Performance and Cost Optimization


iPatientCare improves application performance by 40% with Amazon EBS 

iPatientCare is a pioneer in cloud-based ambulatory EHR, revenue cycle management services, integrated practice management, and patient engagement solutions. iPatientCare uses Microsoft SQL Server on AWS with data storage on Elastic Block Store that played a significant role in improving entire application performance by 40%. Our maintenance and deployment activities are getting carried out faster than ever before with noteworthy reduction in operational cost by 60%.

Shripal Shah, Senior Technology Officer, iPatientCare

Repricer Express moves to AWS from Azure for lower costs, higher performance

Repricer Express uses Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) with provisioned IOPS solid state drives (SSDs) for high-performance block storage. The flexibility of Amazon EBS enables RepricerExpress to find a better fit between its architecture and its applications. "By taking advantage of the high-performance SSD option for Amazon EBS, we designed a storage platform that aligned closely to the data access patterns of our applications," says Elder. "This Amazon EBS option will help us reduce costs and deliver even stronger application availability."

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Axinom Cuts Costs with Amazon EBS and Amazon EC2 Spot

Axinom, a leading provider of digital solutions to the media and entertainment industry, struggled to scale their Content Management System (CMS) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions to keep up with increasing user traffic while running SQL Server in an on-premises data center. Rather than rewrite these applications, Axinom migrated their SQL Server-based application environment to AWS for better scalability and flexibility. In so doing, Axinom cut costs for supporting their digital media supply chain services by 70 percent using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, enabling them to offer more competitive pricing for their customers, according to Axinom’s Chief Technology Officer, Johannes Jauch. In addition, AWS helps customers like Axinom cut costs with Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) General Purpose SSD (gp2) volumes that deliver single-digit millisecond latencies and the ability to burst to 3,000 IOPS for extended periods, particularly well-suited to SQL Server workloads.

Bristol Myers Squibb uses Amazon EBS volumes to increase performance and cost savings while using AWS Storage Gateway.

In their internal testing, Bristol Myers Squib found that General Purpose SSD block storage (gp2 EBS volumes) is a good option for Storage Gateway for datasets of small-to-medium files sizes (1 MB to 1 GB), with negligible impact on performance. They use Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1) for larger data sets and saw similar results. By using the right types of volumes that met their needs, potential savings can be up to 40%, which can be substantial in many life science applications.

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ProtectWise enables stateless storage architecture and 95% reduction in storage costs, using Amazon EBS and Amazon S3 for their Apache Cassandra deployment

Using Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS has significantly reduced costs for ProtectWise. “Our savings per unit of data has gone down an average of 30 percent per month over the last two years,” says Josh Hollander, director of platform development at ProtectWise. “Using AWS, we have reduced our storage costs by 95 percent, meaning we are spending $1 for every $20 we would have spent on a traditional system.” ProtectWise increased performance at the same time.

“Our solution built using Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS ingests 50 terabytes of compressed network data and metadata each day, adding up now to many petabytes of stored data,” says Gene Stevens, cofounder and chief technology officer at ProtectWise. “We can search all that data with response times of 1 to 3 seconds. Nobody else in the security industry can do this. It blows our customers away.” Because Amazon EBS is persistent, ProtectWise can dynamically move storage among instances as needed without replicating the data as would be required in traditional clustered databases. “Decoupled storage means we can move data in minutes that would have taken days or weeks using traditional architecture,” says Gene Stevens.

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Viasat Boosts Analytics Performance Using Amazon EBS for its Kafka cluster 

“Adopting Amazon EBS st1 volumes smoothed out I/O performance for high-throughput data capture, improving the availability of our monitoring dashboards without increasing our storage cost.” The team has also realized several other benefits. “Using Amazon EBS st1 volumes gave us the flexibility to choose instance sizes independent of I/O considerations,” says Woodlins. “Maintenance is faster, because we can reattach drives as needed instead of having to deploy and rebalance a new, empty server. We were also able to reduce the number of default replicas of our cluster from three to two because of the redundancy built into EBS volumes.”

In addition, Viasat noted that using Amazon EBS st1 volumes enabled it to saturate instance I/O to the limit on the machine, resulting in maximum utilization and no need to overprovision. The company plans to move more of its data storage to Amazon EBS st1 volumes. “Tests with our Hadoop workloads have shown great results,” says Woodlins. “Our long-term plan is to move them from Amazon EBS d2 instance store to st1 drives.” With the capability and flexibility of AWS Cloud storage, Viasat can continue to drive broadband innovation and performance ever higher.

