Auto-Scaling an Oracle Environment on AWS

About ISS

ISS Facility Services India, Pvt., Ltd., (ISS) is a leading provider of facility services, offering Facility Management, Cleaning, Security, Property, Catering, Support, and Technical solutions to thousands of clients worldwide.

The Challenge

ISS Facility Services India, Pvt., Ltd., (ISS) employs over 500,000 staff members worldwide. With increasing demand for facility services globally, ISS faces continuous challenges in maintaining an IT infrastructure that can keep up with growth and demand. One specific issue is salary processing. IIS uses an ERP application, Oracle Forms and Reports with an Oracle database, to process payroll for all its employees. The ERP application and database are hosted in their on-premise data center. At peak payroll processing time, the ERP application often causes a bottleneck in server performance, resulting in disruptions and frequent delays in payroll processing. Aging servers in their IT infrastructure could not support the needed software upgrades, and this limitation was compounded by the challenges of maintaining 24/7/365 availability with a limited pool of skilled IT professionals working in a narrow maintenance window.

ISS wanted a complete solution to their IT issues without requiring additional expenditure on equipment and personnel. They were hoping for a solution that, in the long run, would decrease IT costs through upgrades and efficiencies. “This ERP Application build on Oracle Forms & Reports was on legacy versions, the architecture a proprietary complex one, with multiple services and servers,” says Rajesh Salvi, Manager, Information & Communication Technology Services for ISS. “Planning and purchasing hardware would have been a huge upfront cost, which we totally wanted to avoid.”

Why CT

ISS searched for an IT services partner who could offer a fresh approach to managing their IT hardware and ERP applications.

They wanted an IT service partner to help them define and implement a solution that included:

  • Maintaining the new IT infrastructure
  • Upgrading the hardware and relevant application to the latest software versions
  • Decreasing the overall IT expenditures
  • Streamlining the salary process activity

They engaged Cambridge Technology  (CT) to analyze their IT current operation and suggest an approach that would solve their IT issues and scale as the business grew. After looking at all options, ISS followed CT’s recommendation and decided to migrate their existing Oracle Forms & Reports Applications to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. As an Oracle partner, and as a cloud consulting partner for AWS, CT was uniquely positioned to provide the expertise and resources needed to deliver on all phases of this IT project. “We were satisfied with the AWS security features and capabilities, and the way CT planned to enable them. We would pass all the security audits,” says Rajesh Salvi.

CT deployed the Oracle Forms & Reports ERP application and database servers to AWS cloud instances, which provide a dynamic auto-scaling environment in-line with the expected transaction load required to support the salary process successfully. Additionally, CT engaged our internal Cloud Operations Center (CLOC) to provide managed services in support of the environment now hosted in AWS. CT also supplied on-site resources to drive the salary process and support the deployment of new application development activities.

There are three separate instances used in the ISS deployment. Two AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances host the Oracle WebLogic and database servers. At the ISS data center in Mumbai, there is a single server hosting both Oracle WebLogic and the Oracle 10g database as a standby system. Each of these instances is an Amazon EC2 large instance backed with Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) for data and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) for snapshot backups.

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Figure 1. – Shows high level deployment architecture for production system setup is live in AWS Cloud – Singapore.

CT configured security on the setup using AWS’s Security Groups on each EC2 instance (the compute unit on AWS).

To complete this project, ISS engaged the following services from CT:

  • Cloud Strategy Workshop
  • Architecture & Design
  • Application Development
  • Application Migration & Transformation
  • Application Testing
  • Managed Services

Benefits

The migration ERP application and database services to AWS fulfilled ISS’s requirement to upgrade hardware and deploy the latest software versions to maximize efficiency. The cloud-based IT infrastructure is instrumental in delivering salary processing on-time, without failure or bottlenecks. Moreover, moving payroll processing to the cloud has minimized the stress on internal IT resources and has contributed to greater efficiencies in the on-premises data center. The customer can now focus on delivering their core services, knowing that their employees are being paid for their exceptional work on-time.

The salary process is now streamlined and the infrastructure has been transformed to a robust and scalable technology. ISS receives cost effective 24/7 managed services reducing their overall HR & IT expenditures, both CapEx and OpEx.

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Auto-Scaling an Oracle Environment on AWS

ISS SDB migrates their existing Oracle Forms & Reports Applications to AWS Cloud with a cost effective 24/7 managed services engagement with CT.

Challenge

ISS had a critical problem administering key IT activities especially their employee Salary Processing as it was continuously disrupted or delayed because of high performance issues on their ERP Application. Additionally, there were using old/obsolete servers, had limited skilled manpower, and were facing huge issues in maintaining IT infrastructure.

Solution

CT provided a thorough study of their current system(s), analyzed their IT environments and defined a comprehensive, cost effective, feasible solution. CT on-boarded their ERP Application and Database servers to AWS (Amazon Web Services) Cloud instances which facilitates a dynamic auto-scaling environment in-line with the expected transaction load found in their Salary process. Additionally, CT engaged our internal CLOC (Cloud Operations Center) to provide managed services in support of the environment now hosted in AWS. CT also deployed onsite resources to drive the Salary process and to support the deployment of new Application development activities.

Benefits
  • ISS SDB now delivers their Salary processing on-time & every time, relieving the stress on internal IT resources and the on-premises data center
  • They now focus on delivering their core services with the added comfort knowing that their employees are being paid for their exceptional services on-time, every time.
  • The salary process is now streamlined and the infrastructure has been transformed to a robust and scalable technology
  • The customer is receives cost effective 24/7 managed services reducing their overall HR & IT expenditures, both Capex and Opex
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