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AgriDigital Migrates to AWS to Reduce Deployment Time by 50% and Fuel Expansion

2020

AgriDigital is an Australian technology startup that wants to simplify global agriculture supply chains. The company’s commodity management platform enables thousands of Australian farmers to connect with their supply chain network and manage contracts, deliveries, inventory, orders, and payments in real time.

As the company grew, it had begun experiencing problems with its Microsoft .NET–based application environment, which was running on Microsoft Azure. “We started having more reliability issues, with increasing application downtime,” says Dominik Moreitz, head of engineering and DevOps lead for AgriDigital. “Even a few minutes of downtime can negatively impact our customers, such as truck drivers who use the application to track delivery schedules during harvest time. And there’s a financial impact, too. If invoices and payments are not processed quickly enough, people don’t get paid on time.”

AgriDigital also needed more scalability, especially as the company planned to bring its services to the US market by September 2019. “Our .NET architecture was monolithic and not built to scale,” Moreitz says. “We knew we needed to modernize our platform to achieve our expansion goals.”

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Our application is running at least 50% faster on AWS, which is leading to a better experience for the farmers and other supply chain customers using the application."

Dominik Moreitz
Head of Engineering and DevOps Lead, AgriDigital

Migrating to .NET Core, Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, and Linux

AgriDigital chose to modernize by migrating its production environment to .NET Core on Amazon Web Services (AWS). “AWS is not only a leader in the cloud industry, but it also provided more reliability and scalability than other providers we considered,” says Moreitz. “We also liked the performance of .NET Core on AWS, and it is platform-agnostic, which was critical for us as we move from Windows to Linux.”

AgriDigital worked with Itoc, a technology company and AWS Advanced Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN) that was introduced to AgriDigital through an AWS account manager. Itoc has achieved the AWS Security Competency, which enables it to provide specialized consulting services designed to help enterprises adopt and deploy complex security solutions on AWS. Itoc implemented its best-practice Cloud Foundation solution for AgriDigital and migrated the company’s database environment from Microsoft SQL Server to Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL and Amazon DynamoDB. “We had scalability problems using Windows SQL Server, but we also wanted to move away from Windows licensing costs as we continued to modernize,” Moreitz says. Itoc also worked with the AgriDigital DevOps team to set up development assets using AWS CloudFormation and to implement AWS Lambda–based serverless builds and deployment pipelines for ongoing deployments and management across environments. AgriDigital also implemented a new microservices architecture, which uses AWS Fargate to manage containers. Itoc continues to support AgriDigital with ongoing technical assistance.

Modernizing to Enable Global Growth

By modernizing its production environment on AWS, AgriDigital saved development time during the migration. “Using .NET Core on AWS and Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, we were able to migrate our .NET Framework environment very easily, without needing to re-skill our .NET developers,” says Moreitz. “By moving to AWS and using a DevOps approach, we are saving close to 50 percent of our development time and effort.”

Because of the ease of migration, as well as the scalability of AWS, AgriDigital was able to provide its application to farmers in the US one month earlier than scheduled. “Running on AWS, we no longer have the limitations of a single instance like we had previously. Scalability is much easier,” says Moreitz. “When we needed to scale quickly to meet our US plans, we simply used AWS CloudFormation to set up new staging environments before moving to production quickly.”

Improving Application Performance, Speeding Development

Running .NET Core on AWS, AgriDigital has improved overall application performance. “Our application is running at least 50 percent faster on AWS, which is leading to a better experience for the farmers and other supply chain customers using the application,” Moreitz says.

The move to AWS enabled AgriDigital to increase developer agility by no longer needing to rely on external build and deployment tools. “All the AWS services we use, from AWS Fargate to AWS CloudFormation, are integrated. This helps simplify and accelerate our development,” says Moreitz. “We have reduced our software deployment time by 50 percent as a result of simplifying development through our continuous integration and delivery pipeline. Now, we can get new features out to customers faster and get their feedback faster, which ultimately makes those features better.”

Cutting Licensing Costs, Giving Farmers a Reliable Experience

AgriDigital has saved money by modernizing and moving to .NET Core, Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, and Linux. “We’re not on Windows or SQL Server anymore, so we have definitely reduced our licensing costs,” says Moreitz. “Previously, we always had instances running and we incurred costs on those. We have eliminated that by moving to a microservices architecture. We start lower, and we can scale to meet our compute needs whenever we need to. We continue to save costs by investigating additional AWS services. For example, instead of purchasing expensive reporting tools, we are evaluating Amazon QuickSight, knowing that it has a pay-as-you-go pricing model.”

The company has also improved application reliability. “We don’t have the downtime issues we had previously,” Moreitz says. “We can deliver a more reliable application by being on AWS, so our supply chain customers can operate with much more confidence that they will deliver products and get paid on time.”

AgriDigital has plans to continue modernizing its application environment while growing its business. “Our long-term strategy is to expand into additional global regions and scale by acquiring customers,” says Moreitz. “We know we can achieve these goals cost-effectively using AWS.”

To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/rds/aurora.


About AgriDigital

AgriDigital, based in Australia, offers solutions to help global agriculture supply chains reduce risk, with a focus on grain and cotton. With a network of more than 4,800 customers, the AgriDigital platform digitizes commodity sales, trading, storage, and logistics, and the company also provides access to data in real time across all devices.

Benefits of AWS

  • Modernizes application environment, enables fast expansion to US
  • Reduces software deployment time by 50%
  • Runs its application 50% faster
  • Lowers licensing costs, ensures reliability

AWS Services Used

Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL

Amazon Aurora is a relational database service that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.

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Amazon DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB is a key-value and document database that delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale.

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AWS Fargate

AWS Fargate is a serverless compute engine for containers that works with both Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).

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AWS Cloud​Formation

AWS CloudFormation provides a common language for you to model and provision AWS and third party application resources in your cloud environment.

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