Microsoft Workloads on AWS

Caylent: Helping customers modernize Microsoft SQL Server with purpose-built databases on AWS

We couldn’t afford to stay on our database platform. But we couldn’t afford the expense of modernizing our data tier either.

This is what Handerson Dutra, Senior Data Architect at Caylent, an AWS Partner, shared with us in a recent conversation about database modernization. “This is a common conundrum with our customers” he added. We met with Handerson and two of his colleagues—Senior Cloud Architect, Jhosemar Lopez and Marketing Manager, Kelsey Ito—to learn how Caylent is helping their customers with their database modernization journey on AWS.

Q. What trends are you seeing with enterprises looking to modernize their database workloads?

Handerson: Enterprises are simultaneously innovating and driving cost efficiencies to thrive in the economy’s digital transformation. For them to thrive in the digital economy, they require a cloud-first operating model in order to: first, eliminate unnecessary heavy lifting; second, automate repetitive tasks; and third, free up the organization to build digital, customer-centric businesses.

Our customers usually begin their data modernization strategy by identifying clear business outcomes and then work backwards. In formulating their business outcomes, we help identify gaps in the current business model and calculate the ROI of potential modernization efforts.

Based on the modernization strategy the customer decides to pursue, we prioritize modernizing the most critical systems required to deliver better performance and availability at a lower cost. Most often, customers aim to modernize their legacy or commercial databases on AWS to reduce operational database costs and free up their IT team from undifferentiated work. This allows them to save time and money.

Q. How are you addressing the challenges faced by your customers with their legacy databases?

Jhosemar: Caylent is helping customers modernize their database infrastructure without “breaking the bank.” Many customers are focused on modernizing their front-end and back-end compute systems, but fail to address their back-end data stores. This is despite the fact that there are many benefits to moving away from commercial database engines. One of the major advantages is the reduction in licensing costs in addition to increased flexibility, agility, performance, and reliability.

However, the cost of modernizing a database infrastructure can be prohibitive for many organizations. Commercial database engines are often very expensive, and the cost of licensing can be a significant burden. Caylent helps customers overcome this challenge by leveraging cost-effective AWS database modernization services. We help customers choose the right open-source and purpose-built AWS databases for their needs, migrate their data seamlessly, and optimize their database environment for performance and cost effectiveness.

Q. What alternatives are available for customers burdened by licensing costs or for those unable to afford modernizing SQL Server or rewriting code?

Handerson: We have helped several customers who are hesitant to rewrite the application source code to modernize their back-end database. One of the best options for these customers is to migrate to Babelfish for Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL. Babelfish is a migration accelerator that makes it easy to move SQL Server applications to Aurora PostgreSQL with minimal changes to your code. This means that you can reduce your licensing costs without having to rewrite your entire application.

Jhosemar: One of our customers, a post-sale customer support software company, wanted to modernize their SQL Server because its performance was degrading due to the rising number of application users. Moreover, the increasing operational and licensing cost to meet the database availability requirement became a major concern. They engaged our team to address these challenges. We meticulously assessed their current system using our 5-step approach to identify gaps and produced a system design that met their business and technical requirements. We helped them migrate their SQL Server database to Babelfish for Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL. The good news was that they were able to improve the performance by 40% and reduce the cost by 50%.

Q. Could you elaborate on the phrase “Babelfish is a migration accelerator”?

Handerson: Certainly! Babelfish’s primary function is to empower Amazon Aurora to interpret queries from applications designed for SQL Server. This compatibility allows users to harness Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL’s features without intensive application rewrites to align with native PostgreSQL. Babelfish supports both T-SQL, SQL Server’s proprietary SQL dialect, and native PostgreSQL connections. This dual capability significantly eases the technical intricacies of database transitions, letting customers experience the scalability and financial advantages of Amazon Aurora with reduced effort. This diagram (Figure 1) clearly describes the major benefits:

Major benefits of modernizing databases with Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL

Figure 1. Major benefits of modernizing databases with Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL

Q. Can you please elaborate on the 5-step approach you use to help customers modernize their databases?

Jhosemar: Our migration methodology is influenced by several aspects, including the size, complexity of the SQL Server database, the kind of data stored, the applications leveraging the database, the client’s financial plan, and their schedule. Our typical database modernization blueprint encompasses five steps, as described in the following illustration (Figure 2):

Caylent’s 5-steps approach of database modernization

Figure 2: Caylent’s 5-steps approach of database modernization

Q. How can customers accelerate their modernization initiatives?

Kelsey: We have Caylent Catalysts™, which are curated packages designed to accelerate digital transformation. As a Premier Consulting Partner, we have seen a lot of migration and modernization patterns across various industries and use cases. We used all those patterns and experiences and bundled them with some of our most-recommended AWS solutions.

