Dun & Bradstreet re-platforms from a legacy Netezza and mainframe solution to Ocient on Google Cloud
- Re-platformed all jobs from mission critical Netezza systems by the end of the first month of production
- Re-platformed complex batch delivery jobs, representing 1.5M CPU seconds, in just six months
- Maintained 99.992% uptime within the first six months of deployment with zero business disruption
- Accelerated migration to running on Ocient’s Hyperscale Data Warehouse as a Service on Google Cloud, with a seamless customer experience and no intensive customer resources needed
Sunsetting a legacy mainframe environment
Dun & Bradstreet, a leading global provider of business decisioning and analytics, has been building the world’s largest data cloud of commercial entities for nearly two centuries. As end-of-support for their Netezza environment drew near, Dun & Bradstreet took the opportunity to re-evaluate their digital strategy with an eye to cost savings and performance improvements. Their conclusion: With highly complex, mission-critical jobs running on both Netezza and a legacy mainframe environment, the best course of action was to re-platform both workloads.
This would not be a minor undertaking. Dun & Bradstreet would have to migrate years’ worth of datapoints about each of the 500 million commercial entities in its data cloud. The complex data transformations and numerous data pipelines they had developed over the years would need to be migrated, too. And their data volume was still growing by 10% or more year over year.
Driving digital transformation with Ocient on Google Cloud
To align with the company’s strategic objectives, Dun & Bradstreet’s new environment would need to feature a highly-performant processing engine that could handle the organization’s large — and growing — processing needs. Furthermore, the new solution would need to run on the company’s environment of choice: Google Cloud Platform.
Dun & Bradstreet found what it needed with the Ocient Hyperscale Data Warehouse as a Service on Google Cloud. Built expressly for large, complex, and computationally intensive workloads, the Ocient Hyperscale Data Warehouse supports continuous loading at terabits per second, as well as complex ELT jobs. And, because Ocient is a SQL-based solution, Dun & Bradstreet can operate the new solution without developing new paradigms, learning a new programming language, or creating a new user interface.
Furthermore, the Ocient solution simplifies data migration with support for direct file loads from Google Cloud Storage, along with native ingest and transformation of complex datatypes, including mainframe data. Sophisticated workload management enables the team to handle mixed and complex workload concurrency, while support for massive joins — including very wide tables — and powerful extract capabilities round out the Ocient solution’s technical pedigree.
“We are very impressed with Ocient’s technical capabilities. The technology stands out as highly capable and extremely performant,” says Jim Martone, VP of Engineering at Dun & Bradstreet.
The Ocient solution provided Dun & Bradstreet with more than just powerful, ground-breaking technology. With Ocient, the company also found a team it could trust — one with a deep understanding of legacy systems and the knowledge required to re-architect and re-platform them. By collaborating closely with Ocient’s Customer Solutions and Workload Services team, Dun & Bradstreet accelerated the design and execution of this massive migration with a system tailored to their specific use case, security, and business requirements.
To begin the engagement, the Ocient team took a deep dive into Dun & Bradstreet’s existing solution, prototyping data flows and transformations and adding new features to satisfy the company’s workload requirements. Next, the Ocient team coded, validated byte-by-byte, and developed new end-to-end procedures for all jobs running across Netezza systems. The team also implemented an entirely new Google Cloud-centric reference architecture that abides by Dun & Bradstreet’s strict security requirements.
“We could have gone to the Google Cloud Platform marketplace and purchased any data warehouse, but that would have meant performing the migration ourselves, on top of the mission critical work our teams do every day. We needed an experienced partner to help us get us from concept to production. With Ocient, we were able to complete the initial migrations in a matter of months,” says Martone.
The Ocient team even stood up a fully operational, end-to-end system, demonstrating enhanced capabilities on a modern data and analytics platform with capacity to grow efficiently with the company. The thorough pilot-to-production process also enabled Dun & Bradstreet to sunset multiple legacy systems during the first month of their production deployment with Ocient.
Building for the next 100+ years of data-driven intelligence and innovation
Just two months after the pilot began, the team had successfully migrated Dun & Bradstreet’s critical legacy workloads to the Ocient on Google Cloud environment. Within the first four months, the team re-platformed over one million CPU seconds required to surpass the company’s monthly breakeven. And within the first six months, more than 1.5 million CPU seconds were re-platformed with the new solution maintaining 99.992% uptime and zero business disruption.
Today, batch delivery jobs that took days or weeks on the mainframe system take minutes or hours with the Ocient solution, delivering a 96.3% reduction overall in elapsed processing time.
“Ocient’s processing performance was transformational for us. We went from delivering batch jobs in days or weeks in a mainframe environment to delivering them in minutes to hours on Ocient and Google Cloud. This provides us with additional capacity to introduce new revenue-driving deliverables for our customers,” explains Martone.
With support for additional data types, integration with modern cloud services, and sophisticated workflow automation, the Ocient solution is enabling Dun & Bradstreet to enhance its products and services.
HEAR FROM D&B
Jim Martone, VP of Engineering at Dun & Bradstreet, found what he needed with the Ocient Hyperscale Data Warehouse as a Service on Google Cloud.