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Infor Case Study

2016

Infor builds business applications with last-mile functionality and scientific insights, delivered securely through the cloud for select industries. With 15,000 employees and customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, Infor automates critical processes for industries including healthcare, manufacturing, fashion, wholesale distribution, hospitality, retail, and public secto

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We’ve seen much stronger performance for our database-backup workloads with the Amazon EBS st1 volumes, and we’re also saving 75% on our monthly backup costs."

Randy Young
Director of Cloud Operations, Infor

The Challenge

When Infor made the decision to move to the cloud and offer comprehensive industry suites, the company identified many customer advantages. “Our business was growing in places like Asia and Europe, and we wanted to be able to bring up applications faster for customers in those regions,” says Randy Young, director of cloud operations at Infor. “To do that, we needed more agility, and building data centers did not make sense for our customers and the business. We wanted to get away from managing our own hardware procurement and provisioning.”

Infor also sought a way to shorten the backup times for its Microsoft SQL Server-based application data. “We have around two petabytes of SQL Server data that we backup every day,” says Young. “It could take up to 12 hours to do a full backup, which was too long.”

It was also critical for Infor to improve the availability of its customer applications. “These are mission-critical solutions such as enterprise resource planning, human resource, and healthcare applications,” Young says. “High availability is essential.”

Why Amazon Web Services

Infor chose to go all in on Amazon Web Services (AWS), moving its customer-facing applications to the AWS Cloud. “We trusted Amazon’s position as the leader in cloud technology, and we were very confident about moving our applications to AWS,” says Young. Infor migrated multiple enterprise applications from its data center to AWS, each running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances with Elastic Load Balancing distributing traffic. The company uses Auto Scaling to automate the process of scaling applications up or down in response to demand.

Infor uses Amazon EC2 I2 instances, which are optimized to deliver tens of thousands of low-latency IOPS to applications. “A lot of our SQL Server workloads can push 15,000 IOPs continuously, for long periods of time, and it was becoming challenging for us to support that,” says Young. “We really liked the performance and value we saw in the Amazon EC2 I2 instances.” The company uses the Amazon EC2 I2 instances for ephemeral storage of SQL Server databases, with clusters supported in multiple Availability Zones. “The Amazon EC2 I2 instances with ephemeral storage provide strong performance for our transactional workloads. The ability to cluster across multiple availability zones enables higher application availability.”

Infor also started using Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), a service that provides block-level storage volumes for the company’s Amazon EC2 instances. Amazon EBS volumes are highly available and can be attached to any Amazon EC2 instance in the same Availability Zone. The company had local Amazon EBS volumes attached to primary and standby instances for its SQL Server databases, with the databases backed up using snapshots of their Amazon EBS volumes to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). Recently, Infor decided to upgrade its database-backup workload by using Amazon’s throughput-optimized HDD (st1) EBS volume types, a low-cost volume type designed for high-throughput sequential workloads.

The Benefits

Using Amazon Elastic MapReduce Yelp was able to save $55,000 in upfront hardware costs and get up and running in a matter of days not months. However, most important to Yelp is the opportunity cost. “With AWS, our developers can now do things they couldn’t before,” says Marin. “Our systems team can focus their energies on other challenges.”


About Infor

Infor builds business applications with last-mile functionality and scientific insights, delivered securely through the cloud for select industries.


AWS Services Used

Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. 

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Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud.

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Elastic Load Balancing

Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple targets, such as Amazon EC2 instances, containers, IP addresses, and Lambda functions.

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AWS Auto Scaling

AWS Auto Scaling monitors your applications and automatically adjusts capacity to maintain steady, predictable performance at the lowest possible cost.

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