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Sugar On-demand Technical Overview
 

Sugar On-demand Technical Overview

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Executive Summary
• Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has evolved over the past 15 years
through three distinct phases: the ASP model, multi-tenant SaaS
and now multi-instance SaaS.
• Hosted applications, in their various forms, offer the main benefit of
eliminating the need for end user organizations to manage technology
infrastructure. However, the level of application access and
control is severely limited with older, proprietary SaaS models.
• A new generation of SaaS is emerging, led by SugarCRM. Called
multi-instance SaaS, this model combines the flexibility and control
associated with on-site software with the ease of deployment and
universal access of SaaS offerings.
• In addition to greater flexibility and control for users inside the Sugar
On-Demand environment, the Multi-Instance model allows for
greater portability between application operating environments.
• This portability lowers risk, and gives end user organizations greater
choice and freedom along the application lifecycle.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud computing are hot topics
because they allow companies to better manage their IT investments. As
the concept of hosted applications evolved over the last 15 years, providers
of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and customers
alike have embraced the SaaS or on-demand model. There are a lot of
benefits certain organizations will see from SaaS CRM software. But the
SaaS models of the past have also had some drawbacks.
This has now changed. With Sugar On-Demand, SugarCRM is at the forefront
of the third generation of SaaS applications. But before outlining the
unique benefits of Sugar On-Demand, it is important to examine how
SaaS has evolved over the years. And, it is important to note how Sugar
On-Demand solves a lot of the issues and user-related problems inherent
in SaaS software in previous iterations of the model.

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    Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Document Transcript

    • Sugar On-demandTechnical Overview TECHNICAL WHITE PAPER
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Executive Summary • Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has evolved over the past 15 years through three distinct phases: the ASP model, multi-tenant SaaS and now multi-instance SaaS. • Hosted applications, in their various forms, offer the main benefit of eliminating the need for end user organizations to manage technol- ogy infrastructure. However, the level of application access and control is severely limited with older, proprietary SaaS models. • A new generation of SaaS is emerging, led by SugarCRM. Called multi-instance SaaS, this model combines the flexibility and control associated with on-site software with the ease of deployment and universal access of SaaS offerings. • In addition to greater flexibility and control for users inside the Sugar On-Demand environment, the Multi-Instance model allows for greater portability between application operating environments. • This portability lowers risk, and gives end user organizations greater choice and freedom along the application lifecycle. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud computing are hot topics because they allow companies to better manage their IT investments. As the concept of hosted applications evolved over the last 15 years, provid- ers of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and customers alike have embraced the SaaS or on-demand model. There are a lot of benefits certain organizations will see from SaaS CRM software. But the SaaS models of the past have also had some drawbacks. This has now changed. With Sugar On-Demand, SugarCRM is at the fore- front of the third generation of SaaS applications. But before outlining the unique benefits of Sugar On-Demand, it is important to examine how SaaS has evolved over the years. And, it is important to note how Sugar On-Demand solves a lot of the issues and user-related problems inherent in SaaS software in previous iterations of the model. 1SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview The Evolution of On-demand Applications With the rise of the Internet in the mid-1990s, a few companies emerged with a new model for delivering software called ASPs (Application Service Providers). The ASP model was a managed services model, where com- The ASP model has many panies bought their licenses as they would if running them on their own downsides. It eliminates site, but paid additional fees to the ASP to manage and maintain the applications. These application deployments were managed by the ASP user choices, since users on a one-to-one basis, and delivered over the pre-broadband internet. Scale was impossible to reach, and thus these companies faded away. can usually choose the application, but not other The ASP Model components, such as Pros • Provides a turnkey application system • Little IT infrastructure needed by end users hardware or network used • More predictable IT costs in the deployment. Also, Cons • Expensive in the long run, monolithic, inefficient • Integration costly or impossible customization is much • Users have zero ownership of the application more difficult and Key Providers • Corio • USi expensive. The end of the 1990s brought a new concept of hosted application deliv- ery. More ubiquitous Internet connectivity and a general understanding that the web would be the focal point of most software development led this new model. New advances allowed vendors to create a superset of an