“Migrating our data warehouse database from Oracle to PostgreSQL was a key enabler allowing us to complete our infrastructure migration to AWS without increasing our software licensing spend. Our partnership with OpenSCG has been instrumental in making this platform migration successful”
Todd Hofert Director of Infrastructure Operations-FSM, Trimble Inc.

Trimble is a leading provider of advanced location-based solutions that maximize productivity and enhance profitability. The company integrates its positioning expertise in GPS, laser, optical, and inertial technologies with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions. Trimble serves a variety of industries, including agriculture, engineering and construction, transportation, and wireless communications infrastructure. The company's portfolio of over 1,200 patents is the basis for the broadest positioning solutions portfolio in the industry.

Trimble Field Service Management provides real-time visibility of field worker activity, analysis of location and job data, and exception alerts to businesses that have a mobile workforce. Trimble customers are able to take action from this data and improve their business operations.

The Field Service Management (FSM) division provides telematics devices combined with cloud applications as part of the GeoManager platform. The combined data across all worldwide customers exceeds 10 TB and is growing at over 50 GB per month.

The data volumes from fleet applications typically consist of position, velocity, and time data that allows for deep analysis of fleet and driver behaviors to ensure compliance with local regulations and improve operational execution. For example, Trimble is able to provide driver scorecards based on a variety of data captured from the vehicle, including harsh breaking and rapid acceleration. Improving driver behavior results in safer and more efficient use of the vehicle fleet.

Trimble’s GeoManager data analysis platform is based on the Informatica and MicroStrategy business intelligence systems leveraging a data warehouse managed through Oracle. The systems are hosted in two data centers serving the company’s worldwide customer base.

Trimble had to choose between refreshing its hosted infrastructure and moving to a public cloud solution, such as AWS. The company prioritized increasing the flexibility of the infrastructure to meet the growing needs of its customer base.

“So we looked at the options available to us: buy new hardware and new Oracle licenses - or just move our existing data warehouse & GeoManager platform servers into AWS,” explains Todd Hofert, Director of Infrastructure Operations-FSM at Trimble Inc.

Hofert’s team also considered the feasibility of replacing Oracle altogether. They assessed both the application itself and the data warehouse to determine the scope of this ambitious proposal. The application migration from Oracle was pretty overwhelming, but migrating the data warehouse itself was more doable.

“We turned to our account team with Amazon. They pointed us to their Data Migration Services and the Schema Conversion Tool,” says Hofert. “Initially, we ran it against our Oracle database, looking at using Amazon Aurora. It showed us what we were up against, so we had a pretty good idea of what we'd have to tackle to make a switch.”

Still, Hofert’s in-house team determined that bringing in a partner who could provide assistance with the complex migration activities would be prudent. Based on their expertise with PostgreSQL, OpenSCG was selected.

“They're a big player in the Postgres open source world and they seemed to have the best track record for doing this,” says Hofert. “They've completed Oracle to Postgres migrations a number of times. And just the way they communicated throughout the process led us to believe they were the right choice to manage this.”

Moving to AWS will save on capital costs while maintaining the high level of service their customers expect. “If we had stayed in a co-located arrangement, we would have needed to replace database servers,” Hofert notes. “That could well have been a big investment. We saved a significant amount of money on our hosting infrastructure and spared ourselves the very large capital expenditure of a hardware refresh.”

Both Trimble and OpenSCG appreciated the benefits of the AWS Partner Network (APN) throughout the process. Says Jim Mlodgenski, chief technology officer at OpenSCG, “Being a member of the APN meant that we got fast answers from AWS to any questions, and we were able to leverage tools like AWS Snowball, a petabyte-scale data transport solution.”

APN member OpenSCG met the challenges and the deadline, which meant Trimble didn’t have to extend the licenses with Oracle. “The process was remarkably smooth and uneventful in both Europe and North America,” explains Hofert. “It’s a testament to the quality of work that our team and OpenSCG did.”

The OpenSCG team has enabled hundreds of migrations to PostgreSQL, with many migration endpoints onboarded to the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for PostgreSQL. David Rader, vice president of product development at OpenSCG, says, “We work closely with customers like Trimble to deliver success and reduce costs. Our OpenSCG Migration Services encompasses our proven migration methodology and toolkit, complemented by use of the AWS Schema Conversion Tool when migrating database workloads to Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL.”

The OpenSCG team started with the UK Trimble office, completing the initial migration in about six weeks. Notes Rader, “We had a couple of minor challenges, including having to create a driver to work with an older version of Informatica, but it went fairly smoothly.”

The bigger challenge was performance tuning PostgreSQL to be as fast as the old on-premises Oracle solution. Because of the large number of complicated queries, it took several months to successfully fine tune performance. Once over that hurdle, the rest of the transition went smoothly.

The team created an RDS environment in AWS, using an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance with MicroStrategy and an EC2 instance with Informatica. Then they ran an extract, transform, and load process in parallel with their existing on-premises solution. Hofert calls the cutover from the Trimble Data center to AWS “almost a nonevent”—it was done over a weekend with no big issues.

Trimble Architecture

Along with AWS support, OpenSCG provides PostgreSQL migration, Postgres Subscription Support, and Postgres Services to help clients solve data challenges and leverage technology for strategic advantage. OpenSCG specializes in open source data applications that enable enterprises to get the most value from their software and existing hardware investments.

For more information about how OpenSCG can help your company build and manage your AWS environment, see OpenSCGs’ listing in the AWS Partner Directory. Or visit, www.openscg.com

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