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HomeDatabase ManagementWhy Reltio chose an all-in migration to Amazon DynamoDB

Why Reltio chose an all-in migration to Amazon DynamoDB

“Reltio’s ability to drive innovation on behalf of their customers exemplifies how cloud-native businesses can leverage AWS to deliver differentiated solutions. Through collaboration in both technology development and go-to-market efforts, Reltio’s partnership with AWS continues to strengthen their position as an industry-leading master data management solution.”

-Amine Chigani, AWS Global Head of Enterprise Technologists

Amazon DynamoDB helps us deliver a premium, modern master data management service for our customers while enabling us to run our infrastructure as efficiently as possible. DynamoDB provides increased performance, agility, and scalability, allowing our customers to keep pace with the volume and speed of data that their growing number of applications require. Migrating to DynamoDB allows our customers to focus on running their business without worrying about managing their databases.”

-Manish Sood, CEO and Founder

Data has changed our world, from driving better healthcare outcomes to improving school curricula. In turn, technology has made it possible to gather more data from more places. Enterprise companies depend on clean, connected, always-available data about customers, suppliers, and products to be able to drive growth and improve service. But all that data is only noise if there isn’t a way to connect the dots and produce actionable insights—something Reltio understood more than 10 years ago when we created our master data management (MDM) platform.

More users + more data = new game plan

A lot has changed since Reltio launched its solution a decade ago—namely the proliferation of data sources and applications—which has only underscored the importance of having a unified data strategy. During that time, Reltio has helped businesses in industries like healthcare, financial services, and retail secure and unify their data.

While the data businesses can capture continues to come from more and more applications, it comes with the complexity of aggregating and protecting it all. Consequently, businesses that want to remain competitive must stay ahead of the curve by leveraging the best technology out there to discover relevant information about their end-users—and that includes Reltio. That mindset is what has fueled our, and our customers’, growth. In the past year, the data on Reltio’s MDM platform grew to more than 8 billion 360-degree view profiles of connected data from thousands of sources.

Overview of solution

Reltio was built to be cloud native, but by 2020, we were starting to hit the limits of our primary store. Reltio draws from 40 data sources, processes 12.2 billion raw profiles and 8.1 billion consolidated profiles, and fields 37.9 API calls per year. The average size of a customer’s dataset consists of 5.5 billion managed relationships. We migrated all of this from Apache Cassandra while also maintaining a live system 24/7.

To meet growing storage, computing, and security demands amidst our growth, we adopted Amazon DynamoDB for a subset of our microservices in 2020. DynamoDB is a fully managed, serverless, key-value NoSQL database that’s designed to run high-performance applications at any scale. The move allowed us to maintain our continued commitment to bringing the best performance, agility, and scalability to our customers around the world.

And now we’re going even further by migrating every relevant Reltio service in AWS to DynamoDB. Our previous primary store was not a cloud native database and did not offer managed services. We were pushing the limits of what was possible both in terms of data volume, number of tables, and workload isolation. We had to decide which database was the best choice for long-term customer satisfaction, scalability, cost, and maintainability. In the short-term, whatever we chose also had to provide a tenable, disruption-free migration path.

Evaluate where to host customer data

Second, because this is such a huge project involving a core aspect of our business, we wanted to craft a detailed migration roadmap with a focus on minimal disruption.

Carefully plan for a disruption-free migration

The questions we had around these two goals led us to the same answer: DynamoDB.

Why we chose DynamoDB as our database

Reltio believes in constant innovation. AWS has enabled us to bring a competitive, cloud-first, API-first platform to market that can handle billions of API calls annually and act as customers’ always-available golden record for data.

As part of providing the best possible experience through a real-time MDM system, we wanted to expand our partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has offered us a comprehensive, secure, and functional cloud infrastructure since Reltio’s inception. Working closely with AWS Professional Services, we were able to prove that DynamoDB could handle consistently high volumes of reads and writes with guaranteed single-digit millisecond latency, and remain reliable during demand spikes.

Carefully planning for a disruption-free migration

The goal of this initiative was to bring more value to our customers through enhanced reliability, stability, and performance. We wanted to set the tone by offering a completely transparent, behind-the-scenes migration that allowed customers to continue business as usual. To achieve a disruption-free migration, we crafted a five-phase plan that began in Q4 2021 and will continue through 2022. We classified customers into five availability and data types; each had a designated migration phase. Each migration phase followed a four-step process (shown in Figure 1 that follows):

Data check and repair, backup
Dry run and validation
Copy with change log, tracking, and failover protection to keep downtime to zero
Close out with post-move validation and run consistency checks of secondary storage

Figure 1: An outline of the process that Reltio follows for each phase in the five-phased migration

The products and professional services that AWS offers made it possible for us to create a new development environment to which we can migrate data over time. In choosing what data to shift first, we considered how customers use Reltio differently and we used that information to create a tiered system. For example, customers who regularly needed 24/7 access to real-time data would be in a different migration wave than customers who tend to access their data on a more scheduled basis.

We also classified data by types—high or low volume datasets, type of encryption, and data that was mission-critical versus rarely accessed. We began by migrating lower-stakes data first across three layers: smaller subsets of data, test data (replicated data), and production data (the live, critical data) By moving the smaller, lower-stakes data first, we were able to minimize and learn from any hiccups before we moved to mission-critical data.

As of this writing, we’ve completed two of the five phases with zero downtime. Throughout the process, the AWS Professional Services team has been a pivotal partner, validating our plan before we implement, and offering design and sequencing suggestions that accelerate and optimize the process.

Conclusion

What a DynamoDB migration means for our customers—and the future of Reltio

This migration brings significant customer benefits, including the ability to scale, and can keep up with business growth. DynamoDB provides automatic elastic scaling with no downtime or performance degradation, and virtually unlimited storage. This means data storage can grow as customers add more profiles and compute capabilities can scale up or down as API usage fluctuates. DynamoDB integrates with other AWS services so that customers can easily integrate a large library of tools to help them achieve even more with their data.

Customers will also notice increased speed and reliability when storing, querying, and analyzing their data, regardless of the volume. DynamoDB provides single-digit millisecond performance at any scale and 99.99 percent availability (99.999 percent with global tables). Supported by the global presence of AWS Regions and Availability Zones, customers will have fully managed, cross-Regional data replication, backup, restore, and in-memory caching. It will also allow Reltio to clone customer data more quickly for analysis.

Finally, Reltio customers can enjoy stronger security thanks to the inherent safeguards throughout AWS infrastructure. Because AWS serves industries like healthcare and finance, companies in industries from retail to hospitality can enjoy the same level of security and industry-leading service level agreements as the most regulated sectors out there. DynamoDB provides encryption at rest and always runs the latest software versions with updated security, durability, availability, and performance improvements.

We’re celebrating the success we’ve had so far and look forward to the added value a completed migration will bring to our customers. Part of that value is our partnership with AWS, which we plan to continue well after this migration is complete. In Reltio’s mission to be the operating system for data for the enterprise, we know deep engagement with a trusted cloud partner will help us offer the strongest MDM solution on the market. Just ask our customers (and theirs).

About the author

Ansh Kanwar is Reltio’s SVP of Technology, having joined Reltio in October 2021. Ansh has previously been at Citrix Systems, Logmein, and Onapsis. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the SaaS, Cloud Infrastructure, and Security spaces. At Reltio, he is responsible for the features and capabilities of the Reltio Platform and its delivery from the cloud. Ansh holds an MS in Computer Eng. from UCSB and MBA from MIT.

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