Automation and Artificial Intelligence Power BRLink’s Next-Generation MSP Practice

“The bar for being a successful next-generation MSP is raised every year as customer priorities, needs, and expectations evolve. We believe that we must always be investing in our MSP practice and improving our business to offer customers more value through working with a next-generation MSP.” - Rafael Marangoni, chief executive officer and co-founder at BRLink

Summary

APN Premier Consulting partner BRLink evaluated Sua Música’s environment and helped the company design and implement a serverless architecture on AWS, improving its scalability by 22 percent and its agility by 14 percent. 

Becoming an AWS Consulting Partner and Next-Generation MSP

BRLink became an Amazon Web Services (AWS) customer in 2010, building a disaster recovery footprint on AWS for its on-premises environment. Year-over-year, the company began to increase its footprint on AWS and grow its AWS-based abilities. “When we started, we felt AWS was the only cloud provider with the tools and capabilities we needed to take advantage of the cloud. By 2012, we used only AWS to host our internal services, and today, AWS is the only cloud provider we use to build our services and platforms,” says Rafael Marangoni, chief executive officer and co-founder at BRLink.

As the company’s expertise in AWS grew, the leadership team chose to build a business helping other companies in Latin America use AWS. “We started on the AWS Cloud very early on and recognized that building cloud expertise would create a big market opportunity for us. It was a natural transition for us to become an AWS Partner Network Consulting partner and deliver services on AWS,” says Marangoni. “Our goal was to become a top APN Consulting partner and have the ability to support customers throughout the full lifecycle on AWS.”

Today, the company is one of a few APN Premier Consulting partners—the top tier in the APN—in the LATAM region. BRLink also holds the AWS DevOps, Marketing & Commerce, and Education Competencies, distinctions granted by AWS to AWS Partner Network (APN) partners who have demonstrated technical proficiency and proven customer success in specialized solution areas. In 2014, a major evolution for the company began as it chose to build a cloud managed services practice which required the team to evolve their existing practices and adapt to the demands of a next-generation MSP.  

Building an MSP Practice Focused on Automation, Analytics, AI, and Security

The BRLink team believes a next-generation MSP is only as strong as its automation footprint, security posture, and proactive analytics approach. “We believe a next-generation MSP should be one company that can lead a customer across the full cloud journey using the best technical and business approaches in a cost-effective way,” says Marangoni. “We worked hard to not only gain the AWS MSP accreditation, but to rethink our mindset as we became a next-generation MSP. We focused our practice on automation and built a new platform for MSP customers. We automated most tasks, including the MSP billing process.”

BRLink’s mentality is shaped through its DevOps-first approach. “DevOps and the cloud are all about automation and building strong, consistent interactions between tools and processes,” explains Marangoni. “DevOps isn’t a thing; it’s a culture. We’ve found that building a DevOps culture internally has led us to embrace and benefit from an ‘automate everything’ mentality. The cloud makes automation possible on a whole new level and enables us to focus on creating software and solutions for our MSP platform rather than devoting time to manual, error-prone tasks and interactions.”

Helping MSP customers learn to embrace automation on AWS is a priority for BRLink. “We build CI/CD pipelines for our customers and we take a primarily serverless approach to applications,” says Marangoni. “We provide DevOps consulting services and ongoing DevOps management services for our MSP platform.” The company has built automated tooling that customers can use to gain a new perspective on the power of automation in their environments, and also focuses on customer education, sharing content, workshops, webinars, case studies, and other examples for how to adopt a DevOps culture internally to help customers improve their own development cycles.

Security is another pillar built into everything BRLink does as a next-generation MSP. For example, BRLink is creating a managed security platform to offer security managed services for its customers that collects data from customer environments and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide proactive security recommendations and monitoring. “I believe that as a next-generation MSP, we have the right tools and expertise to meet and exceed customer governance and security requirements,” says Marangoni. “We’ve built a security advisor that connects to our customers’ AWS accounts and generates security insights from the data, suggests security improvements and provides alerts, and generates custom reports. We prioritize the use of AI and machine learning to generate deeper insights from monitoring, cost, and security perspectives.” 

Using the Audit as an Optimization Guide

Marangoni argues that the most important benefit BRLink gains by being a member of the AWS MSP Program is the benchmark set by the third-party audit every MSP must undergo.

“I believe that for any company wanting to build a strong and reputable cloud managed services business, the strongest benchmarks to meet are defined by the AWS MSP program and the third-party audit,” says Marangoni. “If you work hard to meet the criterion the audit outlines, then you’re going to reach a new level in your practice. Based on the audit, we improved how we asked for customer opinions and our customer interactions, gained insights into DevOps and monitoring best practices, and most importantly, realized how central automation is to a cloud managed service practice.”

BRLink has continuously improved its profit margins because the company has been able to constantly improve its productivity through automation. “The bar for being a successful next-generation MSP is raised every year as customer priorities, needs, and expectations evolve,” says Marangoni. “We believe that we must always be investing in our MSP practice and improving our business to offer customers more value through working with a next-generation MSP.”  

Helping Sua Música Leverage DevOps Methodologies

Sua Música is an entertainment platform focused on the Brazilian region. The platform enables independent artists to offer content to the public for free. Artists can deliver news, videos, interviews, quizzes, live streams, and pocket shows to engage millions of users within the Sua Música app, website, and social networks.

With a rapidly growing user base leading to petabytes of monthly data traffic and hundreds of terabytes of stored data, Sua Música realized it needed a more scalable, agile, and performant solution for hosting its data. The company decided to migrate to AWS to better support its fast-growing business. To support its migration and optimize its architecture on AWS, Sua Música chose to engage with BRLink.

Through a detailed analysis, BRLink evaluated Sua Música’s current environment and helped the company design and implement a serverless architecture on AWS, taking advantage of Docker containers and using a blue/green deployment and a CI/CD pipeline for development. To manage the massive data migration securely, Sua Música used AWS Snowball and created a media automation pipeline using AWS Lambda and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). As a result of the migration to AWS and its expanded use of automation, Sua Música improved its scalability by 22 percent and its agility by 14 percent. Learn more.

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About Sua Música

Sua Música is the biggest entertainment platform focused on the Brazilian region. 

Challenge

With a rapidly growing user base leading to petabytes of monthly data traffic and hundreds of terabytes of stored data, Sua Música realized it needed a more scalable, agile, and performant solution for hosting its data. 

Solution

The company worked with BRLink to migrate and optimize its architecture on AWS. Through a detailed analysis, BRLink evaluated Sua Música’s environment and helped the company design and implement a serverless architecture on AWS. 

Benefit

As a result of the migration to AWS and its expanded use of automation, Sua Música improved its scalability by 22 percent and its agility by 14 percent compared to its previous solution. 

BRLink is an AWS Partner Network (APN) Premier Consulting Partner that provides customers with cloud consulting expertise and a managed services platform. The company’s goal is to deliver an optimal cloud experience to customers by leveraging advanced tooling to manage and monitor cloud infrastructure. BRLink has deep in experience in DevOps and automation, serverless computing, and web application practices.