Improving Data Availability By Migrating Legacy Workloads To The Cloud

Moving manual simulation and design optimization process to the AWS Cloud, using AWS ECS Fargate, Lambda, S3 and DDB building blocks

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Improving Data Availability By Migrating Legacy Workloads To The Cloud


Problem

We recently worked with an innovative engineering company struggling with traceability of their design process. Incoming customer requests trigger an multi-stage design process involving several teams with disparate tooling and techniques.

The first step of this process involved an in-house python app run manually by design engineers. Due to the rapidly changing nature of both customer requirements and the cutting edge of the design process it was common for changes to not be fully propagated.

The lack of accessibility to the first stage of the process forced involved of design engineers in the pre-sales process - not only did this divert valuable expertise from on-going projects it also slowed the incoming sales funnel.

Automating the first step of the design process offers real improvement to our clients sales and design pipelines - a real win for any project!

Solution

Migrating existing software to the cloud can be a daunting task but, as we show here, it doesn’t need to be complex and the benefits can be reaped quickly.

The advent of containerisation, in particular Docker infrastructure, has democratised the cloud - It’s now possible to package existing software into discrete units easily deployable to any major cloud provider. This stable and repeatable infrastructure opens the door to migrate existing work-loads with minimal modifications while also providing access to the latest cloud services.

To enable utility of this software to non-technical staff a simple web interface was built that accepts well defined customer requirements in terms that both customers and sales staff understand. Not only has this freed up technical staff but it has expiated the pre-sales process - allowing customers to receive initial estimates while standing at a conference stand!

The backend infrastructure between the front end web interface and dockerised software is where the data traceability benefits are realised. All incoming requests are tracked in a cloud database along with their results and versioned design parameters. This allows every member of the team to understand the full lifecycle of all incoming customer requirements and easily re-run any jobs where newer design parameters become available at a later date.

Benefits

Our solution was delivered on schedule and to budget allowing our client to see its benefits as soon as possible. The project transformed the pre-sales experience and removed dependence on design resources at this stage.