Cadence Design Systems

Case Study: DevOps on AWS
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SixNines IT delivers DevOps automation to Cadence in the AWS cloud.

About Cadence:

Cadence Design Systems is a software development company and manufacturer of chip design software used in the electronic design automation (EDA) industry.

The Challenge:

Cadence was looking for a way to augment the compute needs of their software developers, and provide greater agility and consistency. With everyone working out of a single environment, a common server farm with thousands of machines, different workload types and users competed with each other for resources. “Jobs were delayed and didn’t run in a consistent manner. What might take 45 minutes one day, could take six hours the next,” said Mike Stanton, IT Director, R&D Solutions for Cadence.

By way of recommendation, Cadence turned to Six Nines IT, a premier Information Technology consulting company specializing in helping businesses move to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Following the discovery phase of the Six Nines Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF), they isolated the Cadence internal software development group as a great DevOps automation candidate. The workloads primarily consist of High-Performance Compute (HPC) clusters doing regression testing. The requirements for the project is that the clusters had to be rapidly deployed, scaled and drained in an automated fashion.

Why Amazon Web Services:

Cadence needed a mature, highly scalable and feature-rich cloud provider. The core of the Cadence infrastructure is on Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Compute (Amazon EC2) instances in Virtual Private Clouds (VPC) utilizing Advanced Networking features and utilizing Amazon’s Reliable Database Service (RDS) and Simple Storage Service (S3). Beyond the compute, networking and storage platform, Six Nines utilized CloudFormations for documentation and Autoscaling. In addition, Six Nines configured Ansible for configuration management of the Compute Instances and Open Lava cluster manager and worker nodes.

The Benefits

Operational Efficiency

  • Cost Management: To help Cadence eliminate the challenges with manual tracking of expenses and chargebacks as well as provide actionable reporting and resource management, Six Nines provided and configured CloudHealth, a cost management and optimization tool by CloudHealth Technologies.
  • Productivity: Automation frameworks reduce the time that a team spends configuring and deploying infrastructure, providing a substantial gain in efficiency.

“What took one group 4-8 hours to run a single regression now takes less than one hour,” said Stanton. “Test results are received much quicker and multiple iterations can be run.”

DevOps Automation, and Tooling

  • Infrastructure automation: The infrastructure was defined and assembled into CloudFormation templates, where it can be easily versioned and replicated for scaling rapidly and provide a blueprint future deployments.
  • Deployment automation: The customer’s code deployment process is integrated with cloud-native tools like Ansible, improving both deployment velocity and reducing manual errors.
  • Self-healing, auto-correcting, and self-monitoring: The right monitoring tools and configuration management scripts catch and resolve anomalies or misconfigured resources.

About Six Nines IT:

Six Nines IT is a premier Information Technology consulting company specializing in helping businesses move to AWS, Azure & Google Cloud Platform. The journey to the cloud requires experience, planning and a strategy pivot from traditional workloads. With knowledgeable teams in Seattle, SF, LA, Chicago and Texas, Six Nines brings the experience and resources to help you move to the cloud responsibly.

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