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Cardknox Launches PCI Compliant Cloud on AWS

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Download a PDF of the Cardknox Case Study here.

Chip-enabled card (EMV) payments are now the standard transaction model across the country. Cardknox, a developer-friendly payment gateway platform, was one of the first companies to build a comprehensive solution to accept EMV payments alongside eCommerce and API-based transactions. Cardknox’s success depends on building software at the cutting-edge of payment technology. Unfortunately, their traditional on-premises datacenter was slowing down their innovative development teams; deployments were manual, testing was manual, and their team was spending far too much time on server maintenance.

The Cardknox team decided to run on the AWS cloud and sought a partner to architect a new environment that met their PCI compliance goals while also improving reliability and performance. Cardknox engaged Logicworks, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner that specializes in building and managing secure, compliant AWS clouds.

“We started to play around with AWS, but realized that having an expert partner would reduce the pressure on our internal IT teams. We’re extremely happy to have found Logicworks,” says Bruce Zlotowitz, CMO of Cardknox. “They not only made our AWS migration faster and simpler, but they continue to provide guidance when we want to build new systems or try new technologies.”

Cardknox worked with Logicworks to build a CI/CD pipeline that improved deployment velocity.  Prior to migrating to AWS, Cardknox had a fairly traditional IT strategy. In-house servers were used for development and testing. Publishing code was a completely manual process. The team also spent considerable time performing day-to-day administration of the system including patching and updates, backups, monitoring the infrastructure, and managing their replicated SQL Server database.

Logicworks uses a combination of custom scripting and AWS-native features to automate blue/green deployment for Cardknox. Separate Virtual Private Clouds handle development, staging, and production. AWS CodeDeploy promotes code to production, validates it, and performs any roll-back as necessary. Logicworks’ proprietary systems automate recurring snapshots, monitoring, and security services.

“Logicworks didn’t deliver a cookie-cutter solution, they built a custom deployment pipeline that integrated with our systems and did exactly what we required,” says Yanky Weiss, CTO of Cardknox. “Now our deployment process is extremely organized and secure. Our automated AWS cloud is ideal both for our development team and our auditors.”

Through a combination of automated tools and engineering support, Logicworks ensures that the Cardknox environment maintains security and availability around the clock. Logicworks also helps Cardknox continually improve their environment; they migrated from SQL Server to Amazon Aurora in order to increase performance, get automatic of creation of read-replicas, and improve redundancy. Cardknox realized an immediate 6x bump in database performance, and benefits from increased redundancy. Cardknox also plans to be part of the new Multi-Master capabilities of Aurora that are being launched this year.

“AWS offers fantastic services, but there is still a lot of configuration and administration required,” says Zlotowitz. “Logicworks automates many of the tasks that we would otherwise have to do manually, including taking snapshots, deploying code, patching, and monitoring. We also leverage their engineering talent to evaluate and migrate to new AWS services like Amazon Aurora and CodeDeploy. Working with Logicworks has been a very positive experience.”


Cardknox is a developer-friendly EMV solution that can be integrated with POS systems using only a few lines of code. Offering gateway-only or integrated payments with the lowest rates and most aggressive residuals in the industry, Cardknox serves thousands of customers across every major industry throughout the United States, UK and Canada. The Cardknox solution supports Verifone, PAX, and Ingenico terminals with PCI-validated P2PE.


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