The MES software solution of Flux MES GmbH was previously offered as an on-premise product, which required an on-site installation and the support of the go-live of the software by a technician in many cases.
About Flux MES
Flux MES is revolutionizing digital manufacturing and defining new standards in the age of Industry 4.0.
The MES software solution of Flux MES GmbH was previously offered as an on-premise product, which required an on-site installation and the support of the go-live of the software by a technician in many cases. In order to provide customers with a more efficient form of software procurement that required less time and hardly any financial and human resources, a migration to the public cloud was discussed. The objective was to make the company's own software solutions available as products hosted in the public cloud.
The advantages offered by the public cloud are many:
- Customers can access their software products via the Internet, regardless of where they are located.
- Updates and new products are available to customers within minutes and can be executed in predefined maintenance windows, depending on requirements.
For the implementation of the planned public cloud project, Flux MES had already registered in advance with Amazon Web Services' "Startup Activate" program. Through this initiative, young companies, "startups", that are not older than 10 years have the opportunity to access a total of up to $100,000 in financial support.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has already classified Flux MES as qualified for this program before the start of the project. After the project was commissioned, we also made sure that the financial support would not only apply to the migration but also to the subsequent operation of the cloud environment. Since Flux MES was not yet a Hyperscaler Amazon Web Services customer, they were able to benefit from our long-standing relationships.
In order to open the gates to the Amazon Cloud world for Flux MES, the necessary AWS accounts were set up in a first project step. These accounts are used to set up all users with individual authorizations, budgets, and security and compliance guidelines.
Our consultants created an architecture design to help enable an optimal structure of the AWS accounts, which was finalized in a joint workshop with Flux MES. This was followed by the implementation and final setup of the AWS environment.
During the implementation, special attention was paid to the setup of the load balancing and auto-scaling functions. These describe the automated distribution of loads — in the case of Flux MES customer requests on their software solution — so that the actual application is continuously accessible. Billing management was also set up so that Flux MES receives German invoices in euros for their efforts in the AWS Cloud.
After the first project step around the setup and implementation of the AWS accounts, our AWS experts supported the installation of the MES application in the public cloud.
Templates were also set up on the AWS service CloudFormation for the subsequent ongoing operation, which characterizes the second project step.
The use of AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK), a service that allows cloud infrastructure to be defined using well-known programming languages, significantly reduces the complexity of the infrastructure code. Using CDK, developers can write infrastructure code in the same language as the rest of their application (e.g. Typescript, Java or Python). The included constructs allow for object-oriented programming of infrastructure instead of huge YAML or JSON files. CDK generates Cloudformation templates from this code so that the benefits of a managed IaC deployment service can still be taken advantage of.
For Flux MES, this has meant that a simple Elastic Kubernetes Service (AWS EKS) cluster could be deployed with a few lines of code, and then flexibly augmented with infrastructure components such as load balancers or databases.
Results and Benefits
Using the integrated Kubernetes cluster (AWS EKS), Flux MES can also quickly deploy the software to its customers after purchase. The templates set up on CloudFormation and the cluster around Kubernetes create the cloud environment for each customer automatically and without manual effort. Accordingly, new customers are created, the AWS environment is booted up, and the software products are made available. This process required a technician on-site at the customer's location prior to project implementation.
In addition, an AWS EKS service (Elastic Kubernetes Service) was set up for a low administration effort of the AWS environment. This provides the flexibility needed to launch, run, and scale Kubernetes applications in the AWS cloud or locally.
Amazon EKS helps deliver highly available and secure clusters and automates key tasks such as patching, node provisioning, and updates. The AWS EKS service is very popular in the Amazon Cloud world. Well-known customers such as Intel, GoDaddy, and Autodesk trust AWS EKS to run their highly sensitive and mission-critical applications.
In addition to successfully setting up the AWS account structure for Flux MES, the migration of the software to the Amazon Web Services public cloud was also completed. Customers can now easily access their manufacturing management software solutions over the Internet, regardless of location or device.
Public Cloud Group (PCG) supports companies in their digital transformation through the use of public cloud solutions.
With a product portfolio designed to accompany organisations of all sizes in their cloud journey and competence that is a synonym for highly qualified staff that clients and partners like to work with, PCG is positioned as a reliable and trustworthy partner for the hyperscalers, relevant and with repeatedly validated competence and credibility.
We have the highest partnership status with the three relevant hyperscalers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft. As experienced providers, we advise our customers independently with cloud implementation, application development, and managed services.