Success Story

Trimac Accelerates Business Expansion by Fast-Tracking Cloud Adoption

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Background

Digital transformation is a hot topic in transportation and logistics. For Trimac, North America's leading provider of highway transportation for bulk commodities such as fuel and grain, modernization of its computing technology is about enabling business expansion. This includes its Bulk Plus Logistics division, which offers businesses a way to outsource logistics in order to focus more on their core activities, and its National Tank Services division, a network of facilities that provide maintenance services for tractors, trailers, and cargo tanks.

The Challenge

To enable business expansion, Trimac's strategy is to build secure foundations for its cloud infrastructure that will support a reliable and scalable data pipeline and enable application development for deployment on AWS.

The company's requirements include a multi-account landing zone using best practices for security, logging, and management, and centralized monitoring to secure Internet traffic in and out of the environment, as well as to secure the movement of data between its MongoDB Atlas database and AWS.

To learn how to best use AWS to meet its business expansion goals and to verify AWS functionality, Trimac established an AWS sandbox account to develop a preliminary data pipeline architecture to extract, transform, and load (ETL) data from its on-premises Microsoft SQL server to MongoDB Atlas.

As a result of this pilot project, Trimac recognized that it needed a partner to help it accelerate its cloud adoption with best practices for security and application development, along with support in rapidly upskilling its IT professionals on AWS foundations to have the resources in place to manage the new environment.

To help it advance beyond the evaluation stage, Trimac approached OpsGuru, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner to provide expert support, guidance, and best practices before completing development on their new production workloads.

Our Solution

While many organizations learn cloud best practices through trial and error, Trimac found a faster approach in OpsGuru's Cloud Launchpad service, which smooths the roadmap to cloud adoption by reducing many of the common problems associated with establishing solid cloud foundations.

Cloud Launchpad combines pre-built, ready-to-go infrastructure as code (IaC) with prescriptive best practices that have been developed over hundreds of successful OpsGuru projects to help organizations move to the cloud quickly and securely. The Cloud Launchpad pre-built IaC includes development, test, and production accounts, giving Trimac a head start in developing its cloud-native applications.

To secure traffic flowing through the Internet to AWS, OpsGuru recommended and deployed two FortiGate servers, a next-generation firewall solution from Fortinet. To help Trimac fully embrace its cloud-native strategy, OpsGuru set the company up with Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) to deploy its containerized workloads.

To provide secure connectivity with its MongoDB Atlas databases, which hold a significant amount of Trimac data, OpsGuru set up AWS Private Links between MongoDB Atlas instances and workloads running on Amazon EKS.

To upskill the Trimac team on managing its new cloud environment through infrastructure as code (IaC), OpsGuru held several enablement workshops, a standard feature of Cloud Launchpad. OpsGuru also customized Cloud Launchpad for Trimac to work with Terraform Cloud, a managed service available from HashiCorp that batter enables their standard open-source IaC tool for managing production workloads, along with adding Argo CD integrated with GitHub to deploy their cloud-native applications to Amazon EKS.

In addition, OpsGuru helped Trimac:

  • Deploy security features such as single-sign on (SSO) integration with Microsoft Azure Active Directory
  • Implement Amazon Cognito to enable authentication and authorization for their applications’ API endpoints
  • Implement AWS App Mesh to provide observability of traffic within their EKS clusters, giving a single pane of glass view of how their application traffic is performing
  • Centralize networking to enable full traffic inspection by the FortiGate servers
  • Validate its data pipeline architecture and implement it in IaC with best practices for logging, monitoring, and tagging
  • Implement AWS CloudWatch Alarms to automate notifications through ServiceNow when operational metrics fall outside of configured thresholds

The Result

Within three months, OpsGuru fully onboarded Trimac onto AWS with operational data pipelines, fully configured development, test, and production environments for their cloud-native containerized software running on Amazon EKS, and full traffic inspection for comprehensive security. During this time, OpsGuru trained the Trimac team on AWS best practices and provided guidance to enable Trimac to continue accelerating its journey to a cloud-native environment.

As a result of Trimac's success with Cloud Launchpad, the company took advantage of OpsGuru Virtual Teams to help it operationalize its AWS production environment. Virtual Teams provides Trimac with a team of OpsGuru experts for guidance on next steps in its cloud journey and additional expertise to fill gaps in skill sets when needed during a project. Virtual Teams enable Trimac to build on its cloud foundations at a predictable cost with Trimac setting priorities and OpsGuru providing technical expertise and guidance.

By working with OpsGuru, Trimac was able to significantly compress its time to value in establishing a solid foundation in the cloud to enable its business expansion. Trimac's application team is now actively developing new cloud-native applications on the Amazon EKS clusters and is managing application deployment with GitOps. The team is also able to give its business partners secure access to deploy Trimac microservices and can easily add more partners through simple updates to its IaC.

In addition, Trimac's data team is actively using and extending its data pipelines as needed through minor updates to its IaC.

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