"I think the fact that we, as a Technology Partner with AWS, can register our own products and promote them to customers around the world, is a winning opportunity for both AWS and EXEM. We plan to expand our cloud business for the future, based on our partnership with AWS."
EXEM’s primary business is research, development and distribution of InterMax, an end-to-end performance management solution linking MaxGauge and Web/WAS/DBMS, monitoring and tuning database software. Their main products include MaxGauge, a database performance management solution, which is the only domestic product of its type in Korea, with a core patent as a performance management tool; it also has several certifications, including from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Science and Technology. Additionally, they were the winner of the Jang Young-shil award, and was selected as an excellent product by the Public Procurement Service. Since 2010 it has maintained continuous average annual growth of over 10 percent, and its share in the database performance management market has been over 70 percent. Over 450 customers from 29 countries, including Samsung Electronics, use EXEM products, and has reached up to 80 percent market share in the domestic financial sector. Additionally, to allow transition of the systems by corporations into more efficient big data systems, it has been expanding its business as a development and consulting specialty company of Flamingo, an integrated big data operations software provider.
Recently, startup businesses, especially cloud-based ones, have found data management and control to be of increasing importance. This trend started with small and medium-sized companies, but large enterprises have also started to gradually migrate to the cloud. Furthermore, as businesses worldwide turn their focus towards the cloud, EXEM has started to quickly position themselves as a market leader in this space. The secret as to why EXEM was able to remain a long-term leader in the DB performance management solution field is that they promptly respond to their customers' requests based on technology, trust, and co-operation with partners. Consequently EXEM decided to migrate their database management system's operational infrastructure to the cloud. "An increasing number of customers want to use the existing EXEM products they had deployed in their on premise environment in the cloud. Since a company can grow only by meeting the needs of customers and the market, it was necessary to develop a cloud-based SaaS product," said Jaeho Park, CTO, EXEM.
EXEM, which is considered to be a leader in performance management of Enterprise Oracle DB in the finance and manufacturing industries, has a strong presence in B2B businesses. When converting to SaaS however, they faced several complex issues, such as establishing infrastructure, service operations, pricing, a profit model, SLA compliance, and marketing and sales strategies.
To solve these issues, EXEM selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a partner, as it needed a company with an abundance of experience. AWS, who already has a good reputation as a strong company in the cloud business, has advised and supported the company based on its experience of helping with SaaS solutions from the early design stage for ISV’s worldwide. "We developed and tested several projects in AWS for three years," said Jaeho Park. "We grew to trust AWS as we witnessed them continuously develop new services, resolve ongoing issues, and develop new features. In addition, its developer-friendly API is very useful and it has a wide range of technical documentation that developers could access at their convenience. Another reason for choosing AWS is that using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) spot instances reduced testing costs up to 80 percent.
The AWS-based technology that EXEM is using today is mainly used to operate Amazon EC2 computing resources and SaaS; they use several availability zones to achieve a high level of availability within the Seoul region. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) allows them to store collected metric data, and they also make use of a lifecycle management feature from Amazon S3 standard for Infrequent Access(IA), Amazon Glacier. They also use Elastic Load Balancing as a load balancer for load distribution and SSL termination. Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) isolates the virtual network configuration and core data from outside, and establishes an additional network interface as an Elastic Network Interface (ENI). Amazon Route 53 enables DNS configuration and rapid and stable DNS management. Auto Scaling is used together with Amazon CloudWatch for self-recovery and flexible countermeasures against overloading. Amazon RedShift will be used to provide additional analysis. Moreover, the service of SaaS Subscriptions, provided by the AWS Marketplace to establish a billing system based on the amount used, will be connected, and through this, customers can be issued the cost of the SaaS solution included in AWS tax invoices.
The architectural diagram of EXEM is as follows.
Existing development methods were time intensive as new code had to be developed from the ground up. Several AWS services, however, helped reduce development time, and when combined with open source, the overall speed in development improved. Jaeho Park, CTO, explains that another advantage of AWS is that the initial investment does not require over-budgeting, and that you pay only for what you use. He also added that, despite the concerns many people have about security in the cloud, AWS has a private network called VPC which allows for secure internal communication. Using a firewall service such as Security Group and Network ACL within VPC minimizes the extent of external data leakage, while AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) minimizes the number of resources accessible to customers. In short, there is no need to have greater security concerns than with existing networks operated in on-premise environments.
He also adds, "We had difficulties when deciding on a direction when EXEM, which has its strength in B2B business, transformed to an SaaS with B2C characteristics. The AWS Partner team, however, supported us early on with a team of professionals and SaaS Enablement Framework-based specialized consulting, helping us immensely with preparing our SaaS business. Moreover, AWS also helped our developers in several ways to adapt to AWS easily, including through training. "A technology is called a technology at first, but its name changes to adapt to the environment once it becomes a part of daily life. The public cloud is already an environment, not a new technology. I think it is a good idea to start small and forge a new path through several outcomes, rather than being afraid of the cloud as a common environment," says Park.
“The AWS Partner Program has been very helpful, as it provided support with designing and building AWS-based SaaS solutions, various investment in activities to create cloud business opportunities, and business and technical support required by partner companies." I think the fact that we, as a Technology Partner with AWS, can register our own products and promote them to business customers around the world is a winning opportunity for both AWS and EXEM. We plan to expand our cloud business for the future based on our partnership with AWS," says Park.
To learn more about how AWS can help with your SaaS solution, visit our SaaS Partner Program details page: https://aws.amazon.com/partners/saas/.