Franklin Young Cuts IT Operating Costs with Migration to Amazon Aurora Serverless


Franklin Young needed to migrate from a fixed EC2 MySQL instance to Amazon Aurora Serverless, as well as build a new presentation layer on top of this database.


ClearScale executed the database migration and application development in parallel, transferring crucial knowledge along the way.


Franklin Young now has a more cost-efficient serverless database with a user-friendly tool for querying this information during the sales process.

AWS Services

Amazon Aurora, AWS Cognito, AWS Amplify

Executive Summary

Franklin Young is a leading provider of products to federal, state, and local government departments and agencies, focused on the scientific, chemicals, healthcare, life sciences, and safety sectors. The company offers nearly 4 million critical goods and makes it easy for buyers to procure the equipment and supplies they need from top manufacturers around the world. Founded in 2001, Franklin Young continues to distribute products around the world and level up its services.

After years of relying on an internally built MySQL database, Franklin Young determined it was time to upgrade to AWS’s cloud database - Amazon Aurora - and leverage a serverless architecture. The company also wanted to make its data more accessible to the sales team to help streamline the quoting process. ClearScale helped on both fronts, positioning Franklin Young to serve its customers faster and better than ever before.

"We went to ClearScale looking for expertise and execution help related to our database migration and building a new querying tool for our sales team. We got both. We were able to complete everything ahead of schedule and under budget, thanks in large part to ClearScale’s organized and knowledgeable technical lead."
Linda Misquitta
Director of Administration, Franklin Young

The Challenge

Executing a migration from MySQL to Amazon Aurora Serverless internally would have been a significant undertaking with potential risk to everyday operations. Franklin Young also wanted to build a user-friendly interface on top of this cloud database for sales team users. Given the unfamiliarity and technical complexity involved, it made sense to outsource this work.

The company reached out to AWS for suggestions on who could help execute the database migration and new tool development. After interviewing several potential cloud services companies, Franklin Young chose ClearScale.

The ClearScale team demonstrated understanding of Franklin Young’s goals, as well as knowledge of valuable co-development and co-funding programs that would help the organization maximize its investment. ClearScale was also the right partner to train the Franklin Young team on cloud IT best practices. Working with ClearScale meant execution excellence and intense focus on delivering tangible outcomes for the business.

The ClearScale Solution

The first thing ClearScale and Franklin Young did was align on the client’s goals. This involved bringing ClearScale’s cloud architects and engineers together with Franklin Young’s IT resources and sales team members. Both sides collaborated to define user requirements and create a vision for the presentation layer, i.e., an intuitive GUI for querying Aurora that would sit between the database and end users.

With this foundation in place, ClearScale’s tech lead guided the project forward along two separate tracks. One group of ClearScale data engineers worked on the data migration side. Another group developed the interface for the query application with knowledge of how the data would be structured. The teams were able to work in parallel because of the clear upfront planning and shared AWS expertise across the entire ClearScale project team.

After the migration, ClearScale’s lead software engineer helped Franklin Young’s data engineer learn key features within Aurora that would save significant processing dollars. ClearScale wrote thorough documentation and provided as much knowledge sharing as possible so that the client’s data engineer could easily maintain the new database solution.

On the querying tool front, ClearScale and Franklin Young worked through several iterations to reach the final presentation format that worked well for sales team users. When the prototype app was demonstrated to the sales team, ClearScale’s engineers were also able to reconfigure elements of the tool on the fly based on user feedback.

The Benefits

By migrating to a serverless cloud database, Franklin Young can operate much more cost efficiently. The company no longer must maintain EC2 instances constantly to support its application. The new database can scale up and down easily with demand, always deploying resources to match traffic in real time.

Franklin Young’s sales team has also been able to adopt the new querying tool quickly because key individuals were involved in the design of the presentation from the beginning. ClearScale took an agile approach to developing the new application, with a willingness to iterate fast and incorporate feedback from Franklin Young.

Overall, ClearScale allocated small and efficient teams to each part of Franklin Young’s project, helping the client keep costs down. Both the migration and the querying tool were completed ahead of schedule and under budget. Additionally, the client is empowered to take full advantage of its new cloud architecture due to ClearScale’s emphasis on knowledge sharing and deploying resources according to the latest best practices.