MicroStrategy Uses AWS to Help Customers Gain Analytics in Minutes Instead of Weeks

MicroStrategy provides a powerful analytics and mobility software platform that its customers use to gain actionable intelligence from their data and deliver answers to 100 percent of their workforce through innovative solutions. Although the company’s platform was traditionally deployed on premises, customers increasingly wanted to create analytics solutions faster. “We’ve seen analytics transition from IT-driven to business-owned, where business departments are driving new initiatives and need to launch analytics more rapidly without buying expensive hardware,” says Vijay Anand, the vice president for product marketing at MicroStrategy. “Deploying the full platform on premises often requires tedious hardware configuration, multiple installations, and fine-tuning. This takes long hours, if not days, and that is after the process of purchasing and provisioning hardware had been completed. We had to find a way to make that faster.”

The company also wanted to meet its customers’ demands for scalability. “A global banking customer wanted to roll out analytics to 30,000 users cost-effectively, for example,” Anand says. “We needed to find a way to help them do that quickly, without investing in new hardware.”

“By optimizing our full analytics and mobility platform on AWS, we are enabling deployment, installation, and configuration with only 3 clicks instead of 400.”

Vijay Anand, Vice President for Product Marketing, MicroStrategy

  • About MicroStrategy
  • MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) is a leading worldwide provider of enterprise analytics and mobility software and services. The company’s mission is to make every enterprise a more intelligent enterprise. MicroStrategy delivers modern analytics on an open, comprehensive enterprise platform designed to drive business results with Federated Analytics, Transformational Mobility, and HyperIntelligence.

  • Benefits
    • Enables customers to deploy full platform in 30 minutes instead of weeks
    • Helps beverage company give sales people faster access to data
    • Enables pharmaceutical firm to deliver intelligence to 90% of field representatives
    • Helps online marketing company empower business leaders with real-time business KPI updates
  • AWS Services Used

Moving the MicroStrategy Platform to AWS

MicroStrategy chose to address its customers’ needs by launching its entire platform on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. “It’s important that we have a strong cloud foundation and strategy. We chose AWS for our infrastructure-as-code solution because they’re the market leader and provide the most robust functionality,” Anand says.

Working with AWS, the company launched the MicroStrategy Cloud Platform that allows users to deploy the enterprise-grade analytics applications in a matter of minutes. With this platform, the required infrastructure resources are created and optimized for AWS behind the scenes. The new platform includes Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) database instances, AWS security groups, and Amazon Elastic File Service (EFS) file storage. AWS CodeDeploy deployments then finish configuring the Amazon EC2 instances for the MicroStrategy deployment.

The MicroStrategy Cloud Platform comes with a state-of-the-art in-memory architecture for faster data processing. It leverages this architecture to dynamically load data into its server memory and uses partitioning or parallel processing capabilities to let organizations process millions of rows of data, faster. Amazon EFS stores and caches the intelligent cubes that enable MicroStrategy customers to get faster access to big data assets. For clustered deployments, MicroStrategy uses Amazon EFS to create a more resilient, highly available architecture. The company uses Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) for single-node deployments.

From 400 Clicks to 3

By partnering with AWS, MicroStrategy has enabled its customers to quickly get started with analytics and mobility applications. “By optimizing our full analytics and mobility platform on AWS, we are enabling deployment, installation, and configuration with only 3 clicks instead of 400, and that’s a testament to the reduced complexity and time to launch ready-to-use applications,” says Anand. “Deployment is completed in 30 minutes instead of weeks. With better time-to-value and substantial cost savings, our customers can more rapidly build applications that matter to the business, rather than worrying about implementation and infrastructure.” Running MicroStrategy on AWS, customers in 60 countries across 12 global regions can also perform one-click software upgrades to get the latest features from MicroStrategy, especially beneficial since the company has a quarterly release cadence.

Enabling Customers to Empower People with Data

In minutes, the company’s customers can now tap into the full power of the MicroStrategy Cloud Platform and benefit from a comprehensive range of analytics and mobility applications, including automated enterprise reporting, pixel-perfect dashboards, governed data discovery, predictive analytics and machine-learning applications, mobile productivity apps, and more. Customers can also enrich existing business applications like Salesforce, Microsoft, and even email, with MicroStrategy HyperIntelligence, a brand-new capability that surfaces zero-click insights within the tools people already use. All MicroStrategy applications are supported by an enterprise semantic graph foundation that provides an object-oriented infrastructure to easily monitor and manage the full life cycle of an analytics project with automated controls.

For example, a leading beverage brand is using the AWS-based MicroStrategy stack to give sales people faster access to product distribution and availability data—turning the company into a data-driven enterprise. Similarly, a large global pharmaceutical company uses MicroStrategy on AWS to deliver intelligence to 90 percent of its field representatives, enabling them to easily manage and analyze their business without having to rely on manual Excel-based documents. Another customer, an online marketing and consumer acquisition firm, has integrated Amazon Alexa with MicroStrategy Cloud Platform on AWS to empower business leaders with real-time business KPI updates. This has helped them deliver continuous innovation and increase meeting productivity by providing faster, smarter decision-making capabilities.

A Platform Built to Scale

MicroStrategy is meeting its customers’ needs for elasticity by delivering the platform on AWS. “MicroStrategy is a platform designed to scale on AWS,” says Anand. “The biggest enterprises can easily draw insights from the largest data assets without any compromise and be successful from an analytics standpoint. To achieve that, we provide flexibility by supporting single- and multi-node deployments. For a clustered environment, we use Amazon EFS so the environment is not dependent on mounting a block of storage to one node over another. The environment is more resilient and has a virtually unlimited capacity, which we don’t have to manage.”

By migrating to AWS, MicroStrategy has also transformed its internal operations. Specifically, the company can now conduct sales demonstrations online and provide customers with a sandbox environment for proof-of-concept testing, both of which shorten sales cycles. Additionally, MicroStrategy has an easy-to-provision environment that developers can use to stand up instances for testing new features. This enables the company’s development team to be more agile and efficient. MicroStrategy has also enhanced its service offerings by allowing its education services team to utilize the MicroStrategy Cloud Platform for hands-on lab sessions as part of the MicroStrategy training curriculum. “AWS has enabled transformation for MicroStrategy and our customers, and this will continue as we integrate additional AWS services,” says Anand.

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