Challenge: I4C’s Voyce product needed a platform that could scale to meet demand fluctuations, as well as efficiently store and process customer data. The deployment required capabilities for fault tolerance and redundancy.
Solution: Cloud Consulting Services from Hitachi Vantara completed a comprehensive assessment of the existing architecture, uncovered the need for a defense-in-depth virtual infrastructure to optimize security and agility while processing big data. Cloud Operations Services from Hitachi Vantara ensure constant quality of performance.
The newly created big data platform collects and processes streaming data from Voyce sensors. This platform provides insights into key wellness indicators that assist in early pet illness detection, and provides cost savings through preventative care.
Voyce products require scale and resiliency across applications, services, integration and data infrastructure. Voyce must ensure that applications are architected to scale quickly to meet surges in demand. I4C and the Cloud Operations Services team developed a sophisticated back-end big data platform for Voyce that provides data processing, storage and analytics workflow services. With support from the technical implementation team, i4C leverages highly elastic and scalable infrastructure from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to meet its growing needs in the most cost-efficient and secure manner. Furthermore, Voyce was looking for a strategic partner to help manage and maintain its platform and applications on an ongoing basis, through managed services, to maintain this efficiency and security.
I4C expected the solution provider it selected to guide the company through implementing best practices. I4C also expected this solution provider to ensure the optimal use of AWS resources in delivering highly available and reliable application and data services. Requirements included deployment across multiple availability zones using AWS Elastic Load Balancing as well as building in capabilities for fault tolerance, redundancy and stateless session handling.
With Cloud Operations Service, Hitachi Vantara presents a one-stop shop of cloud consulting technical expertise combined with ongoing operations and management of cloud platforms. This offering provides customized operations support as well as ‘round-the-clock enterprise technical support.
The services team completed a comprehensive assessment of i4C’s existing architecture and recommended specific and actionable changes to improve performance and security (see Figure 1). The team also identified the components within the architecture that could take full advantage of AWS, such as AWS Auto Scaling, to automate the size of its server fleet and Amazon Elastic Load Balancing to distribute the traffic evenly among its servers.
Using automation tools, such as the AWS APls and Cloud Formation templates, the services team also created parallel environments to support development, testing, integration and production workloads. Furthermore, the team automated the deployment of load testing environments and saved costs by terminating the environment when testing was completed.
The team also helped improve i4Cs continuous integration, continuous delivery pipeline by installing and configuring Jenkins on Amazon EC2. A DevOps pipeline was built to improve i4C’s test-and-development life-cycle process, reducing the time from code to deployment by running automated build and testing scripts. For ongoing support, the services team included monitoring, alerting and automated trouble-ticketing solutions to ensure timely reporting and response to fixing unhealthy infrastructure and application errors. All applicable resources were configured to ship logs, including Amazon CloudWatch metrics, to the central logging system backed by Splunk Enterprise. This system also provides proactive monthly reports to i4C to check for cost optimizations, security improvement recommendations and any remediation recommendations.
In addition to optimizing application, data and services infrastructure, the technical implementation services team enhanced the security posture of i4C’s infrastructure (see Figure 2) to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of all data collected and processed. Using security best practices,the team implemented and configured multifactor authentication (MFA) to all the IAM users accessing the AWS console. At the same time, they provided secure remote access with SSL virtual private networks (VPNs), for developers and other team members to access Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) other cloud resources from i4C offices.
Using a defense-in-depth strategy, the team implemented protections at every layer from the network layer: A unified threat manager provided deep packet inspection and firewall controls. The server layer with host-based intrusion detection and prevention services was installed on Amazon EC2 instances with anti-malware, monitoring and logging agents to check for security threats and anomalies. And, finally, the AWS account layer provided secure Amazon VPC network access control lists and EC2 security groups to protect traffic at the subnet and instance layers.
Hitachi Vantara and i4C created a big data platform to collect and process streaming data from Voyce sensors. This big data platform provides insights into key wellness indicators, which assist in early illness detection and provides cost savings through preventative care. The platform consumes and uses Mulesoft on Amazon EC2 instances as its enterprise service bus. This approach helps to orchestrate the various services, which support order management, device connectivity, data ingestion and messaging services to provide data to the pet owner Wellness portal. The physical bands, that is, the internet of things (loT) devices, provide information from thousands of pets over HTTP and include billions of data points. These data points are then processed and stored through multiple layers, including Amazon SQS and S3.
“The cloud team works as a seamless extension to i4C, providing both AWS design expertise and 24/7 operational monitoring. The team provides a cost-effective means to ensure that our systems are scalable, running and secure. They have quickly become an integral, and long-term partner,” concludes Ben Maphis, director of program and vendor management at i4C.