This SaaS developer needed a way to ensure that it met its service-level agreement to customers, providing a consistently secure and reliable service that dynamically scales to meet its customers’ needs.
The company partnered with NTT DATA to deploy AWS managed services for its production workloads, achieving its uptime and security goals.
Serving enterprise clients with its SaaS offering this software company develops mission-critical software solutions. It is a vital component of its customers’ business operations. As a result, uptime, consistency, security and scalability are all necessary hallmarks of its SaaS solution. Seeking a more industrial-strength platform for its product, the company’s CEO turned to the cloud consulting team at NTT DATA for guidance.
The NTT DATA team conducted an analysis of the company’s business needs and its existing SaaS systems. Specifically, the company had customers around the world and a desire for greater automation and continuous improvement through new features and functionality. Moreover, the company needed to deploy and scale up infrastructure for each new SaaS customer, supporting them with their own, discrete installation. The NTT DATA team recommended Amazon Web Services (AWS) as an ideal fit for these needs given its extreme scalability and business continuity features.
A fresh start
Working together, the NTT DATA and client team determined that a fresh cloud installation, rather than a migration, was the best approach. Constructing the infrastructure from the ground up, the NTT DATA team built-in AWS and security best practices.
The managed AWS environment
To meet the client’s goals to grow scalability, reliability and security, NTT DATA’s AWS management services combined DevOps methodologies, automation and industry best practices to ensure the client reached its objectives.
System security is a top priority. To address foundational security, the team first tackled Identity and Access Management (IAM), ensuring that it defined, wrote and maintained secure AWS IAM policies that apply the principle of least privilege while automating processes – like provisioning – that make the team’s work easier. For example, in streamlining access management, NTT DATA consultants learned that the client lacked properly defined access groups. The NTT DATA team assessed the situation and proposed a secure approach. Similarly, NTT DATA consultants advised the client on best practice credentials (e.g., passwords and keys) which the team manages via AWS IAM.
Once built and configured to the SaaS provider’s needs, the NTT DATA team continuously monitors the environment to ensure its ongoing secure operation. Using AWS CloudTrail in combination with AWS CloudWatch, the managed services team tracks and logs all activity, ensuring operational compliance. Amazon SNS is used to alert the team when a threshold is breached, ensuring prompt attention to unexpected system events. The managed services consultants further use this information to highlight opportunities for continuous improvement, extending security at scale.
Last, the CIS hardened, continuous compliance solution has allowed the team to achieve industry compliance to SOX, HIPAA and other regulatory standards. Importantly, this in turn, allows the SaaS provider to offer a product to its customers that meets their regulatory requirements.
Onboarding new customers
In addition to ensuring a secure set up of the client’s production workloads, the NTT DATA team helps onboard its client’s new SaaS customers. The team builds a discrete AWS infrastructure to ensure each customer has its own totally segregated, isolated environment. AWS CloudFormation templates are used to automate the deployment of the new customer environments. With Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) the consulting team can easily modify the environment, applying continuous improvements.
These new environments are built using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for its resizable compute capacity. And the team deploys a new Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for each customer environment; Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) works in conjunction with the VPC to automatically distribute traffic and ensure system availability and reliability. Last, the NTT DATA team is responsible for upgrading the SaaS solution for its client when it releases new features and functionality.
With a system that generates a great deal of data, the NTT DATA team recommended that the customer use Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) as its database service. The managed services team sets up a discrete database and endpoint security for each new customer and provides full AWS database support. AWS S3 is used as the company’s object data store.
NTT DATA has managed the AWS installation 24/7 for more than a year. In that time, the system has operated flawlessly, with zero downtime and zero failures, achieving for the customer more than 99.999% availability. The company has met – and exceeded – its service level agreements to customers, creating higher customer satisfaction.
Moreover, with advanced monitoring coupled with technical expertise, the team provides guidance for continuous improvement, optimizing cost and operational efficiency in the process. With its solution managed by the certified AWS experts at NTT DATA, the company’s technical resources are freed to spend more time innovating for customers. These benefits combined to give the company a leading market position, which did not go unnoticed as the company has recently been approached as an acquisition target.
About NTT DATA Services
NTT DATA Services helps clients plan, assess, develop and deliver AWS solutions that transform the business. As a division of NTT DATA Corporation, a top 10 global IT services provider with over 130,000 employees across 50+ countries, we pair deep industry and cloud-native expertise with a broad portfolio of infrastructure, application and business process services to speed the digital journey.