Microsoft Windows Azure - SugarCRM Computers Adds Global, Scalable Delivery Channel Case Study


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Microsoft Windows Azure - SugarCRM Computers Adds Global, Scalable Delivery Channel Case Study

  1. 1. Windows Azure Partner Solution Case Study CRM Vendor Quickly Adapts to New Platform, Adds Global, Scalable Delivery Channel Overview “I’ve been astounded at how easy it was Country or Region: United States Industry: Computers—software to make SugarCRM work well inside of Windows Azure. The total effort on our part Partner Profile SugarCRM provides commercial was two engineers for about two weeks.” open-source customer Clint Oram, Vice President of Products, SugarCRM relationship management (CRM) software to customers and value-added resellers (VARs). Headquartered in SugarCRM provides open-source customer Cupertino, California, it employs relationship management (CRM) software and 140 people. focuses on its “Sugar Open Cloud” strategy, Business Situation meaning that the company makes its applications To serve the unique needs of its customers, SugarCRM wanted available for a variety of on-premises and hosted to ensure that its software service platforms. The independent software would be available on as many technology platforms as vendor recently ported its application to the possible. Windows Azure™ platform to enable its customers Solution and value-added resellers to take advantage of SugarCRM ported its real-time scalability, geographically dispersed applications to the Windows Azure™ platform so that its VARs Microsoft® data centers, and maximum data could deploy SugarCRM with availability to gain high end performance without minimum capital expense and provide customers with a highly investing in additional infrastructure. The ease of reliable, scalable CRM solution deployment and pay-as-you-go pricing will also on a pay-as-you-go basis. help customers control IT costs. Thanks to strong Benefits support for programming language • Quick development • Flexible pricing model interoperability within the Windows Azure • World-class database platform, SugarCRM was able to complete the technology • Global scalability porting process with two engineers in about two weeks.
  2. 2. Situation Founded as an open-source “Our customers gravitate to project in 2004, SugarCRM Sugar because they want an provides commercial open- easy-to-use CRM application that source customer relationship deploys quickly, but they also management (CRM) software. want to run that application on With offices in Cupertino, top of the technology stack on California; Munich, Germany; and which they’ve standardized their Shanghai, China, the independent IT department,” say Clint Oram, software vendor (ISV) offers one Vice President of Products and of the most widely adopted CRM Cofounder of SugarCRM. applications around the world. “We’ve always focused on SugarCRM applications have delivering our software wherever been downloaded more than 5 and however our customers want million times and currently serve to run it. We’ve never been tied “Whether it’s a more than 500,000 users in 75 to any one operating system or languages. any one database technology.” private cloud hosted for a SugarCRM customers include SugarCRM applications are some of the world’s largest based on PHP, a run-time particular customer enterprises such as Avis, AXA, programming language designed and BDO Seidman; however, the for Web-based applications. or one of our majority of its customers are Because PHP is designed to be partners delivering small and midsize organizations portable and run on top of dozens that are looking to improve their of operating systems, Web a SugarCRM SaaS CRM effectiveness without taking servers, and hardware on significant costs in their IT configurations, it minimizes the solution…, Windows environment. For many effort required to port Azure provides a customers, Sugar is their first applications from one platform to CRM system, and they stick with another. strong delivery it. Available in three editions— Sugar Community Edition, Sugar That agnostic approach to the channel for our Professional, and Sugar underlying technology allows product.” Enterprise—the application SugarCRM to offer customers delivers a very simple, more options for software straightforward but powerful CRM delivery. It is available as an on- application that combines sales premises deployable application force automation, marketing and as a software-as-a-service automation, and customer (SaaS) solution that is available support automation in one user from various vendors through the interface. This makes it possible “cloud”—delivered over the for organizations to manage all of Internet and hosted in a separate their customer-facing data center. This includes departments with a single tool. SugarCRM’s own cloud service—
  3. 3. Sugar On Demand. “More and and a set of developer services more of our partners have been that can be used separately or moving to the cloud to gain together. The Windows Azure scalability without having to make platform offers a scalable a huge investment in infrastructure with a pay-as-you- infrastructure,” says Oram. “To go pricing model that enables support our ‘Sugar Open Cloud’ customers to pay for the service strategy we enable our software as they consume it, rather than to be delivered through all the buying and managing on- major cloud service provider premises technology. environments. Outsourcing the infrastructure for some “Whether it’s a private cloud applications to the cloud allows hosted for a particular customer customers to turn a capital or one of our partners delivering expense into an operating a SugarCRM SaaS solution for a expense, which helps customers particular region or market who want to conserve cash.” vertical, Windows Azure provides a strong delivery channel for our Figure 1: SugarCRM delivers a SugarCRM applications were product,” says Oram. “We’ve simple, straightforward but already running on various cloud been working closely with powerful CRM application that services. When Microsoft Microsoft to extend our will be available to customers announced the pending launch of application and take advantage of as a Windows Azure–hosted the Windows Azure™ platform, those strengths.” service through several SugarCRM saw huge potential in SugarCRM is written on PHP, SugarCRM partners. porting its software to the which runs on the Windows Windows Azure platform. This Server® operating system and move could expedite time to Internet Information Services (IIS) market because of the 7. “Because PHP runs well on platform’s support for popular top of IIS and IIS works really well programming languages. It could on top of Windows Azure, it was also further the company’s easy for us to port SugarCRM to “Sugar Open Cloud” goal by Azure,” says Oram. “We providing customers with a knocked down the technical globally scalable product running challenges very quickly with a on a high-end infrastructure and couple of engineers in just a few highly redundant database weeks.” system, at a pay-as-you-go price. Solution The Windows Azure platform is an Internet-scale cloud services platform that is hosted in Microsoft® data centers. It provides an operating system
