Since 2006, ESUPERFUND has helped customers in Australia create self-managed super funds (SMSFs). ESUPERFUND administers all aspects of a SMSF's compliance obligations, including financial, tax return and audit statements. The company provides an online client portal, a tax-return service, free pension compliance reviews, and other financial products. In 2012 and 2013, SmartInvestor magazine identified ESUPERFUND as the nation’s number one provider of low-balance and discount SMSF services. With headquarters in Melbourne and partnerships with major Australian financial institutions, ESUPERFUND has a client base of 12,000 customers.

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By using AWS, we were able to increase our server numbers by six times while reducing our operating costs by 40%.”

Min Li
IT Project Manager, ESUPERFUND

The Challenge

When Min Li joined ESUPERFUND as its IT Project Manager in 2013, the company still relied on a local data enter that was struggling to keep pace with the growing business’s IT requirements. During periods of increased traffic, such as the first few months of each new financial year, servers at the data center often crashed because of insufficient memory and processing power. “It was a disaster,” says Li. “On the one hand, we knew that our service had the potential to really change the way Australians approach their retirement savings. On the other, the frequent downtime we experienced was incredibly damaging to our business confidence.”

The company faced three central challenges. First, ESUPERFUND needed a secure environment to protect its clients’ sensitive personal and financial data. Additionally, the company wanted to avoid spending money on physical solutions that might require expensive upgrades. And finally, the IT infrastructure had to be able to handle significant user growth. To address these challenges, ESUPERFUND wanted to find a cloud provider that could scale to support traffic to its website and store client data securely while reducing overall IT costs, “We were determined that any changes to our IT infrastructure should help us overcome our existing challenges without creating new ones,” says Li.

Why Amazon Web Services

While Li worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS) previously, the company still considered several cloud service providers before choosing AWS. “We consulted several network specialists and scrutinized our options very carefully,” says Li. “In the end, we found that nobody could compare to AWS in terms of reliability, security, scalability, and performance.

ESUPERFUND began its transition from its data center to the AWS Cloud in January 2014. To minimize security risks, the process was staged over six months. “We had very high expectations when it came to speed and security,” says Li. “But not once was AWS unable to provide a product that perfectly matched our needs. It made the entire transition smooth, simple, and even quite exciting.”

ESUPERFUND’s website infrastructure and customer database are now entirely hosted by AWS. The company runs its client portal and internal applications on Windows .NET 4.0 servers hosted by 26 Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Reserved Instances. The instances are also used to host ESUPERFUND’s online customer database. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) stores about 2 TB of data for its .NET applications. “This figure is growing by 5–10 percent a month,” says Li. “Thanks to our ability to scale up with Amazon S3, we know that we won’t need to worry about running out of space.” Elastic Load Balancing routes application traffic between services. ESUPERFUND uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for MySQL to host a database containing clients’ personal information. The company also uses a Linux-based Amazon EC2 environment to host its data transfer services.

The entire website infrastructure is run within AWS Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), which allows the company to maintain tight control over who can access the data. For additional data security, ESUPERFUND uses AWS Direct Connect to provide a secure and private link between AWS servers and ESUPERFUND’s Melbourne headquarters. The company uses Amazon Glacier to routinely back up and archive ESUPERFUND’s proprietary information. Amazon CloudWatch gives the company the ability to monitor server usage and Reserved Instances as required.


Since 2006, ESUPERFUND has helped customers in Australia create self-managed super funds (SMSFs).

Benefits of AWS

  • Decreases website load times by 2-3x
  • Reduced operating costs by 40%
  • Easily supports business growth

AWS Services Used

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud.

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Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.

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Elastic Load Balancing

Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple targets, such as Amazon EC2 instances, containers, IP addresses, and Lambda functions.

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Amazon RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.

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