the NextLink team completed several migrations and began working independently to continue the migration work. By taking ownership of the project, the NextLink team was able to streamline the migration process and reduce downtime, which ultimately saved the client time and money.


We are an extension of your team, and we treat these applications like they’re our own.


We’re software engineers ourselves—regular security updates, automated testing, and consistently improving code quality are part of our process.


We’ve helped dozens of companies and have first-hand experience with what DevOps and software development practices work best for companies of all sizes.


We want to become your long-term technology partner—we never cut corners just to close out an engagement.

Who’s Involved Now

The company:
50 in-house engineers working on new initiatives

NextLink Labs:
Small team of software and DevOps engineers owning and managing all legacy applications

What's Next

Almost a year later, the company has committed to partnering with NextLink Labs for the long-term.

NextLink Labs enables the company to proceed with their objectives:

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    Full-time employees at the company can focus on deep-work with minimal on-call rotations and no legacy deployment responsibilities.

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    There’s renewed focus on building new services in new languages, boosting employee satisfaction.

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    A new V2 AWS environment is managed through Terraform, with industry-standard security controls and improved performance.

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    Legacy applications are running on AWS Fargate following 12-factor principles.

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    The company is now PCI compliant.

NextLink Labs...

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    Owns all legacy applications (Ruby on Rails, React, Java, and Elixir) and are first responders for production incidents.

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    Added Datadog for monitoring, allowing the Development team to catch production issues before being alerted by the company.

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    Prioritizes “keep the lights on” work while continuing to gradually improve code quality.

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    Set up security scanning to apply security patches and have fixed hundreds of security vulnerabilities and CVEs.

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    Moved V2 applications off of Jenkins to simpler CI/CD pipelines with GitHub actions.



The company successfully migrated 15 legacy applications to their new environment in 1 year, 67% migrated by NextLink Labs migrated by NextLink Labs


60% reduction in production incidents in 2022 compared to 2021


Over 1,000 security alerts from application dependencies remediated


Average weekly Sentry errors cut by 50%


Annual development spend for legacy applications down to 1M per year

Get your team off technical debt projects

If you have technical debt or need to migrate legacy applications, you may benefit from an experienced partner.

See what your team can achieve by partnering with NextLink Labs.

Digital Transformation Service