- Location: Switzerland, Liestal, Basel
- Staff: 6
- Founded: 2017
- Stakeholders: Co-Founder: Daniel Waelchli, Head of Engineering: Gregor Kunz
- Main business focus: Data Analytics Solutions
- Company strengths: Innovation, Agile, Business Enablers
Build of Data Analytics SaaS solution
- Project aim: Build a highly automated and repeatable data analytics service for ThoughtSpot based on CloudFormation
- Project challenges:
- Lot of different AWS services
- Day2 Operation automation (monitoring, backup, patching)
- Various 3rd party stakeholders involved
- Various interconnections (Internet, VPN etc.)
- Used target cloud platform: AWS
- Used services: EC2, ALB, Config, CloudWatch, Config, GuardDuty, SSM, Backup, AWS SSO, Transit Gateway, s2s VPN, VPN Clients
- In the past, Digital Improvements has manually built up multiple environments on AWS themselves with services around EC2, EBS and ELB
- Needed to build multiple new environments rapidly in an automated way
- ThoughtSpot on EC2 VMs
- L7 Routing with ALB, TLS and DNS
- VPN integration to various destinations (3rd parties, VPN client)
- Repeatable business outcomes can be established
- Better compliance due to use of highly secured services and connections
- Security and disaster recovery capabilities on a much higher level
- Business can focus on business area without having to mind technical infrastructure aspects
- New environments for clients can be built within hours
- All documented in code and a proper documentation
- Highly secured services and data (Well-Architected from the beginning)
Daniel Waelchli from Digital Improvements:
“In the past, Digital Improvements has built their AWS environments manually, and that took a lot of time and was error-prone. Since we have copebit on board, we have automated the whole build process and can stand up well-architected environments in a few hours, which in the past took days or even weeks. In addition, we are sure that these environments are enterprise grade, well monitored and secured. And the best thing is, we don’t have to worry about the monitoring and patching of the infrastructure or backing up the servers. That is all automated as well. Now we can focus on our core business, which is working with data and doing analytics on it.”
Customer Reference Text
Digital Improvements is a Swiss based data analytics system integrator and managed services partner of ThoughtSpot. It offers services for its clients in the big data, data science and data analytics area. It offers ThoughtSpot and other advanced analytics solutions and manages those for their clients as a SaaS provider. It has a strong focus on helping clients improve their business with intelligent analytics and does so while embracing innovation, speed and being an enabler for new opportunities in their clients’ business. Digital improvements (DI) works with a variety of businesses, from small to large, in many different sectors like pharma, e-commerce and finance.
copebit has consulted Digital Improvements in the AWS sector for a number of years. Recently, multiple new clients had to be onboarded on to AWS and it became clear that the manual process of building environments could not be sustained and was not efficient or secure. copebit advised the client to start to build their various environments in an automated fashion, while utilizing cloudformation templates.
During multiple joint discovery workshops, the application, its components, tools and the infrastructure as well as all requirements in the disaster recovery area were documented. Many business and technical challenges were discussed, particularly in the area of scalability, stability, automation, high availability and continuity planning. One particular requirement with high importance to Digital Improvement was, that DI could in the future build such environments themselves, based on the automation routines provided.
An architecture, design and migration plan according to AWS Well-Architected principles was built, approved and executed over the next months. copebit designed and engineered the solution based on AWS CloudFormation. The actual architecture and construction took about two weeks. All components were modeled in CloudFormation, an Infrastructure as Code language from AWS. This approach allows great documentation from the start, repeatability and improved disaster recovery. In addition, a design pattern was chosen that specified that AWS Managed Services should be used whenever they fit the requirements. The actual implemented product set of AWS evolves around: EC2, ALB, Lambda, Config, CloudWatch, GuardDuty, SSM, Backup, AWS SSO, site2site VPN, Transit Gateway and Client VPN. The build was executed on time, in budget and with no major obstacles encountered.
As a result, DI can now focus on the development of the application and doesn’t have to waste scarce resources on IT infrastructure. The applications, databases and files are protected with better availability, and disaster recovery is highly improved with RPO and RTO lowered. The automation of many tasks relieves the DI team of worries about day-2 operations around monitoring, security, backup or patching.