Schneider Electric is an international energy management specialist operating in more than 100 countries. The company has over 110,000 employees providing products and services related to electrical distribution, automation and control, critical power and cooling, and renewable energies. Schneider Electric focuses on “making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive, and green.”
In 2011, the energy specialist began exploring the possibility of adding Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) options to its existing Internet and Intranet environments. Yves Martelle, Schneider Electric’s Director of Infrastructure and Operations for Global Internet Services, explains that his IT team chose to test Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its IaaS provider. “Following this evaluation, we made the decision to momentarily industrialize the AWS solution for both Internet and Intranet non-critical business applications. Today, we have fifteen applications live on AWS.”
Schneider Electric called upon Edifixio, a consulting firm and systems integrator, to migrate its applications into the new AWS infrastructure. Edifixio is an AWS Solutions Provider with several years of experience in large-scale AWS implementations. With the help of Edifixio, Schneider Electric was able to quickly immerse itself in IaaS technology.
“We believe that IaaS will significantly change the way IT will deliver infrastructure services to the business. As an IT team, we wanted to stay ahead of the business and quickly develop some experience with an IaaS solution. We selected AWS because they are a leader in that field and also because our partner Edifixio already had the required experience, so we were able to move fast,” notes Yves Martelle.
For its Intranet-based applications, Schneider Electric is using Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) in combination with the Riverbed Cloud Steelhead service. Riverbed Cloud Steelhead accelerates data traffic between the company’s existing wide-area network and its Amazon VPC. Since the migrated applications are Java and .NET-based legacy systems, the Schneider Electric IT team established the applications within the Amazon VPC using the necessary Windows and Linux operating systems.
This initial experience with Amazon Web Services provided Schneider Electric with the IaaS experience it was seeking. The company now plans to expand its AWS platform to include additional applications and business units.
Yves Martelle believes other companies should consider leveraging AWS when expanding their own infrastructures: “Our implementation has been focused on relatively simple solutions, so we have not faced many complex technical challenges, yet. At this time, we find that implementing AWS has been easier than we thought. My only recommendation to other IT decision makers would be to experiment with IaaS at the earliest opportunity.