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Building a scalable cloud infrastructure

Company profileAstrel Group logo
Astrel Group develops devices for the digitalization of living and work environments.

The company focuses on the home and building sectors: smart home, photovoltaic, energy saving, climate control, safety monitoring of the environments where people live and work. All of these IoT systems can be layered on top of any electrical installation, making it capable of interacting with the surrounding world.

Astrel Group activates the world we live in.

The challenge

Astrel Group made the strategic decision to build a unified cloud infrastructure to support its four business units: Energy, Home, Wellness and Fire.

From an initial analysis, a few conflicting requirements emerged. The new infrastructure should have had low operating costs, to allow for multiple business models. It should have also been capable of handling vast amounts of data:

  • it would become the central collector for all of Astrel's business units
  • the company's product portfolio comprises many data aggregators: a single device bridges to the cloud data produced by tens of connected children.

This posed a bigger challenge than it seems: for example, the payload size exceeded the one supported by edge agents from leading solutions like AWS Greengrass, by more than 2x.

I discovered Connhex after an in-depth technological scouting phase. It has proven to be by far the best solution for our needs: nothing even comes close.
Paolo Zigoni CTO - AstrelPaolo ZigoniCTO - Astrel

An additional requirement for Astrel's cloud infrastructure was to be cloud-provider agnostic and free from any vendor lock-in, in order to best preserve its own business continuity. Needless to say, Connhex met this requirement with flying colors, too.

Using Connhex to build Active Cloud

Once Connhex had been chosen to build Active Cloud, Astrel's new cloud infrastructure, three major milestones followed:

  • deploying the cloud infrastructure and drafting a migration strategy for all the devices already in the field
  • supporting the Rialto product line, belonging to the Home division
  • connecting newly developed devices, that once unveiled will be offered by the Fire division

Choosing Connhex allowed for a faster time-to-market journey: besides not needing to build any custom service, the critical core infrastructure validation phase had already been carried out. Another reason for selecting Connhex was its architecture: by opting to have a clear separation between the data-collection infrastructure and user facing apps, it allowed Astrel to build completely customized applications for each business unit.

I'm still impressed by the low latency our applications have. My requirement for Active Cloud was to be as responsive as our- already best in class - mobile apps: we achieved a 5x speedup.
Paolo Zigoni CTO - AstrelPaolo ZigoniCTO - Astrel

Non-technical aspects of Connhex proved valuable too. An example above all: Astrel's legal office could evaluate the infrastructure's GDPR compliance much more easily, thanks to Connhex's compliance map. Relying on Compiuta to create custom web apps for each division meant having a single partner with a comprehensive look over the task ahead.

We immediately started to operate as one - I never had to deal with a firmware vs. mobile vs. cloud situation. Besides their remarkable technical abilities, these guys throw their hearts into their work - and it shows.
Paolo Zigoni CTO - AstrelPaolo ZigoniCTO - Astrel

Learn more

Curious about Active Cloud? Head over to the Astrel Group website or get a Rialto system!