Impinj Reduces Disaster Recovery (DR) Costs using Amazon Web Services

Impinj, a company of 160 employees based in scenic Seattle, WA, is the leading provider of RAIN RFID solutions. The Impinj platform comprises the world’s most comprehensive and widely adopted RAIN RFID product set, including tag chips, reader chips, fixed readers and portals, software and innovations that support complete solutions across retail, pharmaceutical, healthcare, food and beverage and other industries.  Senior IT Director Morgan Van Wely leads the IT department at Impinj. The department is comprised of an Infrastructure and Operations team, a Business Applications team, and a DevOps team with a staff of eight.

Secondary DR Site was Costly and Cumbersome

In addition to the Seattle data center Impinj maintained a secondary data center in another state for disaster recovery. A significant portion of the IT budget was spent on the DR site, yet testing at the secondary site was labor-intensive and risk-prone. So the systems in the secondary site were rarely tested and not trusted to function in the event of an outage at the primary site. As primary production infrastructure was reaching capacity and end of life, Van Wely wanted to bring products to market faster. Growth was increasing and IT had been a bottleneck when it came to product development.ImpinjAWSOptionsIO


Options I/O and CloudVelox Propose Automated Cloud DR

Impinj engaged AWS consulting partner Options I/O Cloud Marketplace to explore the use of cloud IaaS to reduce costs and increase trust in its DR environment, especially for mission critical applications. Options I/O Cloud Marketplace recommended using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and best of breed automated cloud DR software from CloudVelox after extensive engineering testing and feedback from other AWS clients.

“Given our goals, we found ourselves looking at a relatively short list of vendors that had cloud-based disaster recovery solutions that were aligned with our environment,” commented Van Wely. “Reviewing feature sets, ease of use, and cost, CloudVelox was the clear winner.”

Impinj Cloud DR Objectives

After an initial briefing the team established multiple objectives for the cloud DR project. The Impinj team sought to make their IT infrastructure more scalable and reliable to support rapid growth. CAPEX and OPEX reduction and increasing organization agility were also key to Van Wely’s objectives, as was a granular monthly test plan with non-invasive dry runs.  RTO and RPO reduction were also important objectives.

Proof of Concept led to Success

“The proof of concept was a great success,” Van Wely added. “We were able to use the work done in the PoC in production mode, and simply add the rest of the servers on our list to the DR strategy in a matter of hours.” During the proof of concept Impinj then easily deployed its mission critical apps and related services on AWS in EBS storage volumes. Those workloads were then ignited from storage volumes into production with the push of a button.  Several tests were conducted within a few weeks and the secondary data center was shuttered for cloud DR on AWS. “The initiative was completed from start to finish by a team of two internal IT engineers,” per Van Wely.

Mission Accomplished

Impinj was able to avoid $100k in additional capital expenses required for the secondary data center and improved on their RPO and RTO goals. Monthly testing was put into place; something considered impractical for the remote data center.  With the CloudVelox platform Impinj was also able to use AWS for Dev/Test and other new use cases. All business objectives were met and benefits beyond the objectives were obtained. “CloudVelox saved us money where it mattered and gave us a business continuity solution that is easy to use and, maybe more importantly, easy to trust.”

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