Alation

Case Study

Industry

Alation’s enterprise collaborative data platform allow employees to form better, faster decisions by helping them to find, understand and use the right data.

Challenge

Development and implementation of a cost effective solution

The Client

Alation’s enterprise collaborative data platform allow employees to form better, faster decisions by helping them to find, understand and use the right data. Alation is funded among other by Andreessen Horowitz and Bloomberg Beta. Some of the largest finance and retail firms are included in Alation’s list of customers.

The Challenge

Alations products are running on many data platform from standard MySql and enterprise grade Oracle databases all the way to open source Big Data cluster such as CDH or HDP. Development faces the challenge of testing new features against all supported data platforms, whereas support needs to verify and isolate the cause of potential issues with customer installations. This requires access to a flexible and readily available test infrastructure. Alation approached nClouds to assist with development and implementation of a cost effective solution.

The Solution

By fully taking advantage of AWS’s flexible on-demand architecture, Alation will be able create the required test configurations in a completely automated fashion. A specified test infrastructure will be brought up as part of a Jenkins based CI/CD solution. At the end of the integration test phase databases and data platforms are being destroyed. This automated process also helps to reliably provide developers with version specific development resources.

The Technology & Methodology

Using the latest version of Hashicorps Terraform Amazon Web Services (AWS) resources are being brought up and removed on demand. By avoiding static and inflexible test resources cost savings could be realized.

Technology used included

  • AWS RDS, Redshift, EC2
  • Teradata, SAP HANA, Greenplum, DB2 etc
  • Terraform

The Benefits

By completely automating the platform specific test resources Alation is not only able to test a wide variety of databases from many vendors. It also has now a way to reliable reproduce test environments, that before were handcrafted and static. Test infrastructure that took hours or maybe days to create, can now be brought up in a few minutes or an hour,depending on complexity of the data platform.

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