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Videology accelerates performance and cost savings for Hadoop clusters with Amazon EBS

To address its performance and cost challenges, Videology specifically decided to deploy Amazon EBS Throughput Optimized (st1) volumes. These low-cost, persistent, block-level storage volumes use hard disk drives (HDDs) along with Amazon EC2 instances to deliver high-throughput storage for Videology’s big-data workload. “We were able to save $15,000 per month, increase our available storage by 5%, and turn off eight server nodes by moving to Amazon EBS st1 volumes to support our Hadoop cluster,” said David Ortiz, Sr. Software Engineer. 

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Scale and Agility


Equifax scales storage easily with Amazon EBS

Equifax addressed its scalability and performance issues by moving its entire Oracle application suite to Amazon Web Services (AWS), running on hundreds of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and using Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) for persistent block level storage. Equifax initially migrated its ERP and Hyperion solutions to AWS, and then migrated the Oracle BRM application to the cloud in a second phase. The company’s applications run on more than 850 vCPUs, storing over 100 TB of data across approximately 350 Amazon EBS volumes “AWS is the right technology for us because it enables us to scale horizontally and vertically,” says Tulsian. Equifax worked with AWS partner Cloudreach during the migration and employed AWS CloudEndure Migration to simplify, expedite, and automate large-scale migration of the Oracle BRM.

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Pix Systems scales storage capacity by 16 times at about half the cost

The flexibility of AWS allows PIX to easily switch from Amazon EBS Magnetic volumes, which had a limit of 1 TB, to new throughput-optimized SC1 hard disk drive (HDD) volumes, which allow for up to 16 TB, at roughly half the cost. “The SC1 volumes have been amazing for us because the savings has allowed us to move from a ‘RAIDed’ environment, and the performance has been marvelous,” says Elliott Freis, principal engineer at PIX. “Effectively, it was no different from running on magnetic—if not better—for the same cost.”

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Hess accelerates migration of 300 servers with scalable storage from Amazon EBS.

Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) attached to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances provides block level storage for almost 500 TB of data. Provisioned IOPS volumes for storage in conjunction with instances optimized for EBS provide consistent and low-latency performance for servers with more strenuous IO demands. In extreme cases, provisioned IOPS volumes were configured as a RAID array to increase performance. Hess also uses EBS Snapshots to back up their EBS volumes.

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Jump! is a startup focusing on the design and deployment of efficient deep learning networks on smartphones. The innovative technology accelerating neural networks is designed by Jump! to bring artificial intelligence and machine learning to smartphones and improve user experience.

We use Amazon EC2 P3 instances and EBS block storage service to develop network compression methods for accelerating the inference of neural networks. These AWS products allow us to run such compute-intensive tasks as image classification and investigation of large scale deep learning networks.”

Yawei Li, Chief Scientist

Backup and Restore with Snapshots

TransferWise is a global financial technology company working to develop better ways to move money around the world. TransferWise used the Tape Gateway mode of AWS Storage Gateway to replace tape backups and then transitioned to writing database backups to a Volume Gateway. This in turn created Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) Snapshots that were managed by the AWS Backup service. As a result, TransferWise was able to close its recovery data center in the Netherlands.

Once the company’s databases were being backed up to AWS, TransferWise began to use those backups to migrate its databases. “We realized quickly that using Volume Gateway and Amazon EBS Snapshots was an effective way to get the data robustly into AWS,” says Hewer. “It was a simple way of doing the migration that worked with our database team’s existing processes and knowledge.”

The organization migrated 90 percent of its German data center using this approach, along with AWS Database Migration Service. So far, TransferWise has moved hundreds of PostgreSQL and MySQL databases into a combination of Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) with Amazon EBS. “We use Amazon RDS wherever we can to reduce the time we spend on database administration and also have the flexibility to run our more ‘special-case’ databases on Amazon EC2,” says Hewer.

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Kellogs uses EBS Snapshots as part of their backup workflows for SAP

In this full-length episode of AWS Coffee Break, Abdul Mohammed, Senior IT Architect at Kellogg Company talks about Kellogg's migration to AWS, minimizing backup costs, and hybrid cloud storage architectures.

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Hess Corporation uses EBS Snapshots to prevent data loss

“Snapshots covered us for both server failures and accidental data deletion or corruption,” says McDonald. “We took advantage of the ability to easily copy snapshots within the same Region to another AWS Region by using the Amazon EC2 console, Amazon EC2 command line interface (CLI) tools, or an API. We used snapshot copies to create backups of data and to create new Amazon EBS volumes and standard Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.”

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