OMC International processes environmental data 30x faster to facilitate the shipping of goods worldwide
OMC International partners with CMD Solutions to transform the processing power behind its award-winning DUKC® platform, which measures under-keel clearance.
What our clients are saying
OMC International is an Australian maritime engineering company that has developed award-winning e-navigation technology. Its solutions improve the transit of high-capacity shipping through restricted ports and waterways where low water depth puts vessels at risk of grounding. The company’s pioneering DUKC® (Dynamic Under Keel Clearance) technology, launched 30 years ago as a global first, has safely transported over $15 billion worth of goods globally.
The Melbourne-based company has grown steadily since it launched in 1987, with its software developers and engineers continually creating new products for the safe operation of ports and waterways. The company’s DUKC® system models the dynamic motions of vessels, which is unique for each vessel transit, weather condition and port location. This provides OMC’s clients with superior understanding and confidence in the safe passage of vessels, whilst allowing for the optimization of cargo to international safety standards.
Globally, OMC has operational DUKC® systems in over 40 ports, including Port Hedland, which is the largest throughput port in the world.
Port Hedland’s bearing on Australia’s economy is significant, with Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, highlighting that it handles around 4% of the country’s GDP.
Port Hedland is a major export hub for iron ore and other commodities, handling over 500 million tonnes of cargo annually.
Other clients of OMC include San Francisco, where sophisticated measuring systems were utilized to provide the client with a better understanding of the behaviour of vessels transiting what is considered a dangerous body of water.
With its business growing and its number of maritime projects expanding, OMC International saw a significant increase in the processing needs of DUKC®. The rise in workloads led to technical issues with the DUKC® Data Store (DDS), which processes the bulk of the platform’s data. In response, the company performed a lift and shift of the DDS stack from an on-premises data center to Amazon Web Services (AWS) but found it couldn’t scale the cloud-based infrastructure without technical challenges causing downtime.
“It wasn’t scaling well, and costs just kept rising as we had to keep increasing the size of Amazon Relational Database Service [Amazon RDS] instances.”
Tim Fraser | Product Owner, OMC International
The company launched a project to modernize DDS while moving to a more scalable and cost-effective cloud-native design. The goal was to rearchitect DDS and switch from a monolithic construction to microservices, leveraging AWS serverless services to more easily scale while also reducing costs.
“DDS had outgrown its original design and started consuming data sets that it was never designed for. It was time to create a DDS 2.0.”
Samuel Frick | Consulting IT Engineer, OMC
To build DDS 2.0, OMC International engaged AWS Partner CMD Solutions to deliver and implement a microservices-based architecture. Fraser says, “CMD Solutions gave us a lot of confidence at the start of this project because of their AWS expertise. The company was flexible from day one, refining the solution’s design to get us to a minimal viable product [MVP].”
CMD Solutions used the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) to accelerate development of the new system. It broke the monolithic application down into microservices running in Docker containers, orchestrated by Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS). Serverless computing service AWS Lambda replaced dedicated virtual server instances, and Amazon DynamoDB, offering millisecond database performance, replaced Amazon RDS instances for DDS 2.0’s “hot” data. “Cold” data was stored in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets.
“We successfully completed the MVP and now we’re in the final testing phase before we begin moving DDS 2.0 to our production environment,” says Frick. “After working with CMD Solutions on this initiative, we’re planning to extend our relationship to more cloud-native projects.”
Together with CMD Solutions, OMC International overcame the scalability challenges it once faced with DDS. DDS 2.0 can scale seamlessly to meet DUKC®’s increasing workloads as OMC International expands.
“We can continue driving business growth and launching new projects for our customers without concerns about possible downtime.”
Tim Fraser | Product Owner, OMC International
For Gordon Lindsay, technical lead at OMC International, two of the biggest advantages of the new cloud-native solution are its processing speed and its flexibility. “It certainly takes less time to get the ball rolling on doing work for our customers,” he says. DDS 2.0 can process data 30 times faster than the previous solution, meaning OMC International can deliver findings quicker to its customers; it’s now also much simpler to launch new projects on the DUKC® platform.
As a result of collaborating with CMD Solutions, OMC International has improved its ability to manage AWS costs and is projected to achieve cost savings of 10-15 percent. In addition, DDS 2.0 reduces the human resources required for database maintenance. These time and cost savings can be invested in further developing DUKC® to increase its value to customers. Frick says, “We’re keen to explore how AI and AWS could be integrated into forecasting.”
- Increases scalability to drive growth
- 30x increase in data packet processing
- Achieves 100% uptime
- Creates 10-15 percent cost savings
- Reduced customer onboarding time
- Simplified management to focus more on development