CID ERP Migration to Hidora Cloud Platform in Details
As we are living in the era of technology and digital transformation modern businesses more and more often rely on innovative and advanced systems to automate their in-company processes: manufacture, services, finances, HR, supply chain and others. ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems offer visibility and efficiency across all the important aspects of each business using the latest technologies and innovations.
We interviewed Alex Jungo, the co-founder and CTO of Fair IT company, to learn more about ERP systems hosting requirements, migration peculiarities and cost-effectiveness.
1. Tell us about your company.
Founded in 2013 and based in Fribourg (Switzerland), Fair IT is specialized in process analysis and integration of ERP software: CID ERP.
CID ERP is a powerful, scalable and ergonomic business management software for SMEs, institutions, industries and large companies.
The CID ERP management solution covers all the classic management domains and offers specific functions for various sectors of activity. The solution is highly adaptable through simple configurations and adapts to the needs of the company, and not the other way around. A customized module can be added at any time to the existing range of functions. This represents a real advantage in terms of adaptability and scalability.
No more updates requiring several days of downtime with imperfect migration scripts, CID ERP is delivered to the customer in continuous form and with automated update scripts.
2. What software and applications do you use for running the project? Why did you choose them and how they solve assigned tasks?
CID ERP is delivered in SaaS to its customers. The software is developed in Python and the application server is based on a Debian-based docker container.
A Nginx node (Jelastic certified) processes incoming requests and secures the traffic with SSL.
A PostgreSQL container (Jelastic certified) is used as a database management server.
A storage container is used to store client files.
A simple client environment is made of each of these 4 containers.
The deployment of a new environment is completely automated using Jelastic cloud scripting.
3. What are your and your customers’ requirements for cloud hosting?
The initial specifications were quite long, here are the fundamental points.
One of the important elements in choosing the hosting is its location and security: in fact, a Swiss localization is required for data protection and sometimes regulatory reasons. The security of the chosen solution, its robustness, its fault tolerance, its rapid recovery in case of an incident and its backup are also essential.
Independence in the management of client environments is another important point: not having to call the cloud provider to make changes is necessary and the Jelastic console perfectly meets this need for independence.
The automation of deployment, update and maintenance actions has allowed us to industrialize our processes.
An efficient, fast and close support is required to provide the quality follow-up we want for our customers.
4. What hosting solutions did you previously use? What struggles did you have with them?
We had an IaaS infrastructure with Linux VMs based on HyperV.
We experienced many stability problems due to compatibility issues between HyperV and Linux.
We had no autonomy in setting up a VM and sometimes had to wait several weeks for a new VM between the business and delivery processes.
Working on such an infrastructure would be impossible today with new customers coming to our software every week.
5. Why have you decided to choose Jelastic PaaS? What benefits helped to make the decision and what results you currently get?
We chose Jelastic and Hidora because the tool and the hosting provider met all the criteria of our specifications.
Hidora competently showed us the power of Jelastic. We realized a functional Proof of Concept in only one afternoon together with Hidora’s staff.
We quickly set up tests and then ran our own production ERP on Jelastic. Perfectly satisfied with the results, we gradually migrated our customers on the system by validating that it does not cause load problems, which was not the case.
We have gained in autonomy, in speed of execution, in stability, in automation capacity, in short, we have gained on all levels. Not to mention the competence and responsiveness of Hidora’s support team, which assists us on a daily basis in our operational activities.
6. Why did you decide to go with a local service provider? What is the role of personal and sensitive data regulations in your business?
The Swiss localization of the data was first of all a guarantee of data protection for our customers. Some of them are obliged to keep their data in Switzerland for legal or regulatory reasons.
The choice of a local provider also offers proximity, personal contact, regular meetings; in short, a human contact necessary to operate as a team, represented on the one hand by our internal DevOps developers, and on the other hand by Hidora’s system specialists, with the support of Jelastic, at the service of our customers.
7. What do you think about containerization? What difficulties (if any) did you have while migrating from VM-based infrastructure to container-based? How do you currently cope with container management?
We didn’t have any difficulties since we already had a docker container infrastructure before, the VM was acting as a host for the docker containers. This did not radically change our infrastructure.
8. What do you think about the Jelastic pay-per-use pricing model? Describe any cases when the total cost was reduced using this model.
Overall, we reduced costs of our customers’ infrastructure by ¾. Some high-consuming customers themselves received ½ the cost reduction. Some customers with many employees had to have a large VM with 8 vCPUs, for example, when they were only using those cores a few hours a month. So the cost reduction comes from fairly charging for resources used rather than resources reserved.
Now that we have a few years of experience with costs on Jelastic, it is easy to give a realistic cost range to the customer. When we first started using the platform, it was difficult to know what the cost would be for the customer well in advance. This could have led to a certain fear that the costs would explode, but this was clearly not the case, on the contrary.
9. Share your upcoming plans for the project and for cooperation with Jelastic Provider.
We are in the process of implementing a fully automated ERP update system, which can be triggered on demand by the customer, the project manager or regularly scheduled like once a month.
Currently, we launch updates via a Jelastic manifest: these are tasks performed by DevOps developers for production machines or project managers for non-productive machines. This is time consuming and our customers want to be able to decide themselves to update. The ERP system is ready for this, it remains for Hidora and ourselves to code an automation from the customer’s update request to the implementation, including a testing step to validate that the operation will be carried out completely successfully. The implementation of an automatic roll-back system in case of failure will also be essential.
10. Please describe your stack, environments types, architecture if possible.
For each environment (client) :
1x Debian application server, Python application
11. Highlight three main points that you like about Jelastic PaaS.
Complete autonomy in the use -> important time saving
Relationship with a local hosting provider -> focus on what each one does best + availability and competence of the provider
Possible automation via cloud-scripting -> important time saving
Matthieu Robin is CEO at Hidora, an experienced strategic leader, a former system administrator who had managed and configured more environments manually than anyone on the planet and after understanding that it could be done in several clicks established Hidora SA. He regularly speaks at conferences and helps companies to optimize business processes using DevOps. Follow him on Twitter @matthieurobin.