AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

How nClouds Helped OperationsRx Build and Deploy a SaaS Solution on AWS

By Alex McPherson, Director of Technology – OperationsRx
By Carlos Luna, Sr. DevOps Engineer – nClouds
By Rowena Branch, Global Program Manager – AWS
By Ranjith Raman, Principal Solutions Architect – AWS


The AWS SaaS Competency helps software companies build, market, and sell software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions on Amazon Web Services (AWS) by connecting them with qualified, validated system integrator (SI) partners.

Through the AWS SaaS Competency program, organizations are certified to support customers’ entire SaaS journey—from initial build to go-to-market (GTM) and continued growth.

The AWS SaaS Factory team recently spoke with Carlos Luna, Sr. DevOps Engineer at nClouds, about its collaboration with OperationsRx, and the key lessons learned from their journey to building SaaS on AWS.

OperationsRx specializes in business analytics systems and solutions, collaborating with some of the leading entities in manufacturing, supply chain, technology, and distribution. It started working with nClouds to help their supply chain customers with analytics and to integrate seamlessly with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

“Since we had a multi-year engagement with nClouds, it was important to build the project timeline with smaller milestones while nClouds guided us through the entire process. nClouds set their expectations with us upfront, so we were able to manage the anxiety which comes with a multi-year engagement. We had to build a detailed project breakdown to migrate from a monolithic, on-premises environment to a cloud environment with SaaS solutions.” ~ Alex McPherson, Director of Technology at OperationsRx

nClouds is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and Managed Service Provider (MSP) that has achieved five AWS Competencies including DevOps, SaaS, and Migration. nClouds partners with customers to build and manage modern infrastructure solutions that deliver innovation faster.

Q&A with nClouds

AWS SaaS Factory: Can you tell us more about nClouds and its SaaS consulting practice?

Carlos Luna: nClouds is headquartered in San Francisco and is an award-winning AWS Premier Tier Services Partner focused on helping organizations accelerate innovation. We partner with customers to migrate, modernize, and manage cloud operations initiatives to support their digital transformation journeys.

We provide high-performance consulting and support solutions for every stage of the cloud journey, enabling our customers to improve business agility and innovation velocity, reduce operational costs, and improve workforce efficiencies. nClouds’ core practices include cloud migration, application modernization, cloud optimization, managed services, and DevOps.

AWS SaaS Factory: Please share the challenges faced by OperationsRx and the reason they chose to work with nClouds?

Carlos Luna: OperationsRx attempted to transition from an on-premises to a cloud-based solution; however, they encountered obstacles such as slow migration, manual deployment, and the absence of a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline.

As the OperationsRx business was growing, it became a challenge to keep software versions updated with the latest patches and features. OperationsRx faced critical technical challenges stemming from inadequate cloud security measures and the need to centralize its infrastructure. They recognized the need to consider industry regulations to safeguard sensitive data and streamline operations.

OperationsRx reached out to nClouds to support their digital transformation and post-transition support. nClouds was the preferred partner since they were committed to support OperationsRx during the entire SaaS journey, from the mindset to deployment. The empathy and partnership nClouds offered OperationsRx was the main reason nClouds became the preferred partner.

AWS SaaS Factory: Tell us about the approach you took to help OperationsRX determine the right set of solutions?

Carlos Luna: To address the technical challenges, nClouds utilized AWS services to provide a comprehensive solution. This included Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), AWS Fargate, and a collection of fully managed CI/CD services provided by AWS. This includes services like AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodeBuild, and AWS CodePipeline that helped OperationsRx automate the software development lifecycle, from code building and testing to deployment and monitoring.

AWS SaaS Factory: Can you walk us through the architecture? What AWS services are key?

Carlos Luna: nClouds utilized Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate to implement a serverless architecture that allowed OperationsRx to scale its workloads quickly and efficiently. This architecture provided a more streamlined and cost-effective approach to manage the firm’s infrastructure, by paying for only the resources used.

OperationsRx previously leveraged Microsoft SQL Server to store all data in the backend. nClouds helped OperationsRx with its migration project, where for the relational database Amazon RDS for SQL Server was chosen, which provided low maintenance costs and enabled multi-region and multi-account backups. This allowed for enhanced security and disaster recovery capabilities.Launch Button

Figure 1 – OperationsRx architecture.

