Two ex-Infosys employees turned entrepreneurs launched a cloud development operations platform to make applications available quickly and ubiquitously. While they initially used the Amazon Web Services, within a year they added Windows Azure, as it offered more compelling value to their customers by eliminating performance and storage challenges. Customers such as eSparsh, who moved from AWS to Windows Azure, realized a remarkable agility and performance level. More importantly, eSparsh doesn’t have to worry about how many instances of the solution run on Windows Azure, or how much storage its customers use. Instead, CloudMunch and their customers can now focus on business imperatives such as global market reach, accelerated release cycles and trimmed IT costs.
Pradeep Prabhu and Prasanna Raghavendra have pioneered several cloud based platforms and solutions at Infosys. Fascinated with rapidly evolving cloud solutions, the duo believed that the technology industry would morph into an integrated service delivery platform. However, for this transformation to become a reality, it needed one important ingredient a development operations platform.
This idea culminated in the development of Cloud Munch Inc in 2011. The goal was to deliver fast and easy applications to customers. “We understood that creating ways to deliver better software, faster, is an important need and also a big opportunity,” says Pradeep Prabhu, CEO, CloudMunch. “Our focus was on individual contributors, be it developers, testers or operations engineers.”
The flagship product CloudMunch, which democratizes development operations and allows continuous and easy delivery of applications and infrastructure, was released in November 2012 globally. Initially, launched on Amazon Web Services (AWS), it acquired 40 customers. But, by 2013, one of the customers, eSparsh, began facing some issues with AWS, such as server speed and performance. eSparsh developers used the CloudMunch platform to build, test and run their code. Like some other customers, eSparsh was also running completely on the Microsoft stack. CloudMunch reviewed their situation and suggested that they move to Windows Azure.
CloudMunch clearly needed to expand its business model to include other cloud platforms in order to both sustain existing customers and look at newer business opportunities. “The consumer market indicates a tremendous business opportunity for us,” says Prasanna Raghavendra, CTO, CloudMunch. “Today, customers want the flexibility to develop and deploy applications. It was time to look at more options.”
After much deliberation CloudMunch chose Windows Azure for its Microsoft based customers. It seemed to be a real competitor to AWS in terms of its breadth and maturing APIs. Windows Azure is a cloud platform that provides on-demand compute, storage, content delivery and networking capabilities from Microsoft data centers. “Windows Azure scored over AWS on scalability and IT management of Microsoft based stacks. It was the obvious answer to our business expansion plans,” says Mahesh, CEO, eSparsh.
At first, CloudMunch had to migrate its development operations platform to Windows Azure. “We have primarily been an open source firm,” says Prasanna. “When we looked into Windows Azure we realized it was much broader than what we had thought. We were pleasantly surprised when it handled non-Microsoft and open applications with the same ease.”
The firm then began migrating eSparsh HRMS solutions from AWS to CloudMunch on Windows Azure. “In the pilot stage, we tested the solution with a few of our customers. And there were no issues,” says Mahesh. The migration was completed over a weekend and with only a couple of hours of downtime. Currently, all eSparsh customers are on Windows Azure. “Overall, the migration was smooth. The feedback is good and our customers are happy,” he adds.
With Windows Azure, CloudMunch has automated management tasks without sacrificing performance. It has also reduced costs and lowered release cycle times while increasing flexibility. “With Windows Azure, we can commit to open DevOps while we help our customers reduce costs by as much as 40 percent and improve time-to-market by at least 30 percent,” comments Pradeep.
Adds Value to Customers by Reducing Release Cycle Time
The real value of CloudMunch comes from the ability to make open DevOps a reality. It gives customers the ability to automate many of the processes involved in building new apps. They can now make these available much faster in the market. The process of updates becomes faster as well, which reduces time-to-market for new features.
By using Windows Azure, CloudMunch’s customers are able to cut the release cycle by 20 percent. What this means for CloudMunch’s customers is the ability to release the application and deploy updates easily. “We shortened our release cycle from three months to a week,” says Mahesh. “With CloudMunch services, it is now easy for the development team to test and deploy a code in the cloud without having to set up servers. We are offering continuous delivery to our customers.”
Benefits End Customers with Greater Security and Easier Management
A key component for customers was easy manageability of their product on both the cloud and on-premises. Windows Azure allows for the kind of efficient management found on enterprise systems. It monitors the services to ensure that instances of the app are always running. Mahesh explains with an example of eSparsh in the Windows Azure context, “eSparsh can create a separate database for each of its customers. This makes maintenance easy and also ensures security. The developers at eSparsh can easily apply security updates and system upgrades to the underlying operating system with virtually no downtime for their customers.”
Lowers Total Cost of Ownership for CloudMunch and its Customers
With Windows Azure, CloudMunch is delivering a platform that addresses the cost concerns of its customers. As it runs in Microsoft data centers, it has reduced the amount of server hardware that customers have to buy, maintain and update.
“Ever since we migrated from AWS to the Windows Azure platform, our customer satisfaction index has moved in an upward direction,” concludes Mahesh. “We and our customers are realizing the benefits quickly. It has greatly improved customer satisfaction. Some of the issues like performance, space and availability have been addressed. “
With Windows Azure, you can quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. You can build applications using any operating system, language, or tool.
For more information, please visit www.windowsazure.com.
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