CloudCar

Case Study

Industry

Cloud-based consumer products and automotive solutions

Challenge

Provide a big data solution within 15 days

The Client

CloudCar delivers cloud-based consumer products and automotive solutions. They are the creator of justDrive™, which uses cloud technology to act as a bridge between the car and the driver. Noting the driver’s favourite applications, destinations, songs and behaviours, it works seamlessly to create a personal experience of driving. CloudCar hit the headlines in 2014 when it announced a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover to incorporate it’s voice activated system into their vehicles. It has also featured in TechCrunch and CNET.

The Challenge

CloudCar were experiencing exponential growth as their product made waves in the press and within elite automotive circles. They were trying to bring in and train new employees, all the while trying to solve the normal ongoing infrastructure issues that come with growing fast. They approached nClouds with the same huge expectations their own clients have of them - help us run more smoothly within 15 days and provide a big data solution that will enable us to process large amounts of data smoothly and without impacting our infrastructure. With tier one clients like Jaguar Land Rover it was critical to create a seamless, robust solution within this tight deadline.

The Solution

15 days is a big ask and as this was from a standing start, the team had to first familiarise themselves with the application and the existing infrastructure. Beginning with the goal of a smooth transition with little to no impact, nClouds created a plan while actively taking steps to put the plan in place. The original system was insecure and not representative of the technology the company had to offer. Moving the entire system over to a AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) where it was then only accessible via secure connection to the virtual private network (VPN) became the goal and from there a plan took form. For the big data solution, Apache Kafka, Apache Storm and Apache Zookeeper would allow CloudCar to process terabytes of data.

All of this was completed using best practices policies and procedures and in partnership with nClouds partners and advisors. It was also important to ensure that CloudCar’s team were in the loop and understood the process and timeframes.

The Technology & Methodology

Using blue-green deployments, nClouds were able to minimise downtime and ensure continuity for CloudCar. Infrastructure as code (IaC) was used to maximise outputs and continuous integration and detailed monitoring was the basis for making sure any issues were handled early and effectively - quick fixes that would create issues down the line were not an option. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was tailored to ensure cost optimisation.

Technology used included

  • AWS CloudFormation - to be able to track changes efficiently for infrastructure
  • AWS OpsWorks – enabled automated deployment of new servers and code from hectic manual deployments to one click deployments
  • Apache Kafka, Apache Storm, Apache Zookeeper - Used these suite of technologies to help them ingest large amounts of messages and enable client to process data faster hence providing excellent services
  • Chef - Used as a centralized configuration management system for all their infrastructure side configurations

The Benefits

With everything on an AWS VPC, CloudCar’s security is far in excess of what it was and the transition was completed smoothly and without major issue. As testament to this, nClouds are now responsible for Cloudcar’s entire infrastructure and through this provide 24/7, 365 day a year support for any issues that may arise. As a result, CloudCar is now working with technology and infrastructure that represents the quality of it’s product and clients can rest assured they aren’t just buying the best product from the best company, but that it’s also a business that makes effective technology a priority, not just in their cars, but in business.

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