How Moving to Amazon Web Services Has Improved Reliability

Posted March 25th, 2019 in Product Announcements

By: Seth Larson, Raven Engineering Team Lead

Over the last two years we’ve moved much of Slingshot to make use of Amazon Web Services (AWS). This has greatly increased our ability to provide fault tolerance, process more reports, and give some geographic diversity to our customers. The first improvement made was moving the Slinghshot portal website and our data into AWS. This means that if there happened to be an issue in Sioux Falls, customers would still be able to access their data. We followed this by introducing a redundant Field Computer connectivity in the RS1, Viper 4, and CRX product lines. This was followed by moving all job data processing into AWS, and now we're making new tools like Job Sync.

In addition to moving Viper 4 and CRX to AWS, we also moved remote support for those platforms and increased connection speed for most customers. In the US, we saw decreases around 0.25 seconds to get the refreshed screen; and in our international market, this reduction was often more than a second. That sounds small but when you’re waiting two seconds or more for a remote support request to go through and come back, it can be very frustrating. Beyond remote support, we also made some major file transfer changes. Previously, Viper 4’s wouldn’t receive a VRA file more frequently than once per minute. With improvements due to AWS, a Viper 4 can now receive 10 files all within two minutes. That makes it faster for an operator to confirm they received the data that they need.

Viper 4 can now receive 10 files in two minutes

For customers who look at as-applied reports as they come in, we eliminated the end of day delay that used to occur in the heat of spring and fall application. That means when a machine finishes sending up a report, we expect that to have as-applied information available on Slingshot by the time an operator can call and tell someone the work is done.

The new features developed since moving to AWS have been Job Sync and Job Generator. These are built on top of the ability to provide services closer to customers. Job Sync, specifically, provides an experience where the customer is able to update coverage as fast as their cellular coverage allows. We’re proud to report that the time it takes for coverage to get to and from Raven is less than half a second on average. That means that operators working in the same field can have confidence they aren’t going to misapply.

With Raven’s recent acquisition of AgSync, we’ve combined all of these features with the ability to create and schedule work. We will be able to provide all of the sales and logistics tools that AgSync has built with the detailed information Slingshot provides. Customers will be able to plan and assign work within AgSync knowing they have the right blends and boundaries. Then they can dispatch that out to their systems knowing the Viper 4 mix will be correctly entered and that the street map view will show exactly which part of the field to drive to!