Elpro Buchs AG

Company Overview


  • Location: Switzerland, Buchs, St. Gallen
  • Staff: 220
  • Founded: 1986
  • Stakeholders: CEO: Philipp Osl, Head of Engineering: Dirk Neumann

Business Focus

  • Main business focus: monitoring & documentation solutions for pharmaceutical industries
  • Company strengths: strategic partnership, innovation, compliance, strong team focus
Elpro Buchs AG

Project Overview

Build of ElproCloud Environment

  • Project aim: build a highly automated ElproCloud environment based on CloudFormation
  • Project challenges:
    • Innovative application architecture with microservices
    • Various integration points
    • Highly dynamic environment with many releases and stakeholders
    • Various interconnections (Internet, VPN, on-prem, telcos)

Implemented solution:

  • Used target cloud platform: AWS
  • Used services: ECS Fargate, RDS Aurora, ALB, Config, CloudWatch, Config, GuardDuty, SSM, Backup, AWS SSO, Transit Gateway, s2s VPN, VPN Clients


Technical Background

  • In the past, Elpro has manually built up two environments on AWS themselves with a modern architecture based on ECS Fargate and RDS
  • Needed to build multiple new environments in an automated way
    Microservices on container images, databases in Aurora
  • L7 Routing with ALB
  • VPN integration to various destinations (telco, on-prem, client)

Achieved Results

Business Benefits

  • Better demonstration abilities for Elpro customers
  • Faster delivery of new features due to automated build of environments
  • Better compliance and data integrity due to use of highly secured services and connections
  • Security and disaster recovery capabilities on a much higher level
  • Development can focus on business area instead of technical infrastructure aspects

Technical Benefits

  • New environments can be built within hours
  • All documented in code; a proper documentation
  • Highly secured services and data (Well-Architected from the beginning)

Customer Quote

Wolfgang Lueger from Elpro:

“copebit has been a very valuable partner for us in this project. Over the last six months, we have massively increased our AWS expertise and capabilities. The responsiveness of copebit and their DevOps is excellent, and their AWS expertise is extremely good. They know our systems and complement our DevOps practices very well. Our ElproCloud Demo environment is now built according to AWS Well-Architected principles and we can now migrate our existing environments based on the same templates ourselves. Due to the help of copebit, all our systems on AWS are soon highly secure, automated, well documented and maintained.”


Customer Reference Text

Elpro Buchs AG (Elpro) is a company that builds solutions that monitor and log data and metrics for pharmaceutical companies. Their solutions are available since 1986 and are in use by very large pharma corporations in Switzerland and worldwide. Their strong focus on innovation, compliance and team spirit has enabled them to become a recognized business partner in the pharma, healthcare and biotech industries.

Elpro has approached copebit AG (copebit) in the summer 2020 to build a complete new AWS infrastructure for their ElproCloud demonstration system. Elpro has already built and operated two AWS environments themselves in a manual way but wanted to get this new environment built in an automated fashion and based on Well-Architected principles.

During multiple joint discovery workshops, the application, its microservices, 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 requirements with high importance to Elpro was to allow Elpro to build more such environments themselves, based on the automation routines provided.

Over the next months, an architecture, design and migration plan according to AWS Well-Architected principles was built, approved and executed. copebit designed and engineered the solution based on AWS CloudFormation. The actual architecture and construction took about six weeks. All components were modeled in CloudFormation, an Infrastructure as Code language by 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: ECS-Fargate, ALB, RDS Aurora, Lambda,  Config, CloudWatch, GuardDuty, SSM, Backup, AWS SSO, site2site VPN, Transit Gateway and Client VPN. The build was executed in time, at budget and with no major obstacles encountered.
As a result, Elpro can now focus on the development of the application and don’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 Elpro team of worries about day-2 operations around security, backup or patching.