Grow Your Business Through Software Application Modernization on Amazon Aurora

Organizations are demanding more from their software providers and are increasingly abandoning rigid, expensive, and restrictive legacy technology in favor of more flexible, cost-effective cloud solutions. As they make this journey, they want solutions that free them from the burden of their legacy technologies, such as commercial databases.

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In the face of these changes, independent software vendors (ISVs) need to modernize their approach to application development and offer flexible, cloud-native solutions that do not require their customers to purchase and manage commercial databases. Many organizations are turning to Amazon Aurora as a solution that can provide the best of both worlds. Onica knows AWS, and in this article, learn how they can help you leverage your expertise as an ISV to build modern software applications on Amazon Aurora.

Learn how:

  • ISVs can tap into AWS customer base, simplify adoption for customers, and be more responsive to customer needs when running applications on AWS using Amazon Aurora.
  • Onica can help you accelerate your application modernization on Amazon Aurora by providing guidance around architectural design, security and compliance, and cost optimization.
  • Alistair Group reaped the benefits of Amazon Aurora with Onica’s help to flexibly and cost-effectively store data at a persistent state.

Intro: Why are customers abandoning commercial databases and other legacy technology?

Organizations have more software options than ever before. For that reason, they demand more from their software providers, and are increasingly abandoning rigid, expensive, and restrictive legacy technology in favor of more flexible, cost-effective cloud solutions.

While cloud was once considered only viable for workloads like dev/test and backup, it is quickly becoming the de facto standard for deploying new applications.

As they make this shift, many organizations are also looking to eliminate commercial databases. Expensive, difficult to manage, and complex to license properly, commercial databases are notoriously restrictive for the organizations that run them. Open source databases often provide greater simplicity and cost-effectiveness, but lack the performance and availability of commercial databases. Amazon Aurora is a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud, that combines the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. Many customers are turning to Amazon Aurora as a solution that can provide the best of both worlds.

Why run your application on AWS?

In the face of these changes, independent software vendors (ISVs) need to modernize and offer flexible, cloud-native solutions that do not require their customers to purchase and manage commercial databases. Otherwise, they face the threat of becoming irrelevant to customers on Amazon Web Services (AWS). By running their applications on AWS using Amazon Aurora, ISVs can:

  • Tap into the AWS customer base for business growth: AWS has more than a million active customers, which speaks volumes about organizations’ desire to replace their legacy technology with cloud solutions. By running your application on AWS, you can meet customer demand for cloud-native solutions and become more relevant to the millions of AWS customers.
  • Simplify adoption for new and existing customers: By eliminating the need to purchase, deploy, and manage commercial databases or on-premises infrastructure to support your application, you can make it significantly simpler for customers to adopt it.
  • Become more responsive to your customers’ needs: Since organizations have heightened expectations of the technology they use, the ability to release updates and new features quickly and repeatably is essential. When you run your application on AWS, you can leverage its on-demand infrastructure, and broad and deep set of cloud services, to develop new functionality in response to customer feedback and roll it out faster than you could on-premises.

As an ISV, you may be wondering how to do this quickly and cost-effectively. You are likely well-versed in building and running your applications, but if you aren’t as well versed in cloud architecture and cloud operations, leveraging an expert who knows AWS inside and out can greatly expedite your application modernization.

Introducing Onica

Onica is an AWS Partner Network (APN) Premier Consulting Partner that helps companies operate and innovate in the cloud. Solely focused on AWS, their mission is to enable customers to be the best cloud consumers they can be, and they’ve helped thousands of customers transform their businesses by leveraging AWS.

They hold eight AWS Competencies (Data and Analytics, DevOps, Education, Healthcare, IoT, Microsoft, Migration, and Storage) and are an AWS Managed Service Partner.

