Dextra is a Brazilian IT company specializing in custom software development and application lifecycle management. The company’s development environment consists of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). When an individual project has a unique requirement, the company incorporates additional solutions from Amazon Web Services (AWS), as necessary. Since it began using AWS, the company reduced its project setup time from weeks to hours and feels it has improved its overall business agility.

Because Dextra works with many different types of clients, it has to maintain a development environment that can handle a wide scope of specific technologies, such as Ruby on Rails and the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition. To meet this need for flexibility, the company uses Amazon EC2. Within Amazon EC2, Dextra sets up continuous integration servers, acceptance testing, and proof-of-concepts, in addition to other specialized tasks. Internally, the company uses Amazon EC2 for its code repository, issue tracking systems, and various in-house services.

Dextra also utilizes Amazon S3 for backups and software distributions. However, the company’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) feature stack is not limited to Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3—it includes any offering necessary to meet a client’s need, including Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), and the content delivery service Amazon CloudFront.

Bill Coutinho says, “For us, the main benefit of Amazon EC2 is the flexibility it gives us to build different technological architectures. Being operating system neutral, Amazon EC2 is ideal for building architectures for projects with diverse technology needs, using Linux or Windows, any kind of database servers, different programming languages, runtimes, etc.”

In addition to capacity for supporting multiple technologies, Dextra also depends on AWS for the ability to manage resources. “The number of Amazon EC2 instances we run at a given time varies depending on how many projects we are developing and their characteristics, and can reach hundreds of servers. When the project is done, we simply decommission the instances, drastically reducing inventory costs,” notes Bill Coutinho.

Dextra realizes additional savings through reduced maintenance and personnel expenses. In fact, the company has been able to grow its business considerably, yet does not feel pressured to expand its IT staff. Beyond cost-cutting, AWS helped Dextra decrease infrastructure setup from a few weeks down to a few hours, allowing the company to complete projects within much shorter timelines.

With AWS, Dextra can concentrate on project development instead of infrastructure operations. For Bill Coutinho, this freedom is proof that cloud technology improves business agility: “One of the things we like most in AWS is its many tools for infrastructure automation. We own the environment, meaning we have great control over it, without actually owning it.”

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