  4. 4. SugarCRM started porting its Blob Storage, which enables application to Windows Azure in applications to store binary large October 2009 and deployed a objects (blobs)—up to 50 proof of concept of the new gigabytes (GB) each—in the version at the end of that month. cloud. These blobs can be served “We had to learn how file system from many servers to scale out to structures work inside of meet high traffic demands and to Windows Azure and what type of make the data accessible from configuration files we had to put anywhere at any time. The data is in place, but that was quick to replicated at least three times for work through,” says Oram. high availability and recoverability. SugarCRM engineers also modified code to optimize the “The virtualization component of application for the Microsoft SQL any cloud service environment Azure™ component of the requires that we design our Windows Azure platform. SQL application for the possibility that Azure is a cloud-based relational the virtual machine hosting the database service built on runtime environment could go Microsoft SQL Server® database away at any time,” says Oram. management software. It allows “If that happens, files need to be on-premises and cloud written to an area that sticks applications to store relational around, and that’s what and other types of data on Windows Azure Blob Storage servers in Microsoft data centers. provides.” The ISV is also architecting its When the SugarCRM application application to take advantage of is fully ported to the Windows Azure platform in December 2009, all Sugar editions will be available to customers as a Windows Azure–hosted service through several SugarCRM partners. Benefits SugarCRM took advantage of familiar development tools and strong support for PHP to quickly port its open-source CRM application to the Windows Azure platform. By extending its application to the cloud services platform, the ISV will help its value-added resellers (VARs)
  5. 5. “Windows Azure cost-effectively deploy custom secure cloud platform with a pay- CRM solutions that scale globally as-you-go pricing model.” gives our and minimize cost for customers. Because customers pay for only multinational Quick Development the Windows Azure service that customers The straightforward design and they use, the cost becomes an support for various programming operating expense rather than a enormous flexibility languages within the Windows capital expense, which makes it Azure platform greatly simplified easier to fit it into their budgets. to deliver a high- the ISV’s efforts to port its “Some of our 5- or 10-person performance, application to Windows Azure. VARs around the world can’t “Every piece of the puzzle afford to buy and manage the massively scalable logically fits together in Windows technology required to deliver Azure so that we were able to CRM-as-a-service to their application to users work with it very quickly,” says customers,” says Oram. “But in any part of the Oram. “I’ve been astounded at now they can deliver a valuable how easy it was to make service to their customers on top world on top of one SugarCRM work well inside of of the Windows Azure Windows Azure. The total effort infrastructure for a fraction of technology base.” on our part was two engineers what it would cost to set up their for about two weeks, rather than own infrastructure.” having to put a whole team on this for months.” Enterprise-Class Database Technology in the Cloud High-End Infrastructure in a Built on the enterprise-class SQL Pay-As-You-Go Model Server database management The combination of the cloud software and Windows Server services operating system, technologies, the SQL Azure developer services, and hosting database component of the services included within the Windows Azure platform made it Windows Azure platform offers easier for SugarCRM to quickly new options for businesses of all extend its application to run in the sizes. “Although most companies cloud environment. “Windows can reduce their IT spend by Azure is going to look very outsourcing infrastructure, the different than our other cloud companies that will benefit the service providers because it is most are those that could never the only one that delivers SQL come close to implementing this Azure,” says Oram. “Other type of compute capacity database technologies available because of the cost,” says in cloud environments typically Oram. “With Windows Azure, require developers to make them they’ll have a massively scalable, all work together. We are excited fully redundant, and completely about SQL Azure because it takes care of the hard parts of creating
  6. 6. For More Information and managing a highly redundant, Windows Azure Platform For more information about disaster-proof database The Windows Azure platform Microsoft products and environment.” provides an excellent foundation services, call the Microsoft for expanding online product and Sales Information Center at Global Scalability service offerings. The main (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call Another big advantage of SQL components include: the Microsoft Canada Azure is that it is built on a • Windows Azure. Windows Azure Information Centre at (877) geographically distributed data is the development, service 568-2495. Customers in the center that offers virtually hosting, and service United States and Canada who unlimited scalability and built-in management environment for are deaf or hard-of-hearing can data redundancy across multiple the Windows Azure platform. reach Microsoft text telephone sites. “The financial investment Windows Azure provides (TTY/TDD) services at (800) to make the data centers developers with on-demand 892-5234. Outside the 50 available across various compute and storage to host, United States and Canada, geographies is a huge value,” scale, and manage Web please contact your local says Oram. “Windows Azure applications on the Internet Microsoft subsidiary. To access gives our multinational customers through Microsoft data information using the World enormous flexibility to deliver a centers. In addition, Windows Wide Web, go to: high-performance, massively Azure serves developers’ scalable application to users in connectivity needs through any part of the world on top of the following services. For more information about one technology base. Even our 〉 The Service Bus connects SugarCRM products and midsize customers will be able to services and applications services, call (408) 454-6940 deliver a quality application across network or visit the Web site at: experience to users in China, boundaries to help South Africa, the United States, developers build and Europe—all at the same distributed applications. Additional Resources: time.” Download: Windows Azure and 〉 The Access Control Service ISVs – A Guide for Decision provides federated, Makers claims-based access Download: Windows Azure control for REST Web Tools and SDK services. • Microsoft SQL Azure. Microsoft SQL Azure offers the first cloud-based relational and self-managed database Software and Services • Windows Azure Platform • Microsoft Server Product • Windows Azure Portfolio • Microsoft SQL Azure • Microsoft SQL Server • Blob Storage This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published November 2009
  7. 7. service built on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 technologies. To learn more about the Windows Azure platform, visit: