Global Leaders in Cruise Industry Failover-Failback

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Norwegian Cruise Lines is a leading global cruise holding company with a portfolio of three award-winning brands and a vision to be the vacation of choice for everyone around the world. It provides cruise experiences for travelers with itineraries in North America, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Central America, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. It also offers an entirely inter-island itinerary in Hawaii. The company was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Miami, FL.


Norwegian Cruise Line wanted their business critical environment running on AWS to be resilient against any and all kinds of failures and was looking for a one stop solution to ensure their cloud environment is completely protected. The company just had migrated a lot of its on-prem business critical applications including the one that allows their customers to book their luxury cruises, to AWS in the us-east-1, North Virginia region. The IT team, coming from the datacenter mindset, their definition of success criteria for a DR solution was to successfully failover and then failback to the original environment. So, they wanted their cloud applications to failover and failback to make sure they can move back to the original production environment after a failover event.

Adding to the complexity, recovery of the applications, cloud services, dependencies and the data should be to a pre-created VPC in the DR region, in this case Oregon US-west-1 region. Recovering into an existing VPC is important as their production environments had some central systems running in their datacenters and both the primary and DR sites in the cloud needed to communicate to their DC based central systems in order to operate during a partial disaster scenario.

Moreover, the complete failover was expected to be fully automated along with the internal DNS configured in the AWS Route 53. Failback was expected to revert the Route53 DNS settings back to their original state so that the application endpoints talk to each other automatically without any manual intervention.

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