application, and allow many customers to access this superset appli- cation, rather than have to fully provision a full instance for each customer. Called “multi-tenancy,” several new application vendors began pushing a flavor of this concept. CRM providers were at the forefront of this model. And unlike the ASP model, where the managed service provider was simply a middleman of sorts, the vendors pushing multi-tenant SaaS products are both application developer and service provider. The model has some advantages, in that it allows the vendor to scale operations and manage customer upgrades and routine maintenance more cost effectively. However, multi-tenancy as a single deployment choice has drawbacks. These include limited access to code for end-users, as well as data owner- ship issues. In essence, multi-tenancy is a form of customer lock-in strategy. Multi-Tenant SaaS Pros • Lower subscription costs for end users • Upgrades are automatic and relatively seamless • Lower risk than with client/server investments • Easier administration for SaaS providers Cons • User has little control over the application • True customization is impossible • Integration with other internal systems severely limited • Critical data on shared databases/servers outside the 
firewall • Downtimes effect all users Key Providers • Salesforce.com • NetSuite • Microsoft Dynamics Online2 SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview In recent years, several shifts have helped evolve on-demand applica- tions. Open source software, and a general drop in server software costs coupled with a move toward cloud computing, have opened up a great opportunity for software providers. Now, companies need not rely on a multi-tenant architecture to reduce internal costs while also delivering lower cost software to their customers. SugarCRM has taken the lead in creating on-demand software offerings“We believe that the that promote greater user control, as well as flexibility and freedom. SugarCRM’s use of open source components inside its on-demand infra-benefits of a multi-tenant structure and its innovative application design have resulted in a highly scalable, affordable and flexible offering. Users of Sugar On-Demandarchitecture (MTA) accrue have greater access to their application from both a customization andprimarily to the vendor. data perspective than users of older multi-tenant SaaS products.These vendors offer end SugarCRM’s unique approach to vendor-hosted on-demand CRM appli- cations is called “multi-instance”.users less flexiblesoftware than a hosted Legacy Multi-Tenant Multi-Instancemodel in order to reduce Single datacenter using the Cloud computing using the Internet as an access pipe for Internet as the platform for Internet Modelthe technical and vendor centric CRM customer centric CRM applications applicationsadministrative costs Vendor cloud, partner cloud, Deployment Options On-demand onlyassociated with private cloud Multi-instance dedicatedsupporting the unique Database Tenancy Multi-tenant shared database databaserequirements of multiple Development Language Proprietary with a limited Web-native open source number of developers (PHP)customers. MTA is Development Process Proprietary Openappropriate at the low end APIs Narrow, proprietary Open, standards based Limited with no database Deep with full databaseof the market, where Customization access accesscustomers are On-demand Architecture Monolithic Distributedcomfortable deferring to Hardware Proprietary Commoditythe vendor for best Sugar On-Demand: Key Differentiatorspractices.” Sugar’s multi-instance architecture is built upon a template and instance model. In essence, a master “template” of a version of the application Peter Goldmacher (Sugar Professional, for example) houses all of the shared portions of the Cowen and Company Sugar application. Then, “instances” or file sets unique to individual users, are provisioned as user accounts are generated. These instances enable greater customization for individual end user deployments versus older multi-tenant SaaS models. In addition, Sugar’s multi-instance database concept offers accounts more control over their data, greater isolation from other accounts, and heightened security. Sugar’s architecture offers the same benefits expected in an on-demand application, but with greater customization capabilities since each account receives their own instance of the data- base. The benefit of Multi- Instance versus older multi-tenant databases is illustrated here: 3SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Multi-Tennant vs. Multi-Instance Your data Your data A single, shared database for many user accounts. Multiple, dedicated databases for each user. Also, multi-instance Saas gives the users greater power in other ways as well. Upgrades can be performed just as seamlessly as with multi-tenant SaaS applications. But now users can choose if and when they want to upgrade to new features. Also, Sugar’s multi-instance SaaS concept allows users to originate their deployment in the Sugar On-Demand cloud or in a partner cloud, with the option to move to their deployment to their own could at any time. Users can also move their deployment between the Sugar On-Demand cloud and a partner cloud. Or conversely, Sugar On-Site users can port their deployment to an on-demand model at any time as well.4 SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Sugar On-Demand And the Sugar Open Cloud SugarCRM has long seen the importance in developing CRM applica- tions based on the benefits of open source software and cloud computing. The Multi-Instance architecture of Sugar On-Demand gives the applica- tion greater portability between various traditional, SaaS and cloud-based operating