We recently spent some time with James Ball, business development director at clckwrk, Ltd., a UK-based IT consultancy and cloud-hosting company to learn about the company and the work that clckwrk does with clients using Oracle technology on Amazon Web Services (AWS). It’s always interesting to see the way innovative companies are adopting and utilizing cloud based services to drive their businesses forward, and taking something as complex as Oracle applications, and hosting them in the cloud is innovation at its best.
At its core, clckwrk is an IT consultancy, where consultants with years of experience help clients make the right IT choices to support their business goals, whether by optimizing current IT resources and/or implementing new solutions.
In 2012, ckckwrk expanded by adding cloud-hosting, in addition to their consultancy services for Oracle applications. Up to then, clckwrk mainly worked with organizations using Oracle applications on-site, which meant if clckwrk was working with them on a big (or a small) project, a big part of the project was always determining how much on-site equipment was going to be needed and then getting it ordered, shipped and installed. James and others at clckwrk understood the many benefits of cloud computing and wanted to bring this model to their clients running Oracle applications.
To get to the point though where they could offer cloud-hosting for Oracle applications, clckwrk had several big steps to work through:
- Selecting a cloud provider
- Confirming that the Oracle technology would effectively run in that cloud
- Ensuring that their client’s data and applications would be secure
Selecting a Cloud Provider
Given one of the main goals of offering a cloud-hosting service was to give clients a flexible, cost-effective way to get started with Oracle applications; the pay-per-use model in the public cloud was an appealing option. It’d let their clients get started with minimal up-front costs and add servers and storage space when they needed it.
After looking at options, clckwrk decided to work with Amazon Web Services (AWS). clckwrk was impressed with the AWS services, price and transparency around what services AWS provides and what the AWS customer is responsible for doing. With that determined, clckwrk needed to confirm that they could effectively run Oracle applications in the AWS cloud.
Running Oracle Applications in the Cloud
From a technology perspective, it wasn’t a trivial exercise to get Oracle applications working in AWS. clckwrk engineers needed to take products that typically run on physical hardware and make them run the same way in AWS.
There was also some effort involved in figuring out how clckwrk clients would engage with their instances of the applications. While clckwrk would set up and host the application for the client, their clients still needed full access to configure and customize for their unique needs and then use them on a regular basis to run their business.
Managing Security Considerations
A final step in offering cloud hosting services to clients was ensuring that the data and applications they’d be hosting would be secure in the AWS cloud. The company knew they’d have clients that had to meet compliance requirements like the UK Data Protection Act as well as simply need to secure data and applications. That’s where Alert Logic came into consideration.
For security, clckwrk looks both to AWS to provide a strong security foundation and tools for securing the AWS infrastructure and is also working with Alert Logic to protect data and applications. For any organization looking to understand security in AWS, the AWS Security Center is a great source of information. In AWS, security responsibility is shared. AWS provides a great security foundation and many useful tools for securing AWS infrastructure, while AWS consumers are responsible for securing their data and applications.
To learn more, download the clckwrk case study or read more about Alert Logic security and compliance solutions for AWS.