Microsoft ERP – Dynamics AX on Microsoft Azure Cloud

Microsoft Dynamics AX in the Cloud enables Pepperfry.com to reduce cost, save time, and gain flexibility.

Business Case

The Ecommerce Company launched on 3rd of January 2012 gives customers a wide selection of amazingly priced Furniture, Home and Living products and a great shopping experience.

Their managed marketplace is an ideal platform for entrepreneurs who wish to sell their merchandise to millions of discerning customers. They work with over thousand merchant partners to showcase their design skills and craftsmanship to customers across the world.
The Mumbai headquartered company raised over $100 million through institutional investors to scale their business into Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities of India. This rapid growth in scale demanded their ERP system to handle the growing load and yet be cost effective.

Pepperfry used to run its Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP in-house, in a traditional datacenter setup consisting of 2 Application Servers, 1 SQL Server and 1 Dynamic AX Server. These servers were maintained internally with a dedicated infrastructure and technical support team. However, with the aggressive company expansion strategy, Pepperfry wanted a sophisticated solution which would provide instant scalability and availability to meet their peak hour demands and help them move from a CAPEX intensive model to Opex model.

Key Challenges

  • Reduce the Huge CAPEX for Infrastructure
  • Reduce investment in resources to manage technology infrastructure
  • Overcome typical Connectivity issues in Operations
  • High Availability and Guaranteed uptime
  • Reliable solution for Backup and Disaster Recovery

Solution

Mactores performed an in-depth audit and analysis of the infrastructure and spearheaded the deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX on Microsoft Azure as Infrastructure-as-a-Service(IaaS).

Mactores executed the migration process, which comprised of an installation and setup phase, database and application configuration phase, as well as database restoration and compilation phase of their Microsoft Dynamics application on cloud.

Project work was organized into six distinct phases: Diagnostic, Analysis, Design, Development, Deployment, and Operation. Diagnostic is a pre-implementation phase designed to assist the customer in the proper system selection. The analysis, design, development and deployment phases represent the five implementation phases of the migration methodology. Operation, the last phase, also includes the activities aimed at smooth transition from implementation to post-implementation support.

The migration methodology, along with Microsoft Dynamics implementation accelerators, were used to execute this project. Microsoft Dynamics ERP Best Practice Configuration Accelerator services allowed a fast and easy way to configure and deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX business processes and scenarios. It offered complete control over the design of the setup and improved the overall quality of the AX implementation.

Tools & Technologies Implemented.

  • Virtual Machines with SQL Server
  • Virtual Private Network
  • Azure Active Directory for Identity and Access Management
  • Azure Storage
  • Code Optimization Framework (Accelerators)
  • System Performance Tuning Framework (Accelerators)

Business Outcome

By migrating the application from on premises to Azure cloud, Pepperfry was able to achieve an extremely scalable, accessible and cost-effective solution which boosted their expansion strategy.

  • Upfront Capital Investments:  Avoided One of the key benefits of migrating infrastructure functions to cloud is that it avoids upfront capital expenditures. Pepperfry does not have to invest in server hardware and licenses, instead, it relies on a cloud infrastructure and data centers from Microsoft.
  • Reduced Operating Costs:  Without the need for on-premises infrastructure to maintain, Pepperfry also reduced operating costs. Specifically, the company did not have to hire additional staff to manage servers, nor did it have to redistribute existing personnel resources to infrastructure maintenance tasks.
  • Instant Scalability:  Microsoft Azure easily scales to meet increased workloads and a variety of deployment scenarios, offering much needed flexibility for Pepperfry
  • Reduced time for Deployment:  To upgrade server capacity at its data center, Pepperfry no longer needs to wait 2-6 weeks. By adding virtual machines in Azure IaaS, the capacity can be increased in just two hours.
  • High Availability and Reliability:  Migrating Pepperfry’s infrastructure functions to Azure has resulted in reduced downtime. Azure VMs by default have their virtual hard drives (VHDs) geo-replicated to a second Azure datacenter, providing a degree of protection against failure of some Azure hardware.

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