environments such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2. It is very important to have this kind of flexibility. CRM applications are not static, they are dynamic integrations of business processes inside Sales, Support and Marketing organizations and as customers get more mature in their use of the CRM application, these dynamic integrations become more complex and move across the different businesses of the organiza- tion. Application level integration also becomes more complex starting out with a simple integration between the CRM application and one other business application to complex integrations with systems in support, marketing, HR, finance, manufacturing and engineering. As a customer’s CRM system matures and increases in complexity, the deployment requirements may change. The customer may want to move the CRM application from the Sugar On-Demand environment to a part- ner-managed cloud to be closer where other applications are hosted. Or the customer may want to move the CRM application on-site in the cus- tomer’s private cloud to integrate with other on-site applications or to comply with regulatory and privacy requirements. Because of the multi-instance database model, customers can seam- lessly move between these clouds, a flexibility unique to SugarCRM. This deployment model is made possible and supported by the Sugar Cloud Console. Multi-Instance atop the Sugar Open Cloud Pros • Fast deployment • Lower risk • Deep ability to customize, not just configure the application • Easier access to your CRM data • Ensure the uptime, performance and security you require is in place • User gains more control over the CRM solution • User can move the CRM application between sugar, partner and private cloud • CRM application evolve with customer’s needs and maturity level Cons • None, multi-instance SaaS allows users to reap all the benefits of SaaS, with all the control and cus- tomization of an on-site deployment • Multi-instance SaaS also gives customers the choice and freedom to move their deployment as their needs and requirements change Key Providers • SugarCRM—Sugar Partners including Tata Communications, Levementum, Plus Consulting, BT, etc. 5SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Sugar Cloud Console Sugar Open Cloud— Sugar Cloud Console is the key component in the multi-instance SaaS architecture. Cloud Console enables administrators to efficiently manage The Power to Choose Sugar data centers. As a system management tool it allows these admin- istrators to provision and manage thousands of SugarCRM instances A CRM system is meant to make your across one or more clusters in a datacenter. company more flexible and make busi- ness process easier to execute. So why Sugar Cloud Console provides the ability to deploy and manage multi- are so many CRM systems so rigid in ple Sugar instances efficiently while reducing costs associated with terms of how you can deploy them? creating, supporting, upgrading, and maintaining these instances. For SugarCRM believes its users should have example, Sugar administrators need to manage various environments the freedom to choose how you deploy ranging from live instances to production instances to QA/Developer/ and manage your CRM system. Rather Sandbox instances. They must also manage upgrades and customiza- than lock customers in to one version, be tions as they move them from QA into production. In addition, cloud partners who provide Web applications as part of Sugar On-Demand it on-demand or on-site, customers can encounter many tasks in provisioning, upgrading, and maintaining all bring an on-demand version on-site easily. the various customer instances that they host. All these tasks are auto- And conversely, users who wish to make mated with Cloud Console. their IT concerns more simple, can take an on-site deployment of SugarCRM into an on-demand environment. CREATE MANAGE MONITOR REPORT Many CRM vendors are just now coming • Application Templates • User Management • License Management • Auditing • Instance Cloning • Application Testing • System Performance • System Reports around to this concept. But SugarCRM • Sandbox • Updates • Activity Reports • Performance Dashboards was one of the first to offer this kind • Subscription management • Archiving of flexibility, and have customers take advantage of this advantage. Companies like Purchasing Solutions and Brinkman Beverages have successfully moved from on-demand to on-site. So, not only does SugarCRM offer the most cutting Sugar Professional Sugar Professional Sugar Enterprise Sugar Enterprise Sugar Professional edge SaaS products, but customers can [Manufacturing] [Telecom] [Technology] [Media] [Public Sector] always rest assured their CRM system will fit their needs given SugarCRM’s Sugar Administrators have a secure login to Cloud Console (CC) to per- unprecedented flexibility. form all the steps requires to create, manage, monitor and report on all customer instances on a specific cluster. This login is through a com- pletely different logical path from how end users access their applications.6 SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview SAN/NAS MASTER DB Slave DB 6. CC Server will send out notifications to appropriate parties 2. Action jobs are 3. CC Client Node for certain completed logged in the Actions “wakes up” to check tasks (installs, module table in the for jobs to run for the 4. CC Client Node attempts upgrades, etc…) CC Server DB cluster that it runs on to complete its job on the cluster CC Clients/Nodes run as CRON jobs on the cluster CC Server application server(s) CC Database Add Server 1 Add Server n 5. CC Client Node updates job status as soon as the task is completed Switch Firewall Load Balancer 1. CC User creates an action such as provisioning a new instance or upgrading an Firewall existing one CC User Sugar Pro/Ent User 7SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Sugar On-Demand Architecture For the Sugar On-Demand environment, SugarCRM has invested millions of dollars to design and deploy a linearly scalable multi-instance SaaS architecture. In this architecture, Sugar utilizes the same open source technologies that power leading companies such as Google and YouTube. Currently the Sugar On-Demand footprint covers both North America and Europe with datacenters on both continents and extends to the rest of the world using an extensive Internet peering infrastructure. SugarCRM realized early on that relying on the Sugar On-Demand cloud exclusively would make it is impossible to reach all customers with the same performance globally. This is why Sugar has partners around the world who choose to deploy an instance of Sugar On-Demand in their local market. As of the end of 2009 some of these partners are: Amazon, British Telecom, Levementum, Microsoft, Plus Consulting, RedPill, Synolia and Tata Communications. SugarCRM® Clustering Best Practices NOTES ON ARCHITECTURE Load Balancers • Session persistence is required. • Some SOAP clients do not support cookies. For those SOAP client sessions persistence must be assured by other methods. • Sugar® uses NginX and Citrix Netscaler load balancers Firewall Load Balancer • Memcache is used to assure that PHP sessions are persistent across all application servers Application Servers • Linux/Apache/PHP • Application servers are identical and can be easily replaced or expanded • Under load application servers will be CPU bound (PHP) • APC PHP Accelerator for caching • Webroot (Sugar application) if located on a shared storage volume (NAS/SAN) over NFS • NFS caching tuned for reads • Apache Mod_Security is recommended Database Servers • MySQL in master/slave cluster • Tables recommended to be in InnoDB format Application Server Cluster • Under load database servers will be memory and disk bound (MySQL) Storage • Shared NAS/SAN volume accessed by web server over NFS • Sugar application (webroot) is on the shared volume • Sugar performs mostly reads (80% reads on average, dependent on use case) • NFS tuning involves attribute caching. access tim, read and write block size Network • GigabitE is highly recommended • Trunking/bonding for throughput and high availability (with redundant Storage Device network paths) is recommended Database Cluster (NAS/SAN) Sugar supports numerous OS and database variations beyond those listed. Sugar On-Demand performs proactive monitoring and automated self- notification of the Company’s application as a means to verify that (a) an https request can be completed; (b) sessions can effectively be estab- lished and (c) server response time for the non-customized login page falls at or under 30 seconds. The acceptance criteria for the SugarCRM performance stress tests dic- tates that 80% of all server requests on an unmodified instance are completed by the server in less than 1 second under sustained load for at least 4 hours at peak level.8 SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Sugar On-Demand Technical Specifications Data Architecture Sugar On-Demand Metrics SugarCRM guarantees customers a 99.50% service availability and uptime. Historically SugarCRM has always met and exceeded this service guaran- tee with an historical service uptime of 99.98577%. Customers can always request a more detailed report from SugarCRM on the service uptime. Service Uptime Guaranteed 99.50% Historical 99.99% SugarCRM also monitors average web requests and web server and database server query response time. In 2009, the Sugar On-Demand handled an average of 64 web requests per second and had a web server average response time of 0.94 seconds. The average database server query response time was 0.09 seconds. Server Requests Web requests 64/sec Web server average response time 0.94 sec Database server average query response time 0.09 sec The average number of daily transactions performed by all users in 2009 is 308,975. Finally as of December 1, 2009, the total following number of records are stored in the Sugar On-Demand cloud infrastructure: Number of Records (as of December 1, 2009) All Records 205,929,279 Accounts 3,605,250 Contacts 5,948,380 Leads 4,149,863 Emails 5,944,915 9SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Privacy in the Sugar On-Demand Environment Sugar On-Demand does not gather customer private information for the purpose of dissemination or transfer to third parties. Sugar On-Demand collects information that pertains to customer licensing, system and ser- vice performance, and monitoring only. Standard Sugar On-Demand maintenance practices may require access to the customer’s instance to address support cases, perform functional checks, and to validate upgrades. Sugar On-Demand allows the customer to opt-out of standard Sugar On-Demand maintenance practices unless required to address a customer support case or customer-raised issues. Sugar On-Demand fol- lows industry best practices to secure any customer data under its control. The customer has full ownership and access to data that its users submit to the Sugar On-Demand service and is responsible for the integrity, legal- ity, quality and intellectual property of that data. The customer is responsible for all activities conducted under its accounts and is responsible to abide by local, national, and international laws with regards to these activities. Security of the Sugar On-Demand Environment SugarCRM uses multiple levels of protection and security. SugarCRM applications are hosted at different Tier 1 data center facilities