Onica knows AWS and can help you leverage your expertise as an ISV to build great applications on Amazon Aurora. Their guidance primarily focuses on the following three key areas:

  • Architectural design: To help you best take advantage of the dynamic nature of AWS infrastructure, Onica will work to understand how your application functions and design an AWS architecture that provides high performance, high availability, and adherence to AWS best practices.
  • Security and compliance: Customers demand that the applications they use offer a strong security posture and are compliant with regulatory requirements. By applying Onica’s risk assessment and mitigation strategies, they can help you build security into your application architecture.
  • Cost optimization: Onica can help you run your application for the lowest possible cost, enabling you to pass those savings on to your customers and increase your margins.

Architectural Design

Many customers want to lift and shift their on-premises architecture to AWS. While this is often the fastest way to get up and running on AWS, very rarely is it the optimal way. Most on-premises environments are not designed to take advantage of the dynamic nature of cloud resources. Thus, they’re typically over-provisioned as a means of staying prepared for spikes in demand. On AWS, resources can be provisioned very quickly to accommodate unexpected demand, so this over-provisioning is entirely unnecessary.

It is also very uncommon for on-premises environments to leverage microservices architectures, which have proven to provide greater agility, cost-effectiveness, and developer productivity than monolithic architectures in most cases. By leveraging the AWS Well-Architected Framework, Onica can help you develop your AWS architecture so that it aligns with AWS best practices and leverages more modern architectural frameworks like microservices.

The result?

An application architecture that delivers high-performance and availability for your customers at a lower cost. Your developer team also benefits from the ability to roll out new features and changes faster, which enables you to be more responsive to customer feedback.

Cost optimization

Onica can help you run your application for the lowest possible cost, enabling you to pass those savings on to your customers and increase your margins. On average, Onica customers save 26% on their AWS bills.

This is achieved using their Cloud Optimizer tool, a billing and management service for your AWS deployment, that provides clear insights into your AWS spend and recommendations on how to save money. Cloud Optimizer is paired with the Onica team’s extensive experience helping AWS customers achieve cost savings through several techniques:

  • Proper infrastructure sizing: As previously mentioned, most on-premises environments are over-provisioned out of sheer necessity. Since AWS infrastructure can be quickly and predictably deployed, running on AWS allows you to get away from this over-provisioned state and align your IT resources more closely with your application’s requirements.
  • Minimizing idle resources: Customers who are new to AWS sometimes forget to turn idle resources they’re not using off. You will be shown how to get a clear picture of exactly which resources are running in your AWS environment, so you can quickly identify idle resources that can be turned off, which translates to significantly lower costs.
  • Avoiding common pitfalls: There are several ways that customers often spend more than is necessary to support their applications. One of the most common practices is running separate environments for each customer’s instance of your solution. Showing you how to take advantage of multi-tenancy will help you reduce costs and simplify deployments. Another common pitfall is not taking advantage of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Reserved Instances for applications with predictable compute requirements.

Cloud Optimizer is included as part of your Onica and AWS engagement for no additional charge.

Customer Success Story: Alistair Group

About Alistair Group

Alistair Group is an East Africa-based logistics company that helps customers move 650,000 tons of cargo per year, across 14 countries.

As their operation expanded, they quickly outgrew their existing tools and needed a solution to help manage their group of contractors, drivers, trucks, trailers, and load assignments. So, they engaged Onica to help them modernize their operations with a cloud-native application on AWS.

The Onica and AWS Solution

Onica worked with Alistair Group to quickly develop the business use case for building their custom application with a sprint-based, iterative approach. Rather than starting with a web server to host the application, Onica started with Amazon API Gateway to host a REST API. The back end leveraged a variety of AWS technologies, including:

  • Amazon Aurora to flexibly and cost-effectively store data at a persistent state
  • AWS Lambda to host all application logic
  • Amazon Elasticsearch for full text search capabilities and analysis

The benefits

This development model kept costs low as Alistair Group scaled up, but allowed the flexibility to scale down when they needed. There would be no need to re-architect later, because the underlying AWS resource can dynamically scale as their requirements change. Now, Alistair’s truck drivers can receive assignments, report and monitor progress, and automatically report driver performance metrics on the go, which significantly streamlined and automated their operations processes.

Source: Onica