Case Study – Storage
Cardinal Engineering Consultant – Storage Solution
With a focus on delivering top-notch MEPF design and drafting services, Cardinal Engineering (formerly Complete Design Studio) was founded. Its services have been rendered in 24 states, and the company specializes in providing engineering and drafting services to clients seeking to boost their engineering efficiency, competitiveness, and global presence. Cardinal’s team of engineers and BIM experts seamlessly collaborate with clients’ in-house teams, serving as an extension of their organization.
Use Case: PRIMARY STORAGE
The customer is into designing for the AEC industry and working towards BIM (Building Information Modeling). For them, the design data is very critical. Also, data sharing / Collaboration is the key for any successful project delivery. BIM promotes data collaboration by facilitating the sharing of information between different parties involved in the project, such as architects, engineers, contractors, and owners.
The Customer was looking for a secure and cost-effective solution for file sharing, however it should have proper security permission management. They were earlier using Windows File Server [On-premises]. The engineers working on the project at different times should not be able to download the file locally, rather, they should work in collaboration with other teams.
In summary, data collaboration is a crucial aspect of BIM that facilitates the sharing of information and promotes collaboration between different stakeholders involved in a construction project.
- The design files are larger in size [typically 300-500 MB to start with].
- Collaborators, users, designers, contractors, consultants – all are at different locations, and they need to collaborate to work towards the single file sometimes.
- The team working at different locations should not be able to download the files locally and rather they should work on cloud based file system directly.
- Approx. 35-40 users who would work on the file system at different times.
Operisoft had proposed and implemented AWS FSx for Windows Server to address this requirement.
- AWS FSx is a fully managed shared storage built on Windows Server, backed by a fully native Windows file system.
- Used Services:
- OpenVPN [pFsense] hosted on ec2 – Client VPN and firewall, encryption in transit .
- AWS Managed Microsoft Active Directory – We discussed about their current usage pattern with On-prem Active Directory, we concluded to us AWS Managed Microsoft Active Directory.
- Native De-duplication – we used deduplication systesm of Windows File Server to optimize and save the cost.
- Map Network Drive – Mapping Network drive to different stake holders for the usage of files.
- Existing Data Migration – In the initial phase, the implementation will be catered for the new workloads uploaded by applications, users. Existing on-premises data is planned to be migrated via Data Sync service.
- Monitoring the activity – We used Cloudwatch to monitor the file system activity.
- Selection of right throughput – As the singe file size was large, we suggested to use higher throughput until the desire result is achieved. And currently 128 mbps to 256 mbps depending upon the team size, works smoothly for the customer.
The provided solution helped the customer with a more efficient, trustworthy, and secure approach to sharing the files between team members authenticated by Active Directory, using Native features of Active Directory for authentication and permission management. This not only gave the customer confidence in the solution but also peace of mind for his critical design data and BIM collaboration.
Additionally, as he knows that the FSx service is scalable, reliable, he can scale the storage space as well as throughput as and when the need arises.
- The Customer is into BIM [Building Modeling Information]. He needs to share his design data, drawing, with contractor, MEP consultants and owner. Using FSx, there is a reliable improvement in Performance.
- Because of scalable throughput, customers can simultaneously connect with multiple users and collaborate.
- Right security permissions based upon user group (AD user management). Because of a VPN, nobody outside the network can access the file server data.
- Flexible Performance: AWS FSx can support demanding enterprise applications as well as high-performance workloads. The service is designed to deliver fast, scalable, consistent, and predictable performance.
- Encryption: They achieved the encryption of their data by default using AWS KMS and also at connection level/transit using pFsense Firewall VPN.
- Daily backup: The requirement of daily backup is achieved using AWS Backup, and the requirements of RTO of 2 hours and RPO of 24 hours are achieved accordingly.