Micro Focus

PropUp
Success Story

Micro Focus® PlateSpin® enables cost-effective move to Microsoft Azure without disrupting service to users.

“Using PlateSpin Migrate we realized a successful and cost-effective move to Microsoft Azure and re-allocated virtual servers across hosts to optimize performance. PlateSpin gave us full life cycle management through its profiling, migration, and protection features.”

ALEX LEE
Chief Technology Officer
PropUp

At a Glance

Industry

Real Estate

Location

Hong Kong

Results

  • Successful cloud deployment to Microsoft Azure
  • Disaster recovery time reduced from one day to one hour
  • Daily automated backup
  • Full workload life cycle management
  • Flexibility and cost efficiency

Overview

PropUp is the fastest growing matching app for real estate agencies, customers, house owners, and developers. The seller will post a free apartment advertisement. Buyers can then search and contact the seller through the app.

Challenge

Just three months after PropUp launched, its massive growth meant some crucial IT infrastructure decisions needed to be made, as Alex Lee, CTO at PropUp, explains: “We run around 20 physical servers, with another 50 VMwarebased virtual machines. To maintain flexibility and cost efficiency we considered moving workloads consisting of applications, databases and analytic engines to the cloud. We provide a 24/7 service and needed better visibility into our server utilization so that we could plan our IT investment. We wanted to reduce the number of physical servers and make more efficient use of our existing resources.”

In addition to this, PropUp needed a Disaster Recovery (DR) and backup solution. In the event of a system outage it would take over a day to get back online, unacceptable for a business relying entirely on its online presence. A weekly backup process was implemented, and this needed improving as well.

Solution

A market review conducted by Maxline, a leading provider of IT solutions and services, highlighted Micro Focus PlateSpin, designed to support IT operations by managing constant change. PlateSpin Recon provides unique workload profiling to track actual CPU, memory, disk and network utilization over time, on both physical and virtual hosts. PlateSpin Recon was easy to use and understand and could work without disrupting the production environment, vital for PropUp. It could simulate different scenarios based on various statistics so that PropUp could determine the best configuration in all circumstances. This would especially help PropUp to start properly planning for DR.

Lee comments on the project: “Within two weeks PlateSpin Recon provided us with a very granular cross-brand server inventory. This gave us the confidence to increase consolidation ratios by introducing more virtual machines onto the virtual hosts without negatively impacting performance.”

PlateSpin Migrate was used to execute the consolidation plan and its Server Sync feature proved particularly useful. This allowed PropUp to run the migration in a test environment, confirming that everything was running well, and then sync any changes in the production environment to minimize downtime. Lee comments: “Using PlateSpin Migrate we realized a successful and cost-effective move to Microsoft Azure and re-allocated virtual servers across hosts to optimize performance. We looked at other tools to achieve the same result, but found that only PlateSpin gave us full life cycle management through its profiling, migration, and protection features.”

With the server workloads redistributed and optimally working, PropUp looked at PlateSpin Protect to implement an effective DR process and improve its RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective) targets. Lee explains: “Our servers are running 24/7 and support a mobile app which needs to be available constantly. User experience is vital and we conduct continual user acceptance testing (UAT) and stress testing to ensure the app meets our users’ expectations. PlateSpin Protect was simple to use and the test failover feature is of great use in our UAT environment. It allows us to rapidly test the integrity of workload replication when we introduce new features or patches. With a mouse click, we can take a virtual snapshot of the recovery workload, power it on within a private internal network and quickly validate the recovery plan.”

Results

Using PlateSpin Recon and PlateSpin Migrate, PropUp optimized its server workloads without additional hardware investments, leveraging the Microsoft Azure cloud for full flexibility and cost efficiency.

Lee on the benefits achieved: “Working with Micro Focus meant that we could achieve everything we needed and more, without affecting the service we provide to our users. We introduced an effective DR process which has us back online within one hour instead of a full day. Daily backups are done automatically, and the PlateSpin tools are so easy to use that our staff only needed minimal training to get up and running with them.”

He concludes: “Micro Focus and Maxline really took the time to understand our particular needs. We liked the idea of a single vendor approach and the PlateSpin portfolio gave us everything we needed. It was a benefit that we could do this all in-house without sending any of our sensitive user data off-site. Micro Focus has given us the flexibility to expand our business, fully leveraging the cloud.”