STRATO AUTOMATION CASE STUDY
The Migration of Strato Automation to AWS Cloud
Who is STRATO AUTOMATION?
STRATO Automation is a Canadian based building automation manufacturer. They design devices allowing automated and centralized control of all heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems of buildings and offer a range of products for each automated solution.
Their mission is to make a difference in the automation industry by providing the most efficient & data-driven building solutions.
The ability to extend their on-prem systems in a secure and efficient way. They needed a cloud solution that connects their on-prem devices from different clients to a centralized cloud database and a custom query routing method. This had to be built with the least amount of overhead work, on the implementation side, for their clients.
A plan was put in place to connect the on-prem database to an AWS cloud database, offering their clients the ability to send control commands from a cloud interface to the on-premice controllers. Low maintenance on the client side, and minimal work to establish the initial connection to the cloud VPC was a large focus.
Serviops developed a method to route incoming query traffic based on its nature. This solution relied on both security and convenience, two characteristic that are are not usually mentioned in the same context. The set up ensured that any modifications of their cloud setup was confirm audited, version controlled and compliant to AWS best practices.
DEEP DIVE | The Whole Story
STEP ONE | Identifying the issues
One of the main challenges Strato Automation were facing was the ability to extend their on-prem systems in a secure and efficient way. Hence why they picked AWS as their AWS cloud provider. They needed a cloud solution that connects their on-prem devices from different clients to a centralized cloud database where all the data is being backed up and analyzed. The cloud solution also needed a query routing method that can split DB traffic based on the query type, and route it to a specific endpoint. All of this had to be built with the least amount of overhead work on the implementation side for their clients.
STEP TWO | Understanding the Requirements
Serviops had several meetings with the Strato Automation Team to understand how their current application works, and what their vision for a successful on-prem to cloud workflow was. The Strato Automation Team wanted to connect their on-prem database to an AWS cloud db where data is being constantly backed up. Next this data needed to be immediately available for reporting tasks or other data analysis. Another requirement by the Strato Automation team was to offer their clients the ability to send control commands from a cloud interface to the on-prem controllers. Serviops had to develop a method to route incoming query traffic based on its nature.
In addition to the above requirements, the Strato Automation team required a solution that is low maintenance on the client side, and that only requires a minimal amount of work to establish the initial connection to the cloud VPC. The solution established by Serviops relied on both security and convenience, two characteristic that are are not usually mentioned in the same context.
STEP THREE| Defining Architecture
After collecting the project requirements, it was time to pick the most suitable AWS services that could achieve what Strato Automation were seeking. Serviops decided to use AWS Database Migration Service (known as DMS). This was an obvious decision as DMS does its job quickly and securely, and can continuously replicate data between two endpoints, it’s also easy to configure and deploy. For specific compute tasks, AWS EC2 was chosen. While AWS QuickSight was recommended for data visualizations as it can easily connect to multiple cloud data sources and create meaningful data visualizations within dashboards.
STEP FOUR | Proposed Solution
The proposed AWS cloud solution included an RDS instance at the core of the setup to replicate the data from on-prem to the AWS Cloud. An EC2 setup that allows users to login and launch Strato Automation’s proprietary tools to query the backed-up cloud data. Another EC2 setup that will route specific queries to the database. AWS API Gateway to enable REST API calls from the web allowing for further integrations. AWS QuickSight for data analysis and visualization. AWS CloudWatch and CloudWatch Events to describe changes in AWS resources that can trigger AWS Lambda functions, and basically enable AWS SNS notifications to be sent out.
STEP FIVE | FLEXIBLE SET UP
All of Strato Automation’s resources were built/defined using AWS CloudFormation templates which takes advantage of an infrastructure as code approach. This approach allowed the Strato Automation team to manage and extend their clients’ setups simply by triggering a template create job whenever they need to add a new client. This ensured that any modifications and/or provisioning of new environments of their cloud setup was audited, version controlled and compliant to AWS best practices.
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How does Serviops help Strato Automation?
After the completion of the project, Serviops continues to offer Strato Automation with support on operational and design levels. This includes and not limited to AWS security consulting and best practices, DevOps tasks and operations, and leveraging further AWS services required to answer client needs.
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