AWS Startups Blog
Delivering a Biometric Identity Service with AWS
Guest post by Nomidio
At Nomidio, we are on a mission to rid the world of passwords. They are rarely secure, often forgotten, and frequently compromised. 72% of so called hacks are actually regular logins but using stolen credentials. The Nomidio service provides a full lifecycle for biometric identity from registration of individuals to integrated use in contact centers and in corporate single sign-on and user logins. We deliver that as a service, not as software or even software-as-a-service, but truly as a service that any business can consume with zero footprint in their own IT infrastructure.
The Challenge for a Hi-Tech Startup
We are massively agile at developing systems and have a small but highly skilled and experienced development team; we’ve needed both to be able to create our biometric authentication service.
But skills and agility are only two sides of the triangle. We also need a highly scalable environment to deliver the service to businesses and customers on a global scale. That environment also needs to provide a broad set of technologies that our state-of-the-art system requires. We couldn’t possibly stand up, host, and manage all these different technologies ourselves.
Similarly, we can’t create the volume of outreach to customers and handle the deployment and billing of services ourselves, and as a startup, we certainly can’t afford the cost of constantly running multiple development environments, testing, and QA systems as well as fully redundant production environments.
The Breadth of AWS
However, we do want to deliver the only end-to-end / turnkey biometric authentication service currently available, and that’s where we turn to AWS as our secure cloud services platform partner.
We use the large breadth of capabilities of AWS to build a hugely scalable microservice-based system that sees us use 22 different AWS services. We just couldn’t bring all those capabilities together at an affordable cost without the unified AWS environment. The Nomidio identity service is fundamentally built on Amazon EC2 compute but leverages a large set of capabilities on top.
Our AWS Footprint
As a startup, we really have to control costs. Amazon Spot instances help keep our compute costs down, and AWS provides an environment where we can easily stand up, test, QA, and UAT environments in minutes for use on-demand and then immediately turn them off when we’re done.
The AWS environment also provides us with the flexibility to run our own development and infrastructure tools alongside the AWS tools we use. For example, we host our own Kubernetes, Jenkins, Sonarqube and Terraform services, among others. This is efficient for us in terms of hosting and means we are not restricted to only using AWS services – absolutely the best of both worlds for an agile startup.
Selling our services to customers is obviously our main goal, and for that we depend heavily on the AWS Marketplace. It provides a shop front that reaches a massive potential customer base for our services. It also gives us a mechanism to transact a sale and deliver the Nomidio service directly to customers at no overhead for us. We don’t have to provide a sales website, with all the mechanics of delivery that brings, and we don’t need a commercial sales team, because the contractual and financial elements are all embodied in our product in the AWS Marketplace. Finally, we don’t need our accounting and finance function to manage billing and collections because that is all handled through the customers’ relationship with AWS.
- Deploying through AWS Marketplace provides reach we couldn’t otherwise attain and saves us money. AWS services are broad enough to cover the wide spread of technology that we need to create an innovative service like Nomidio, we couldn’t have assembled these capabilities any other way.
- We can tightly manage our costs using spot instances and scaling our AWS infrastructure up or down on demand. Indeed, building on the AWS platforms is fundamental to our cost model and ability to challenge the highly expensive market norms.
- AWS is growing its capabilities whilst retaining its flexibility, that means we can be agile and quick to respond to market needs.
For us, it is true to say that what we’ve brought to market simply wouldn’t be possible without the infrastructure and commercial innovations AWS has pioneered. If you extrapolate that, it means the world can now login to any website or cloud service, without passwords, using Nomidio for cloud-based biometric authentication. That’s brought the cost of biometric authentication down, whilst increasing security and usability in the process, AWS is a key part of our work to make authentication simple, secure and cost effective.
Take a minute to check out Nomidio on the AWS Marketplace. Let’s see if there’s something we can do together.