The Challenge

This global logistics enterprise based in Europe provides land, air and sea shipping services and related solutions. The company is no stranger to innovation; it uses an algorithmic tool to optimize load planning and capacity utilization. 

It had previously deployed its big data stack using non-cloud native big data services onto the cloud without much success. So, the company’s data team planned to establish another big data platform – this time on Microsoft Azure – with a focus on cloud-native PaaS services, making use of Azure’s big data services. Cloudreach was engaged to help.

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The Solution

Having designed and implemented the initial Azure Cloud Landing Zone for the enterprise, Cloudreach provided big data expertise for this engagement and collaborated with a German technology partner that completed the logical data lake design. Cloudreach provisioned the infrastructure, built the data platform and helped migrate PostgreSQL data from on-premises data centers and another cloud environment to Azure, including:

  • Provisioned Azure Data Lake Gen2, which converges the capabilities of Azure Data Lake Storage Gen1 with Azure Blob Storage.
  • Introduced concepts such as Infrastructure as Code (IaC), using Terraform. 
  • Established deployment pipelines (CI/CD), leveraging tools, such as Jenkins, to perform the CD function and Gitlab for the CI function.
  • Used Azure Data Factory for the ingestion and orchestration of data flows and Azure Key Vault for securely storing data.
  • Azure Databricks, a data analytics platform optimized for the Microsoft Azure cloud services platform is being used by the company’s engineering teams to run and analyze data. 
quality, efficiency, cost diagram

The Outcome

As a result of this successful big data project, the global logistics company has: 

  • Formed a service management group that is leveraging the standardized, best practices approach implemented by Cloudreach.
  • Gained a high level of skill and knowledge to become very proficient with the Azure technology stack. 
  • Increased productivity, accuracy and efficiency through automation.
  • Further enabled innovation and closer tracking of operational costs. 
  • Gained the ability to introduce more features and capabilities to its operations, such as data gathering through computer vision to improve the loading and unloading process at its land terminals.

Cloudreach continues to support the company with the evolution of its Azure infrastructure and data environment, including the exploration of areas such as edge computing.

The Partnership

With Cloudreach having previously provided migration assessment and planning, landing zone design and build, a data center migration and established a cloud governance framework, the logistics provider had a high degree of confidence in our capabilities. 

This time, Cloudreach proved our ability to collaborate closely with other technology partners and brought deep data expertise to the table. We also handled internal communications between the company’s data and Azure platform teams regarding the Azure platform; while both teams are technical, their specific areas of expertise are vastly different. 

Microsoft Azure

About the Customer

This global logistics enterprise of over 70,000 employees provides land, air and sea shipping solutions, supply chain management and contract logistics. The company plans to migrate data from 6,000 servers onto the Azure platform.