The Amazon ECS service, powered by AWS Fargate, helped implement a serverless architecture that allowed OperationsRx with scaling and efficiency. Blue/Green deployments become streamlined using AWS CodeDeploy, ensuring seamless releases for both fixes and updates to the software.

AWS Backup was leveraged in this architecture for database backups and the AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS) replicates client databases to customer hosted databases. AWS DMS uses a secure connection over a virtual private network (VPN) gateway and site to site VPN tunnels to connect to the customer network.

Finally, traffic is load balanced through an Application Load Balancer hosted in a public subnet.

AWS SaaS Factory: Please hare with us the advantages and benefits that OperationRx is experiencing with their new SaaS architecture?

Carlos Luna: The top three advantages and benefits are:

  • Enhanced reliability and availability: Multiple AWS Availability Zones (AZs) were leveraged to provide high availability, fault tolerance, and scalability. AWS Organizations enables policy-based management of multiple AWS accounts, giving developers a worry-free environment to innovate without breaking the production environment. Terraform infrastructure as code (IaC) provides OperationsRx with automatic updates, reusability, and reliable backups for databases. Application Load Balancer helps improve the scalability, reliability, and performance efficiency of the AWS environment, while Amazon Route 53 provides a highly available public endpoint.
  • Faster time to market: nClouds created a CI/CD pipeline using AWS CodeBuild and AWS CodePipeline, which automates the integration, delivery, and deployment process to create faster time-to-market for new features and innovations. Prior to working with nClouds, the deployment time averaged three months and now it is just one to two weeks.
  • Freedom to focus on innovation: nClouds’ 24/7 support services monitors alerts and remediates issues, giving OperationsRx engineers more time to focus on new features and innovations instead of spending valuable time fixing issues in the environment. Furthermore, leveraging AWS’s suite of managed services means benefiting from built-in integrations with other AWS offerings, simplifying workflows and further optimizing operational processes.

AWS SaaS Factory: What advice would you share with other software providers as they navigate to SaaS and address similar scenarios?

Carlos Luna: Our goal was to adopt new technologies which would deliver business value. For example, through the combination of using AWS managed services and running our infrastructure on Amazon ECS, we were able to meet OperationRx’s business and technical needs.

AWS SaaS Factory: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to engage with a SaaS Competency Partner?

Carlos Luna: Choose a consulting partner who is committed to all aspects of the digital transformation and are fully invested in the customer’s success by creating custom solutions, as opposed to the rinse and repeat approach.

AWS SaaS Factory: What has been your experience as an AWS SaaS Competency Partner and engaging with the AWS SaaS Factory team?

Carlos Luna: Working closely with the AWS SaaS Factory team has been instrumental in enhancing our capabilities and delivering greater value to our clients. They are a rich reservoir of technical expertise, providing us with the confidence and practical guidance to navigate the complex challenges of the SaaS cloud journey. This path can be riddled with unforeseen obstacles, but with the support of AWS SaaS Factory, we are not navigating it alone.

Collaborating with an AWS SaaS Competency Partner means aligning with teams that possess robust fundamentals, further enriched by the vast experience of AWS’s dedicated experts.

Customer Success: Watch the Video with OperationsRx

OperationsRx shares insights from its cloud journey from on-premises to reduce onboarding time for customers and innovate faster, in partnership with nClouds and AWS SaaS Factory.

About AWS SaaS Factory

AWS SaaS Factory helps organizations at any stage of the SaaS journey. Whether looking to build new products, migrate existing applications, or optimize SaaS solutions on AWS, we can help. Visit the AWS SaaS Factory Insights Hub to discover more technical and business content and best practices.

SaaS builders are encouraged to reach out to their account representative to inquire about engagement models and to work with the AWS SaaS Factory team.

nClouds – AWS Partner Spotlight

nClouds is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner focused on helping organizations accelerate innovation. nClouds partners with customers to migrate, modernize, and manage cloud operations initiatives to support their digital transformation journeys.

Contact nClouds | Partner Overview | AWS Marketplace