The Government of India Powers a Population-Scale Vaccine Drive on AWS
In 2021, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, needed a highly reliable, scalable, and resilient technical infrastructure to power a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination drive for India’s more than 1.3 billion citizens. The ideal solution would support vaccine access for India’s diverse population and be deployable quickly.
To facilitate the required performance and speed, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare engaged India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to build an application powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The result was a microservices-based, cloud-native architecture developed from the ground up on AWS. Using the elasticity and agility of AWS-managed solutions, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the Co-WIN application quickly at population scale. Co-WIN scales in seconds to handle user registrations and consistently supports 10 million vaccinations daily.
Given the functionalities enshrined within the application and its proven results to sustain a large volume of data and transactions, Co-WIN, which is powered by AWS, can certainly enhance various public health programs.”
Chief Technology Officer, Digital India Corporation, and Director, National e-Governance Division, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India
Seeking a Resilient, Agile Architecture
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare supports health policy in India by delivering technical advice on public health matters and implementing health services and programs. When the ministry needed to roll out a timely, digital vaccination campaign in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it chose AWS to develop a secure, resilient architecture and to deliver its solution at scale.
The solution had to be agile and facilitate fast speed to market while being capable of automatically scaling capacity up or down to accommodate a changing application load. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology delivered this functionality for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare by using AWS and working alongside Trigyn Technologies Limited (Trigyn), an AWS Partner. Trigyn and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare sought to create a high-performing, reliable, cost-effective infrastructure solution capable of rapidly scaling to handle huge surges in demand. “Using AWS to automate infrastructure management was the key to maintaining excellent performance despite demand peaks that exceeded one billion transactions per day,” says Rajesh Patel, senior vice president for delivery at Trigyn.
Additionally, the solution relied on Intel, an AWS Partner, using Intel-based AWS resources to deliver the large-scale compute that the use case requires. After spending 12–14 weeks on design and implementation, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare delivered Co-WIN, a secure registration service that relies on AWS for functions that include compute, database service, monitoring, and networking.
Implementing a Solution at Population Scale
The Co-WIN application launched on January 15, 2021, for 30 million healthcare and frontline workers. The application team fine-tuned the solution and resolved challenges that arose. The application became available for citizens aged 60 and above in March and to those 45 and above 1 month later. When application access opened to those in the 18–44 age group, unprecedented traffic volumes saw the solution scale in 1 minute from 6,000 requests per second to 46,000 requests per second. On April 28, 2021, 13.4 million people registered, and 3 million were vaccinated.
Delivering fast scaling without the requirement to manage servers, the solution relies on Amazon DynamoDB, a fully managed, serverless, key-value NoSQL database designed to run high-performance applications at virtually any scale. The use of Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS)—a managed container service to run and scale Kubernetes applications—also helps the ministries deliver performance and high availability for registrants.
On September 15, 2021, the Government of India set a goal to offer 25 million vaccinations in 1 day from its current level of 10 million vaccinations per day. The project team was able to support 25.1 million vaccinations 2 days later. Using Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network service, Co-WIN scaled to 4.9 billion requests that day. And using Amazon API Gateway—a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at virtually any scale—the solution supported the peak of 70,000 hits per second. By using AWS—including Amazon CloudFront for caching and Amazon API Gateway for throughput—the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in consultation with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, scaled up to support this large-scale vaccination event.
By using Amazon DynamoDB—which critically supports data persistence—alongside Amazon EKS, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon CloudFront, the Co-WIN application can scale dynamically without manual intervention to manage the incoming load and help prevent downtime. On AWS, 99 percent of Co-WIN application requests have a response time of less than 2 seconds. The Co-WIN solution is deployed across three Availability Zones to support business continuity and deliver high availability to users. “There is no single point of failure across the compute, storage, networking, or security layers,” says Debabrata Nayak, chief technology officer of the Digital India Corporation and director at the National e-Governance Division of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Additionally, to monitor the solution at scale and keep the system healthy, the Government of India relies on Amazon CloudWatch, a monitoring and observability service. Using Amazon CloudWatch delivers visibility and actionable insights that support better performance and resource use.
Co-WIN also runs detailed analytical reports that provide insights to administrators at the state, district, and facility levels using Amazon Redshift, a widely used, scalable data warehouse that powers a public-facing Co-WIN dashboard tracked by thousands of users concurrently. Analytics dashboards refresh within a few minutes using transactional data streamed from Amazon DynamoDB to Amazon Redshift using Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose, which reliably loads real-time streams into data lakes, warehouses, and analytics services.
Delivering Access and a Single Source of Truth
The scalable solution powers a countrywide COVID-19 vaccination drive, supporting vaccine access through an inclusively designed system and user interface and providing a single source of truth for the administration and tracking of vaccinations. “Co-WIN made it easier for people to get vaccinated and showcased how holistic digital assets can be created and seamlessly combined into an interoperable system that facilitates digital accessibility,” says Nayak. As of January 19, 2022, the solution had handled over 990 million user registrations and supported over one billion vaccination doses.
The ministries are optimistic about deploying Co-WIN as a universal vaccination application to manage and administer other national-level vaccination programs. “Given the functionalities enshrined within the application and its proven results to sustain a large volume of data and transactions, Co-WIN, which is powered by AWS, can certainly enhance various public health programs,” says Nayak.
To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/dynamodb.
About the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is a government ministry that promotes inclusive and sustainable growth of electronics, IT, and IT-enabled services industries in India. It promotes e-governance for empowering Indian citizens.
Benefits of AWS
- Deployed a secure and highly scalable solution quickly
- Scaled from 6,000 requests per second to 46,000 requests per second in 1 minute
- Registered 13.4 million people and supported 3 million vaccinations on April 28, 2021
- Delivered 25.1 million vaccinations on September 17, 2021
- Supported 70,000 API hits per second and served 4.9 billion CDN requests in one day
- Scales automatically and delivers high availability, supporting 10 million vaccinations per day
- Delivers a response time of less than 2 seconds on 99% of requests
- Supports vaccine access and administration
AWS Services Used
Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed, serverless, key-value NoSQL database designed to run high-performance applications at any scale.
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS)
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) is a managed container service to run and scale Kubernetes applications in the cloud or on-premises.
Amazon API Gateway
Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale.
Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience.
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