Bytes architects deliver ground-breaking AWS solution for criminal data firm

Overview

S-branch is a leading global analytics consultancy. Its team of bright data analysts use innovative technology to identify crime for clients. Their work has helped fight gun crime in Kosovo, and disrupted animal trafficking for non-profit organisation TRAFFIC. Thanks to Bytes Amazon Web Services (AWS) expertise, S-branch was able to deploy a sophisticated visual analytics tool in the cloud. Our trailblazing work enabled S-branch to discover financial fraud for leading accountants, Crowe UK.

Challenge

S-branch was working on behalf of Crowe UK to detect fraud in large amounts of data. To do this, the S-branch team had to use a tool called IBM i2 Analyst’s Notebook. This complex visual analytics tool is used by organisations like NATO to analyse data and prevent crime. The team needed IBM i2 Analyst’s Notebook to be deployed in the cloud (specifically AWS) as part of a pre-configured environment for analysts to work remotely. These environments were to come loaded with IBM i2 and other tools that enable analysts to work their magic. S-branch partnered with Bytes AWS to deploy the tool due to our unrivalled knowledge of AWS. Because IBM i2 is not normally deployed in AWS, Bytes were venturing into new territory with this request, but maintained a positive can-do approach throughout the project.

“The Bytes AWS team really impressed me with their technical knowledge and responsiveness. We were under a tight deadline to have the project designed, built and secured. We were delighted with the team’s ability to get it up and running so quickly and efficiently and we’ll certainly be using these guys for all future AWS projects.”

Keith Musson, Managing Director, S-branch

The Bytes Solution

Bytes AWS kicked-off the project with a detailed scoping call to gauge requirements and ensure the solution was built to AWS best practices. It was decided to use Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) to deliver the environment, with Amazon WorkSpaces chosen as the best DaaS based on cost, security and its excellent lack of latency. Bytes architects built and tested the environment using infrastructure as code, as although writing code can take time, it makes deployment so much quicker. AWS audit trail logging and a CloudWatch dashboard were also set-up so S-branch could monitor performance. To minimise costs, the Bytes AWS team designed the environment so it could ‘rest’ when not in use. Costs were kept down even further by using Bytes’ proactive optimisation management service, which also ensured any cost-saving opportunities were swiftly exploited. For security, S-branch were given full ownership of the solution, which was encrypted and only accessible by their team. To allow for business continuity in the event of problems, the Bytes AWS team also enabled backup and recovery using snapshots.

Benefits

The successful deployment of IBM i2 Analyst’s Notebook in AWS meant S-branch was able to provide valuable fraud insights for Crowe UK. This ground-breaking solution couldn’t have been achieved without the close partnership of the Bytes AWS team and S-branch.

Bytes AWS deployed the solution very quickly, within a week, so S-branch analysts could get straight to work and deliver their project on time. Using WorkSpaces meant analysts could access their environment securely anywhere. Costs were also kept down by using Bytes’ cloud optimisation know-how. 

AWS technology and Bytes’ AWS expertise were both crucial to the success of this project. Innovative AWS solutions provided a stable platform to host IBM i2, and Bytes’ developers wrote the code and chose components to fit the customer’s needs. Overall, this was a fantastic success for everyone involved.

Learn more about S-branch by visiting their website: s-branch.co.uk.

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