Kythera: Remaking their AWS environment to support mission-critical workloads 

The Company 

Kythera Space Solutions is the leading provider of dynamic management systems for next-generation satellite payloads and SATCOM networks. Kythera’s software solutions help customers manage and optimize their satellite resources and ground-based assets by providing fully autonomous, real-time space network provisioning and operations that take full advantage of today’s flexible, high-throughput satellites. Their mission is to transform satellite communications into a real-time, integrated, responsive and resilient service. 

The Challenge

In 2022, Kythera Space Solutions hired a service provider to build and configure an AWS environment and migrate their on-premises workloads hosted in an outdated colocation space to the AWS cloud. The provided solution was designed to use a single AWS account and lacked the necessary network configurations, security controls, and resources to support the in-scope customer data workloads. This was especially problematic since Kythera intended to use their cloud environment for sensitive development activities and they required strictly controlled network access to avoid leaking data between project accounts or to the Internet. 

Frustrated by the disruptions to their digital strategy and a solution that was ultimately unusable, the company turned to AWS for recommendations – they sought a partner who could be trusted to execute a smooth and efficient migration with minimal risks and disruptions to operations. Kythera needed a partner with experience migrating complex, mission-critical workloads to the cloud and a history of working with space and satellite enterprises to get them out of their data center. Enter Effectual. 

The Project

Effectual’s initial engagement with Kythera began in June 2023 and involved assessing the state of Kythera’s cloud environment as well as their operational requirements and broader organizational strategy. Getting the full picture allowed Effectual to make specific recommendations based on their established needs and identify best practices for operations and security. Effectual proposed a solution using AWS-native services and isolated Amazon accounts, and rearchitected Kythera’s existing environment with the appropriate networking configurations, resources, and settings to effectively support the intended data workloads. This solution was designed to allow Kythera to create new workload accounts for each customer, with each new account automatically set up with the appropriate governance, security, management, backup, and monitoring configurations. 

The Effectual team automated Kythera’s GitHub runners to execute during normal business hours, which reduced the runtime and resulted in 66% cost savings.  

The Result

Kythera did not have the ability to create isolated individual customer accounts prior to this engagement. This new capability allowed Kythera to migrate off of their on-premises environment to a new cloud environment that enabled them to onboard new customers and projects in a secure and flexible manner. By combining AWS Landing Zone for the overall management and security of their AWS environment with Terraform automations to provision, deploy, and configure customer-specific accounts, Kythera is able to isolate each project to its own account and use Infrastructure as Code (IaC) to manage them.  

Integrating native AWS services like AWS Control Tower with Terraform and Github has accelerated Kythera’s modernization journey, helping cement their role as an industry leader and creating a foundation to drive further innovation. Additionally, the Effectual team automated Kythera’s GitHub runners to execute during normal business hours, which reduced the runtime and resulted in 66% cost savings.  

Effectual developed a migration plan focused on delivering a secure and manageable migration that leveraged IaC to standardize the process and minimize errors. Their guidance as a partner helped Kythera continue their modernization journey, with a functional and fully secured multi-account environment in the AWS cloud. Kythera now has an easier and more reliable way to secure, maintain, and update its environment through a single pane of glass that gives them insight into their entire AWS account.  

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