December 17, 2021
When it comes to developing cloud-based solutions and porting legacy systems to the cloud, Amazon is the most mature. With more than 40% market share, Amazon has overtaken its closest competitors Azure and Google Cloud. No other cloud provider has such a variety of tools in their portfolio as Amazon. Amazon tools fit businesses of every size—from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. AWS is trusted by companies like Pfizer, Samsung, Netflix, Unilever, and Adobe.
Being certified as an AWS Select Consulting Services Partner, we know firsthand that there are good reasons for this. Here, we’ll talk about five problems that can be solved using AWS, based on our real-life projects.
On average, IT system downtime costs a business $5,600 per minute. That's over $330,000 an hour. In addition to financial losses, companies can also lose reputation and customer loyalty.
AWS offers a broad range of mechanisms to ensure system fault tolerance. These mechanisms help monitor the system status and detect issues so that you can fix them quickly and avoid downtime.
Softeq helped a client develop a digital signage solution for broadcasting ads in public venues. The solution includes devices that connect to large screens and periodically send their signals to the cloud. The team uses the AWS service CloudWatch to track device status. If any of the devices lose connection, engineers from our support team will be notified immediately. Then, we can find the source of the problem and fix it before end users experience any inconvenience.
When the amount of users increases, it puts additional load on the system infrastructure. To run smoothly, applications require more computing power. This situation could be rare, and the peak load will usually fade away.
If you're using on-premise servers, it isn't too hard to reach the limit of their computing capacity. And it will be impossible to react quickly to a sudden increase in demand. On the other hand, if your infrastructure is designed for maximum load, the computing capacity will probably not be efficiently utilized for long periods of time.
AWS Auto Scaling allows you to automatically adapt the computing power according to the real load of the system. You can temporarily increase the number of running servers without the need for long-term investment.
Softeq used Auto Scaling for the digital signage solution mentioned above. As our client's sales increase (and hence the devices in the system), the system monitors CPU usage metrics. When they reach a certain percentage, Auto Scaling accesses extra computing capacity. If the number of devices in use decreases, Auto Scaling responds by reducing the number of running servers. This way, the customer doesn't have to overpay for unused capacity, because their cloud infrastructure is always the right size.
If your application has a heavy workload, running it in the cloud can be costly. In addition, more and more companies are switching to cloud services, which is also reflected in rising prices.
AWS provides their clients with the option to save on computing costs by using spot instances. Spot instances are reserved but currently unused computing resources, offered at a big discount. Sometimes this discount can reach up to 90%. The only catch is that spot instances can be terminated by AWS with only two-minutes of notice.
Softeq helped a building company develop a platform for managing construction projects. Since the architecture of the solution lies in AWS, we suggested that the client optimize the costs with spot instances. We set the system up so that if any of the instances get terminated, it will automatically buy new ones. Since we only used spot instances for fault-tolerant functions, this didn’t degrade the performance of the application. As a result, the client was able to save about 40% of their computing resource costs.
To ensure security in applications, the first thing to take care of is securing management of credentials. There are several conventional approaches to do this, but each has risks:
These problems are easy to avoid with AWS Secrets Manager. The service allows you to safely store, manage, and retrieve credentials. This is made possible because the service is integrated with other AWS logging and monitoring services, allowing you to control the credential usage.
Softeq helped a laptop manufacturer create an app that enables security of their laptops. In particular, the app helps avoid industrial espionage and intellectual property theft. After purchasing the laptop and before using it, the administrator launches the application. It checks that no malware or tracking devices have been embedded in the laptop on the way from the manufacturer to their customer.
All laptop operations including the intrusion events are recorded in a digitally signed report. Our application verifies the report validity using cryptography keys. And AWS Secret Manager stores all sensitive data—addresses, keys, and credentials. This minimizes the likelihood of faking the report and therefore provides industrial espionage protection.
In the U.S., all healthcare solutions must comply with HIPAA standards. They’re important to protect medical records, prevent fraud, and secure transmission of patient data. To stay compliant, healthcare companies undergoing digital transformation need to take additional measures.
AWS provides a set of HIPAA-eligible services. They can be used to create secure medical solutions dealing with various types of medical data.
Some time ago, we helped a dental clinic develop a collaboration portal. Before, their employees‒general dentists, periodontists, prosthodontists, radiologists, etc.‒never had a unified communication system. It took a long time for all of them to access patient data, which slowed down diagnosis and treatment. Softeq created a communication system to speed up the workflow. Since this is a medical solution, we paid special attention to patient data protection to make the solution HIPAA compliant.
For example, the solution features a chat for doctor communication. To implement this function, we integrated a third-party chat solution. We used AWS Secrets Manager to securely store the integration data and credentials. We also used the AWS Cloudtrail service to track all user actions, including downloading, opening, and saving files. If data is leaked, the clinic management will know who leaked it, and how the patient data was used.
AWS services can simplify and speed up development and reduce costs. But working with AWS infrastructure requires expertise and experience. Given the huge number of tools in the AWS portfolio, it's not trivial to handle it on your own. That's why 9 out of 10 Fortune 100 organizations including Facebook, Netflix, and Adobe rely on AWS certified partners—companies whose expertise has been officially approved by AWS. And here are some reasons why.
Currently, AWS provides over 200 services including core computing, storage, databases, analytics, and machine learning. Every year their numbers grow. So AWS can suit literally all types of businesses and at any stage of their cloud journey. The downside is that it becomes overwhelming to understand which tool to choose. There’s also a high probability of inexperienced practitioners making mistakes, which leads to extra time fixing them.
Your rollout can be much faster if you work with experienced partners who know AWS inside out. They invest time and money in honing their skills in cloud migration and management. Also, they’re constantly watching for changes in the AWS technology.
Your cloud platform will be ready in a shorter time than it’s needed for training an internal team or hiring additional specialists. For an AWS partner, your cloud solution is not their first rodeo. They already have proven processes to shorten the development time. As a result, your internal team can focus on the work that impacts your main business and strategy.
Augmenting your in-house team with cloud professionals can be also too expensive, especially for small businesses. It would be more cost-effective to turn to AWS partners. They’re well-versed in existing AWS tools and understand the AWS pricing system very well. They’ll help you set up the infrastructure of your solution so that you will not overpay. What's more, an AWS partner knows how to configure AWS services without affecting the performance of your application.
Organizations such as banks or health care companies are dealing with large amounts of sensitive information. That’s why they experience cyberattacks more often than any other type of organization. If this sounds familiar, you also can't ignore data protection, since your solution will not meet regulatory requirements. This may also result in fines, remediation costs, and reputational risks.
Compared to on-premise data centers, securing a cloud environment may require your team to implement new tools to combat different types of threats. And of course, Amazon offers all the necessary tools to ensure the necessary level of security. But to make it all work, you should understand what you need, and which tool can help in each situation. A competent AWS partner can help you identify potential vulnerabilities, select the right tools to prevent risks, and automate ongoing security management.
AWS provides businesses with the most mature cloud infrastructure. This enables them to create fault-tolerant solutions that comply with the largest number of security standards.
Turn to Softeq, a certified AWS partner, to accelerate your digital transformation and get the most of the Amazon cloud environment. Our experts will help you create solutions that’ll scale up and down to adapt to your business growth. And if you need to migrate your legacy system to the cloud, we’ll make sure it will not disrupt your existing business processes. Contact us to learn more.