Case Study Ultimo

Intercept is our sparring partner and guide in our journey to Azure.

Ultimo’s world revolves around asset management processes. In order to support their customers they have created a flexible Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Cloud platform. This enables them to know exactly where their assets are located. And at the same time it ensures that these assets are clean and inspected. To take their platform to the next level Ultimo wanted one thing: to migrate their EAM platform to Azure.

 

On-premise

"We really wanted to migrate to Azure," says Developer Henk Westhuis of Ultimo. "However, we are not a cloud native application. We have a large group of customers that use a hosted environment which runs on-premises. Therefore, it was highly important that the migration would go well". That's why Ultimo first wanted to properly map out all the pros and cons of a possible migration to Azure. In order to make sure they had all their information in order, they reached out to Intercept for advice.

 

The best solution

“Intercept has helped us a lot in exploring the different directions of a possible solution,” Henk explains. “They created five scenarios. From lift-and-shift to developing a new architecture that is a better fit for the public cloud.” Ultimo chose the solution that suited their customers best. They decided to containerize their applications and host them in Azure.

 

Containerization

Ultimo was excited about the plans that Intercept had provided, and started to implement the ideas immediately. In six months time, the development team was able to successfully run multiple customers in Azure Kubernetes. "There are few software companies that can adapt so quickly," says Lead Azure Architect Wesley Haakman of Intercept enthusiastically. "Containerization is by far the most interesting way of working with an application," he states. "Many software companies originally do customized work and set up a separate server for each customer. By building applications in containers, they share a set of specific resources." 

 

Total control

The transformation - from a monolithic architecture to a microservices architecture - offers several advantages. Henk: "The control that we now have is one of the biggest advantages. We no longer need to use mirroring. With Kubernetes Cluster we can simply roll out scripts and duplicate them in another part of the world. That saves us a lot of costs, because we no longer have to keep the cluster on standby". 

‘’Intercept has skillfully served and guided us. Without them we wouldn't have been able to follow the route this way. They have been our sparring partner and guiding us on our journey to Azure".
Henk Westhuis Developer at Ultimo

Kubernetes for Windows

However, switching to Kubernetes was not that easy. "We are one of the few companies that work with Kubernetes for Windows," explains Henk. "When we started, the solution was not set in stone. Nevertheless, together with Intercept and the engineers at Microsoft, we decided to give it a try". This turned out to be the right choice. "We used Kubernetes for Windows as a stepping stone. Without these containers, we wouldn't have got where we are today." 

 

Single and multi-tenant

Data separation is very important for Ultimo's customers. However, the software vendor also wanted to retain the ability to share resources. That is why Intercept advised the use of Elastic pools. "This allows us to serve single-tenants and still share resources. In terms of hardware, we act as if it is a multi-tenant. Our customers find this approach ideal. They enjoy the speed and flexibility of a multi-tenant environment and the privacy and security of a single-tenant environment," explains Henk.

 

International expansion

The chosen flexible approach is a perfect fit with the ambitions of the organization. Manager Customer Support Services, Peter Paul Schreuder, of Ultimo explains: "We now use data centers in Amsterdam and in Ireland. We will expand this next year in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. This is relatively easy now. Together with Intercept we have set up the scripting in such a way that it is easy to control". 

 

Ambitions

Ultimo currently has 150 containers and 65 customers running on Azure. The ambitious software supplier is rapidly expanding this number. "By the end of next year, that should be 500 environments. And more than 2000 the year after," says Peter Paul.

 

Roller coaster

"The migration to Azure has been quite a roller coaster," concludes Henk. "In which we’ve learned new things every day. Intercept has skillfully served and guided us. Without them we wouldn't have been able to follow the route this way. They have been our sparring partner and guiding us on our journey to Azure".

Are you also looking for an Azure sparring partner? Or are you curious about the advantages of containerization? Then please contact us.

Tags

  • Managed Services
  • Managed AKS
  • Azure Kubernetes Services
  • Containers

In short

  • Ultimo: Software Solutions EAM
  • The step was to migrate the EAM platform to Azure. To do so, Intercept mapped out 5 possible solution options.
  • Within six months, Ultimo successfully got multiple customers running in Azure Kubernetes
  • With Kubernetes Cluster, Ultimo gained more control, global scalability and saved costs.
  • Ultimo customers experience the speed and flexibility of a multi-tenant environment and the privacy and security of a single-tenant environment

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