Success Story

OpsGuru and Alida Partner to Migrate Data to AWS Cloud for Scalability and Faster Performance

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Alida, a leader in experience management, needed to modernize an application running on legacy architecture to meet its customers' growing data demands. They worked with OpsGuru to replatform the application and migrate the data to AWS Cloud using containerization and microservices. The solution improved scalability and performance, with 24 times faster access to data. The partnership model through AWS helped Alida meet its technical and business goals, and innovate faster.

The Challenge

For Alida, a global software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm that provides a customer experience management (CXM) and customer insights platform to many of the world’s largest companies, scalability is a must.

Legacy technology worked well when Alida was in its growth phase. However, Alida’s customers were flourishing, too. Its customers, Fortune 500 companies and many of the world’s tech, banking, retail, and media giants, required exponentially more data in and out of Alida’s Total Experience Managemen (TXM) platform as they ran more customer surveys and gathered more feedback.  

Alida’s internal testing demonstrated that its architecture was nearing its limits in terms of scalability and performance. “It was set up for a different era, different technologies, a different business, really,” says Joseph Finneran, VP Engineering at Alida. The company needed a solution that quickly scaled to meet the enormous data analytics needs of its customers, with speed, stability, and simplicity. 

AWS Plays Matchmaker for Data Migration

Alida took part in an AWS program to incentivize migration from legacy systems to AWS Cloud using trusted AWS partners. AWS recommended cloud consulting partner, OpsGuru, for the job. “We were excited for the opportunity to help Alida,” says Simon Villiard, Cloud Software Architect at OpsGuru, and leader of the organization’s cloud-native development practice. 

In February 2022, the companies brought their teams together to discuss needs and to determine system requirements. OpsGuru quickly familiarized itself with Alida’s pain points and Villiard created a road map that focused on where OpsGuru could add value to Alida’s infrastructure.

Before entering the partnership, Alida was impressed with the skillset and capabilities of the OpsGuru team. It valued OpsGuru’s vast prior experience helping Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and SaaS customers modernize, scale, and drive greater efficiency on AWS. However, like many ISVs, Alida was wary about working with an external provider. Would they make a good fit? How quickly would they get up to speed? 

Those concerns faded as OpsGuru’s breadth of experience came to the fore. “A few hours here and there explaining things,” says Scott Velez, Senior Architect at Alida, “and OpsGuru hit the ground running.”

Our Solution

Replatforming to AWS for performance and scalability

The project centered on an application called “Community” that Alida ran on a Microsoft Windows server and a Microsoft SQL Server database. Alida customers used the application to get feedback from users of their products and survey results to generate rich insights. 

Alida wanted to improve performance and scalability by modernizing the application and replatforming to AWS Cloud. The Microsoft SQL Server could not scale out horizontally to meet growing customer needs. To address the issue, it needed to move its workloads to a new database. The teams decided to update the database technology, deploy microservices to access the data, and run it on the AWS Aurora Postgres database. OpsGuru accessed AWS Database Freedom for migration advice and support and used License Mobility to manage licensing across the migration.

The data migration was central to the replatforming and OpsGuru was instrumental to that task. The strategy was to rewrite much of the old system in Node.js, containerize it in Alida’s cloud-based Kubernetes platform, and target the Postgres database. The teams considered a range of data migration tools. In the end, OpsGuru wrote a customized data synchronization code to deploy the application in AWS Cloud.

Migration in just four days, with 24 times faster data access

The data migration moved over 800 million records from SQL Server into the Postgres database. Alida needed 3.5 weeks to complete the same process with its previous data synchronization tool. The new tool cut down the migration time to just four days.

Once the data was in the Postgres database, the teams performed a data shard to separate each customer in its system and achieve better indexing and performance. Now, when new customers join the system, Alida can take advantage of the containers written by OpsGuru and the horizontal scaling that Kubernetes provides, and spin up additional containers quickly and efficiently to handle the load.

The migration markedly improved speed and performance. Customers can access data 24 times faster in Community using the new microservices with APIs.

Alida now has access to on-demand compute capacity on AWS to serve its market of growing customers, at a far lower cost than the licensing fees for Microsoft Server SQL.

With cloud architecture support from OpsGuru, Alida migrated from an inefficient and non-scalable legacy system to a fast-performing, scalable, modern application stack in AWS Cloud in just four months. Alida’s customers needed to see that its technology worked quickly, effectively, and was exceedingly stable. “AWS allows us to do that,” says Finneran.

The Result

A partnership model for the future

Building on this project, Alida will continue to invest in its platform on AWS Cloud to gain scalability through containerization and microservices, and extensibility through APIs and open architecture.

The company is focused on staying ahead of the market and integrating technology, including natural language processing and Artificial Intelligence (AI). As Riaz Raihan, President, Products & Engineering, at Alida says, “Technical architecture needs constant upkeep. You’re never done. You’re constantly upgrading it, making sure it’s the best and latest.” 

That’s where partnerships are important. The collaboration with OpsGuru opened the door to technological innovation at Alida much faster than the company could have achieved on its own. It showed that the match-making model works. “It’s very valuable to bring in trusted consultants to work with us,” says Finneran.

The matchmaking model, that brought AWS partners together, was a success. It expedited the project, created a better overall solution, transferred valuable skillsets, and delivered functionality to Alida customers much faster.

Says Raihan, “It's been a wonderful partnership and I'm sure it will evolve and grow.”

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