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RWE Supply & Trading modernizes their IT landscape on AWS using Amazon Database Migration Accelerator

RWE, a leading European energy utility, embarked on the mission “Go Green” in 2021, and aims to be carbon neutral by 2040. RWE is planning to shift their portfolio from conventionally generated energy to renewables like wind, solar energy, and hydrogen. As part of this initiative, RWE Supply & Trading (RWEST), the energy trading company within the RWE group, decided to move their IT landscape to the cloud to modernize its trading systems to create greater operational resiliency and increase scalability to better adjust to an ever-changing global marketplace. RWEST evaluated multiple cloud providers to host their energy-trading platform workloads (application and database) and decided to adopt AWS due to the technical expertise and lower operating cost of the services. RWEST used migration strategy and implementation services from Amazon Database Migration Accelerator (Amazon DMA) and has started observing improvements in their IT team’s productivity, streamlining internal IT processes and leading to faster release cycles.

Working with Amazon DMA has long-term benefits. We are speeding up our migration, our teams spend less effort, and we have more resilient services after the migration.” — Tobias Bluhm, Chief Architect, RWE Supply & Trading.

Migration Strategy and Implementation

RWEST asked for support from AWS to develop a cloud migration strategy and implementation plan. The AWS account team looped in the Amazon DMA team to analyze and make recommendations on migration strategy and implementation for their IT portfolio containing over 50 workloads. Amazon DMA broadly classified those workloads into three groups based on their underlying architecture, dependencies, and effort and complexity involved to move them to AWS:

The first group contained legacy workloads that were developed over decades and where modifications were increasingly difficult to make in an economical way
The second group contained workloads with a monolithic architecture, had large databases with multiple applications accessing them that led to performance issues, maintenance overhead, and high operating costs
The third group contained workloads with hard dependencies on RWEST’s internal functionalities

The Amazon DMA team recommended that workloads in the first group migrate to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), the second group to be refactored to operate on AWS cloud-native databases and analytics services, and the third group to continue operating from their on-premises environment.

The workloads in the second group used an Oracle database with Java or .NET for the application tier. The Amazon DMA team conducted a deep dive analysis on these monolithic workloads and confirmed that there were multiple separate applications that were accessing the same database, leading to performance and maintenance issues. To mitigate this issue, the team mapped the application usage with the underlying database tables. Then they separated the user experience, business logic, and databases into independent services that will use Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL-Compatible Edition, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and AWS Secrets Manager in the new architecture. In addition to these changes, the team observed that the workloads used Oracle cursors with heavy transaction logic, SYSDATE functions for time-sensitive transactions, and the Fileserver system for raw data inputs. The team recommended moving transaction logic to the application tier to preserve the business functionality, using the clock timestamp functionality with the exact time zone specified to retain time sensitivity, and using Amazon S3 with AWS Lambda functions instead of Fileserver. The following diagram illustrates the new architecture.

The Amazon DMA team provided a migration solution and wave plan for the grouped workloads. The team completed refactoring the first wave of workloads in Q2 of 2022 and helped RWEST set up a CI/CD pipeline for the database objects and application code using AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodeBuild, and Lambda. RWEST deployed these workloads to production in Q4 of 2022. With the first phase complete, RWEST continues to use Amazon DMA’s complementary advisory services to modernize additional workloads and use their internal teams to implement those migrations.

Conclusion

In this post, we shared how Amazon DMA is helping RWEST modernize their IT landscape. If you are planning to migrate your workloads to AWS databases and analytics services, email [email protected] to engage with the Amazon DMA team.

About the authors

Venkat Sunil Pathi is a Global Principal Solution Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS) with focus on accelerating ISV and strategic enterprise migrations to AWS Database and Analytics services.

Sharath Gopalappa is a Sr. Product Manager Technical at Amazon Web Services (AWS) with focus on helping organizations modernize their technology investments with AWS Databases & Analytics services.

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