in around the world. They are protected by some of the most powerful physical security available, including 24/7 secured access with motion sensors, video surveillance and security breach alarms. Production areas are secured by biometric geometry readers and configured with overhead cable distribution systems, dual AC and DC power distribution raceways and anonymous individually locked cabinets. SugarCRM security and infrastructure components include: Firewall SugarCRM firewalls provide proactive threat defense that stops attacks before they spread through the network, controls network activity and application traffic, and delivers flexible VPN connectivity. High- performance intrusion prevention and worm mitigation capabilities further enhance SugarCRM’s firewall security. Web Application Security Analyzer SugarCRM application is further tested by a Web Application Security Scanner to continuously analyze, isolate and resolve such vulnerabili- ties as Cross Site Scripting (XSS), Cross Site Request Forging (CSRF), Code Inclusion, Remote Code Execution, PHP vulnerabilities, Session injection, etc. Application Security SugarCRM employs a Multiversion & Separate Database Instance SaaS deployment model to provide maximal logical and physical protection and segregation of the on-demand customers’ data. Every customer’s access to the application is protected with an individual username and password. Customers can access their data using any Internet browser from a PC, Mac, Linux or Unix computer. All communications between the browser and the Sugar On-Demand infrastructure are SSL encrypted using the HTTPS protocol.10 SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Physical Security SugarCRM provides around-the clock critical-incident NOC support for the production environment through its Operations and Support teams. Additionally, at the data center qualified technicians are on-site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to perform routine maintenance and emergency installation procedures. Backup and Redundancy Database Backup SugarCRM database backups are encrypted and stored in a datacenter on a different continent for further risk mitigation in conjunction with any Force Majeure event. SugarCRM automated database backup procedures store live and off-line copies of customer data, database, and application files on a daily basis. SugarCRM will also store encrypted backups at a secure off- site location until the expiration of the customer’s contract. Customer Access Customers can request a weekly backup of their SugarCRM data in relational database format for storage on their own servers. Upon request, SugarCRM will provide customers with an FTP account to download their database backup. All object relationships between accounts, contacts and opportunities as well as all other fields, remain intact in this database backup. Redundancy The entire Sugar On-Demand facilities’ electrical system has built-in redundancy to guarantee contiguous operation. The overall system is N+1 redundant, including each component with a parallel electrical sys- tem. AC power is delivered via distributed redundant UPS systems backed by batteries and generators. Every production server utilizes redundant dual-cord power supply fed by diverse sources. SugarCRM is a committed open-source enterprise and as such is fully self-reliant on open source components in its production environment. Any dependencies on third-party providers of software are minimal or negligible and SugarCRM staff and operators can fully support all opera- tional tasks. 11SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Sugar On-Demand International Performance The following is a result from latency testing from different parts of the world to the Sugar On-Demand cloud. Results are an average and can change depending on the ISP used and time of day of the testing. Tests were last performed in December 2009. North America Average Latency 
In milliseconds Austin, TX 47.3 ms Chicago, IL 54.8 ms Miami, FL 94.2 ms New York, NY 87.9 ms San Francisco, CA 3.3 ms Vancouver, BC 43.8 ms EMEA Average Latency 
In milliseconds Amsterdam, NL 10.2 ms Antwerp, BE 12.2 ms Copenhagen, DK 20.4 ms Dublin, IRL 15.1 ms Haifa, IR 75.7 ms Krakow, PL 43.7 ms London, UK 0.9 ms Madrid, SP 27.4 ms Manchester, UK 8.7 ms Moscow, RU 61.7 ms Munich, DE 25.5 ms Oslo, NO 24.5 ms Paris, FR 10.1 ms ASIA, AUSTRALIA Average Latency 
In milliseconds Mumbai, IN 137.4 ms Sydney, AUS 146.8 ms Tokyo, JP 99.4 ms12 SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • Sugar On-demand Technical Overview Conclusions The decision to deploy CRM is an important one. The decision whether to go with a multi-tenant or multi-instance, cloud-friendly SaaS deployment is even more important. Customers should look for the most flexible deployment model that provides with the most options as their CRM implementation matures and increases in complexity. Fortunately, SugarCRM gives its customers users the low risk, fast deployments that other SaaS products do not offer. And it gives users more control over their deployment, with deep customization capabilities. And while most SaaS vendors do not give options in terms of moving the deployment between different clouds (vendor, partner or your private on-site cloud) that is always available with SugarCRM. 13SugarCRM Technical White Paper
    • SugarCRM, Inc.1 0050 North Wolfe RoadS W2-130C upertino, CA 95014T: 408.454.6 900F : 408.873.2872www.sugarcrm.com 04-09-028Copyright © 2009 SugarCRM, Inc. All rights reserved. SugarCRM and the SugarCRM logo are registered trademarks of SugarCRM, Inc.in the United States, the European Union and other countries. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective companies.