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FTP Solutions: A Roadmap for Custom Software in the Cloud

Cloud foundations, coaching and a modernisation roadmap with a POC delivered in just 2 weeks.

Tags

Enterprise DevOpsAWSTechnology

Date

Oct 2021

The Client

FTP Solutions is a software product company which specialises in hardware and software solutions for the resources industry.

Their unique single-pane-of-glass platform is used to collate, manage and view real-time data.

Traditionally FTP Solutions deployed their platform via customer managed data centres or hosted in their own private data centre solution.

The global footprint of FTP Solutions customers made this challenging however and they began to explore the possibility of modernising their solution based on the Amazon Web Service (AWS) public cloud.

This would also enable them to expand their market to a much wider client base using a Software as a Service (SaaS) commercial model for clients without their own hardware.

The Challenge

With little exposure to AWS, FTP Solutions was seeking a partner that could guide them on their journey to properly leverage a public cloud like Amazon Web Services (AWS) for custom built software products.

FTP Solutions were evaluating a number of options including building an entirely new and cloud native solution, or some combination of re-hosting or re-platforming their existing architecture.

Ultimately they were looking for a roadmap for hybrid cloud deployments - how to support existing customers and new cloud customers in a single codebase.

The scope of the problem included:

  • Identity management in the cloud including authentication and authorisation
  • Cloud security and governance including monitoring for cost, performance and errors
  • Optimising flexible storage solutions for different types of data
  • How to deploy a modern and flexible infrastructure solution
  • Performance optimisation based on regional location

The Solution

Mechanical Rock conducted a comprehensive assessment of their current state architecture, developed a target state architecture and laid out a roadmap to get them there.

The roadmap took into consideration the constraints of the organisation and the current cloud capability.

A significant objective was to reduce the cost per client to enable rapid scaling of the solution. A cost model was developed to inform decision making and drive innovation in cloud usage.

Chart displaying the forecast cost model for environments per number of subscribed clientsChart displaying the forecast cost model for environments per number of subscribed clients

All the of the recommendations are grounded in the AWS Well Architected Framework, ensuring the reliability, scalability and cost efficiency of the solution.

The Roadmap

The roadmap included:

  • A progressive migration from their bespoke container orchestration to a fully fledged Cloud Native serverless solution
  • Optimal tooling at each step, including for infrastructure configured 'as-code'
  • A method for migrating from single tenancy to shared tenants (SaaS) for cost optimisation
  • Foundational cloud security and governance based on industry leading practices, to avoid later rework and to provide secure foundations
  • Operational improvements in logging and monitoring to provide transparency and visibility of the workloads running in the cloud.

Diagram outlining the approach to achieve the target state architectureDiagram outlining the approach to achieve the target state architecture

The Benefits

The strategy and roadmap that Mechanical Rock have provided will give FTP Solutions a clear head start in its cloud modernisation journey. By considering options beyond a simple lift-and-shift migration, Mechanical Rock was able to add considerable value and insight that should serve FTP Solutions well in the coming years. In short, Mechanical Rock bootstrapped FTP Solutions cloud migration journey and saved them considerable time and effort and provided them with a secure cloud foundation on which to grow their business.

  • Delivered basic AWS infrastructure and account configuration in line with AWS Well Architected principles.
  • Coached the team (experiential learning) to get the system up and running in AWS - reducing their lead time and enabling them to easily establish a cost model.
  • Helped the FTP Solutions team to deliver a proof of concept in the cloud in only 2 weeks.
  • Transitioned the FTP Solutions team to be self supporting and identified a backlog of tasks to deliver the roadmap to the required schedule.


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