The Denodo Platform gave us a smooth transition to the cloud while also playing an important role in data governance, compliance, and integrating with many applications.
TransAlta, founded in 1909, has grown to become an energy producer with over 2300 employees, approximately $3 billion in annual revenue, more than $9 billion in assets, and over 60 gas, hydro, solar, wind, and coal facilities across the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
TransAlta may be a deeply established organization with a deep heritage, but the company wanted to do something radical: Reduce its datacenter footprint to zero and move all data to the cloud. This would serve the dual purpose of reducing infrastructure costs while also enabling the flexibility to scale up or down with the demands of business.
Bumps in the Road
As TransAlta began this transition, the company found that not all of its applications could be moved to the cloud; some relied on authentication procedures developed in the on-premises environment, and they could not be easily reconfigured to enable cloud access. Also, because some data centers were farther away than others, geographically, they introduced latency into the migration process.
Smoothing the Transition
To help with the migration, TransAlta leveraged the Denodo Platform for Microsoft Azure. As the company was already using Azure for all of its IaaS and PaaS solutions, deploying the Denodo Platform on Azure was straightforward. Once installed, the Denodo Platform established a real-time data access layer between the datacenters and the cloud. This abstracted TransAlta from the complexities of accessing the datacenters, including geographical distance, to facilitate a smooth transition to the cloud. Because the Denodo Platform was established as a central layer, it provided a central point for managing authentication, making it seamless for users to access the migrated applications.
Besides the cloud migration, the Denodo Platform provided TransAlta with additional ongoing benefits. TransAlta leveraged the Denodo Platform as a virtual data mart in support of the company’s energy trading system. This enabled TransAlta to avoid having to implement costly ETL processes while also providing near-real-time data access for energy trading. With the Denodo Platform in place, TransAlta’s Wind Operations Group can make real-time decisions about mitigating icing risk by pulling machines offline versus letting them produce more power. The Denodo Platform also enabled TransAlta to create an HR dashboard that draws on data from SAP BW, HANA, SQL Server, and Active Directory to produce unique, integrated, 360-degree views of every manager.