One of the main benefits of the Caylent Catalysts™ is that they accelerate deployments that might typically take a couple of months down to a few weeks. For example, with our Data Modernization Strategy Catalyst, we lead an interactive discovery session and enablement workshop. At the end of the discovery session, we are able to provide a clear roadmap to liberate their data from inflexible commercial databases.

During the session, we ask questions to identify any gaps and set strategic goals for how to improve the capabilities in these areas. We created various kinds of Catalysts, such as the AWS Control Tower Catalyst and the Disaster Recovery Catalyst, and are constantly expanding to other areas.

Q. This is very interesting. Let’s now dive deeper into real-world use cases of database modernization. Do you have compelling case studies you can share with us?

Jhosemar: Yes, we have several.

Collectors, one of our customers who provides third-party authentication and grading services to collectors, had experienced challenges with day-to-day operations and other critical functions like scalability, DR planning, and interconnectivity because their infrastructure was scattered across on-premises data centers and other cloud providers. The customer needed help consolidating their infrastructure to AWS—not only to get out of the data center, but also to adopt cloud-first services and AWS managed services to fulfill their business requirements. We leveraged the AWS Migration Acceleration Program and helped the customer build a strong infrastructure foundation and accelerate the speed of migration—and at the same time, offset the initial cost of migration. By the end of the migration, our customer saw a 50% increase in developer productivity and innovation and a 40% increase in database performance.

Kelsey: We have published different case studies on our website if readers want to know how other customers have benefited from modernization efforts. They can also download a comprehensive guide covering licensing strategies, cost optimization, and automated tooling to help them maximize their Microsoft workloads on AWS.

Q. Lastly, how can customers get started or get in touch with Caylent?

Kelsey: In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital technology, transitioning to cloud-optimized and open-source databases isn’t just a luxury—it’s becoming a necessity. As organizations look to harness greater flexibility, performance, and cost-effectiveness, modernizing becomes even more essential. Whether you are burdened by the licensing costs of SQL Server or looking to modernize SQL Server with AWS purpose-built databases, we are here for you.

With Caylent’s expertise paired with innovative AWS services, we can help our customers simplify and streamline their database modernization journey. After all, in the digital age, staying ahead means continuously evolving—and the right partnerships can make this journey not just feasible but transformative. Customers can reach out via our website or email us directly at to explore how to get started with their AWS migration or modernization journey.

About Caylent

As an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner, Caylent is passionate about accelerating time-to-value for their customers. Their track record is supported by experience working with customers across verticals—such as healthcare & life sciences, financial services, media & entertainment, travel & hospitality, and transportation & logistics—to solve the most complex challenges. Caylent emphasizes a focused effort to drive our customers’ vision and achieve technical and business results. Their core practice areas include migration, application and database modernization, data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, DevOps and cloud native application development.

About the Microsoft workloads on AWS Partner Spotlight series

Please continue to join us in this blog series as we highlight our AWS Partners’ capabilities in migrating and modernizing Microsoft workloads on AWS. As you do, we hope you’ll also ask the question: “What’s my organization’s plan for moving off SQL Server or Windows Server or whatever technology is keeping us from modernizing to better care for our customers?” Let AWS Partners with their specific niche offerings help you assess how your company can get the most out of cloud.

AWS can help you assess how your company can get the most out of cloud. Join the millions of AWS customers that trust us to migrate and modernize their most important applications in the cloud. To learn more on modernizing Windows Server or SQL Server, visit Windows on AWS. Contact us to start your modernization journey today.

AWS can help you assess how your company can get the most out of cloud. Join the millions of AWS customers that trust us to migrate and modernize their most important applications in the cloud. To learn more on modernizing Windows Server or SQL Server, visit Windows on AWSContact us to start your modernization journey today.

Kyaw Soe Hlaing

Kyaw Soe Hlaing

Kyaw Soe Hlaing is a Senior Solution Architect specializing in infrastructure, platform, and identity management. He is passionate about designing, architecting, and providing solutions for complex business requirements for customers. With more than 15 years of experience, Kyaw works with our partners to help AWS customers navigate their cloud transformation journey.

Pavan K Srirangam

Pavan K Srirangam

Pavan K Srirangam is a Global Senior Partner Solutions Architect serving AWS partners in their cloud journey. He is a databases SME and cost optimization specialist. He focuses on modernizing Microsoft workloads on AWS.