Ion Geophysical established AWS cloud-native foundations for app dev, unlocking scalability and performance to fuel their growth

Energy, Power & Utilities
AWS Foundations
Infrastructure & DevOps Modernization

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With a new customized AWS Control Tower and deployment infrastructure, ION now has the foundations to build out their future developments on AWS and a secure, automated process that will allow their development team to easily scale and grow.

ION Geophysical has been a technology leader for 50 years with a strong history of innovation. The global technology company delivers powerful data-driven decision-making offerings to the offshore energy and maritime operations market and is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:IO). 



Challenge

ION has a variety of HPC applications to supply deep data insight to leaders of the oil and gas industry. As the company began to leverage more cloud-native infrastructure for development and their globally located teams began adopting the platform, they realized their current infrastructure would not scale and would limit accessibility for the team. ION was feeling the lag of these negative effects and realized they needed to get ahead of the problem by implementing a new customized Control Tower with security and compliance measures specific to their industry and unique needs. Not only would they need the infrastructure built, it was also critically important to have their team educated on effectively using AWS foundations once Caylent had left, to ensure they build with well-architected guidelines in the future.

Solution

Caylent and IT leadership at ION picked out a customized Control Tower Caylent Catalyst™ to provide secure AWS foundations and to allow their global team to have a secure and reliable process to access the right things and grow. Just as important as the actual infrastructure of the project was the knowledge sharing component. ION knew, to set themselves up for future success, they would need upfront education regarding AWS best practices.

Caylent completed the entire set up with AWS Control Tower. In conjunction with the control tower deployment, Caylent also set up a customized deployment pipeline leveraging cloud foundations and cloud-native CI/CD tools. ION wanted a multi account structure for their new control tower setup to adhere to AWS best practices and give their engineers easy and secure access to different environments. This also allowed ION to leverage consolidated billing to set billing alerts and thresholds. Caylent and ION worked closely together to determine the best OU structure for the new accounts to determine a custom fit that best supported their needs. They leveraged cloud security best-practices by enabling encryption by default and automatic decryption, giving the team secure processes to scale their team and AWS presence.

Just as critical to the project was the education component. Through a series of workshops, lunch & learns, and deep documentation, ION’s IT leadership was able to learn a lot about AWS and adhering to well-architected best practices. Caylent completed several workshops, tackling topics such as AWS foundations best practices, CI/CD best practices with cloud-native tooling & Infrastructure-as-Code. This was complemented by Caylent’s provision of clear updates throughout the project and deep documentation for the team to use once the project was complete.

Additionally, Caylent created a shared service account to deploy a transit gateway, providing ION with greater resilience for their data center connections. Caylent preemptively changed to a hub and spoke model with transit gateway, reworked VPN, created VPC attachments, and verified they worked for data center connections.

The project has been so successful, ION asked to put in an additional HPC apps for the new Control Tower setup as a last minute request and Caylent was able to deliver within a short span of time.

Results

With a new customized control tower and deployment infrastructure, ION now has the foundations & best practices to build out their future developments on AWS. ION now has a secure, automated process that will allow their development team to easily scale and grow their AWS presence.

ION now has visibility into the environment and is leveraging easier methods like consolidated billing to simplify their process and improve its consistency. Centralized governance enables their IT leaders to delegate tasks out, keep track of everything, and provide a central source to update and make future changes. IT leadership will be updated for changes for security groups. With consolidated billing and an understanding of where cost drivers are, alerts threshold, notify if someone makes a security group with bad rules.

Overall, ION now has the foundations to securely scale for future cloud builds, with increased visibility, and easier management through central controls. ION also walked away with much stronger knowledge on AWS foundational workloads and best practices through the collaboration.

There is continued interest from ION in working with Caylent & leveraging a DevOps engineering pod.

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