Customer Success Story

Brandon McNeil

Vice President, Energy & Insights at Lightning eMotors

NYSE Symbol
Loveland, Colorado, USA
Tessell gives us the expertise we don’t have, and our current architecture won’t get us to where we need to be. This is a skills gap we have as an enterprise. Our primary protection for a lot of things is ‘luck’. Tessell eliminates that.

The Challenge

In September 2022, a fire broke out in a parking lot adjacent to Lightning's facility. While the fire was extinguished without impacting Lighting’s building, just the threat caused the NYSE-listed firm to fast-track migration to the cloud for key on-premises systems. A top priority was migrating the MySQL database that stored valuable analytics data going back a number of years. If lost due to a disaster, the result could set back both the company and its customers. Migrating this data to the cloud, though, encompassed a number of challenges:

One-time migration of a huge database

The current version of the MySQL database was 5.7, which was very old. To move to the cloud and keep query performance time in check, there was a need to migrate and then upgrade a huge database that was more than 5 TB in size.

Lack of skills to manage and maintain databases

For a small in-house IT team, it was becoming painful to maintain the database requiring specific skills and resources. The fire scare made it clear to the team that they needed to off-load their database to a DBaaS provider that can perform all the tasks and activities to keep their database online 24/7 all 365 days a year.

Realtime reporting that scales as they add more vehicles and customers

Lightning did not believe their existing architecture would get them to real-time reporting with 1,000s of vehicles on the road and dozens of customers needing access to this data. They required a partner who could manage their database with not only the resilience and high performance required by a rapidly growing database environment, but also with the data masking, security, policy-driven self-service access, and reporting necessary to provide their customers with best-in-class analytics.

The Solution

Lightning eMotors was impressed not only by the exceptionally high performance of Tessell but also with the many new capabilities enabled at a significantly lower cost than the existing DBaaS solutions they were considering. Lightning conducted a short POC with Tessell and quickly realized the value Tessell’s DBaaS platform provided for them:

Intuitive self-service onboarding

Tessell created an account for them on AWS, and the Lighting eMotors IT team was able to try out the intuitive Tessell service without any guidance. The Lighting account owner invited fellow team members with appropriate personas—an administrator, an Administrator, and a couple of Data Owners, who all explored the GUI with the help of self-service guided tours. Payment with a credit card enabled the DBA to use the service on his own and create the prod database on a 24 vCPU high-performance compute machine.

Daily data backups for disaster recovery

Tessell enabled the IT team to continuously take daily snapshots without fear of failure. The business could focus exclusively on outcomes with no distracting concerns about the vulnerability of its mission- critical data to a catastrophic failure.

Data management apps mitigating the skills gap on the team

The Lighting eMotors team can now seamlessly clone, import, or download data in any format from their MySQL database. And they can use policy-driven and secure sharing of enterprise data with their customers for their own use.

Tessell is not just a vendor but also an enabling partner, helping Lighting eMotors rapidly scale its business.
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