Before introducing SIOS Coati After introducing SIOS Coati
Built a delivery slip printing system on AWS but no monitoring tool. Introduced SIOS Coati and start system monitoring
Asked the company that built the system for operaions, but it costed too much → Several hundred thousand yen Started system monitoring for 30,000 yen/month
Worrying about system down all the time Since Coati performs restoration, only you have to do is confirmation when the sytem recovers successfully

When it comes to offering services with 24/7 operations, one-person IT falls into difficult situation where he cannot see what’s going on and feels uneasy as there is no one he can rely on. A service to relieve such uneasiness of one-person IT is provided for AWS: it takes charge of monitoring of AWS operations at low cost. Ogura (Minato-ku, Tokyo), a company which sells alcoholic beverages to restaurants, eliminated concerns about the operation of the newly developed delivery slip printing system on AWS by introducing such operation monitoring service.

Successfully built the system on the AWS, but problems emerged in the subsequent operation monitoring

Ogura is a company specialized in wholesaling alcoholic beverages to restaurants. It covers four cities including Tokyo, with two logistics bases in Tokyo and eight affiliated logistics centers. For chain restaurants, it provides services to any region through their network cooperating with liquor stores nationwide. The company is also driving computerization and digitization, and it has introduced smartphones and a dynamic management system of NaviTime Japan in order to utilize the location information of drivers who deliver products. Under such circumstances, the turning point came: the company decentralized distribution centers into two sites in early 2017.

In Ogura, persons in charge of order management printed delivery slips of the goods to deliver at the distribution center, and drivers took them along with the products. However, due to the decentralization of distribution centers, they were unable to continue a system where they centrally manage orders and print delivery slips at one location. Moreover it is difficult in both budget and management aspects to assign people in charge of order management at both sites. Therefore, the company decided to change the system to print slips when drivers deliver products to customers. Database for order management is centrally managed, and drivers print the slips with a mobile printer using their smart phones.

Drivers print delivery slips on-site using smartphones

The slip printing system runs on the public server in order to enable an access to the order management database from outside the company. Tsuyoshi Tozu, Deputy Manager of ICT Division at Ogura which manages IT system of Ogura, was in charge of overall systems of the company as a “one-person IT.” Tozu looked back at the time of building the slip printing system and said, “Internal information systems were all on-premises until then. I think that the slip printing system could be on-premises, but we decided to use AWS which does not require update or maintenance of physical hardware.” He also said that they wanted to challenge a new possibility of cloud services.

For the development of applications running on AWS, they used a vendor. However, it took time and effort for the vendor to understand the business practice of the alcoholic beverage industry. Beer bottles and draft beer barrels are sold with the deposit, and the deposit is refunded when they are collected. And they needed the application which can correspond to such system. However, the application was successfully developed, and decentralization of the distribution center and development of the delivery management system were completed in early 2017.

Met SIOS Coati when looking for operation monitoring tool for AWS

Tozu talks about how it was like after the system started its operations. "In terms of using AWS, I thought just trying was fine but it went well. We were able to develop the application relatively smoothly and it worked steadily even after starting live operations. However, I also felt nervous that "AWS is good but I cannot see what’s going on there.” I was always wondering what was happening there. We didn’t have a big problem at that time, but we had to do something in terms of monitoring. Then we started considering a way for backups."

On other on-premises systems, Ogura was already using backup services including operation monitoring. However, broadening the scope of support to AWS is costly. Moreover, because there are limitations to study AWS management as a one-person IT, 24/7 management is not realistic. Mr. Tozu proactively attend ICT related events and exhibitions to get information, and among them, he was also paying attention to operation monitoring services for AWS. Then he met SIOS Technology and SIOS Coati at an event.

SIOS Coati is a cloud service that monitors applications on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and automatically restores them when necessary. In addition to constantly monitoring applications on Amazon EC2, it automatically recovers instances in case of an application failure. You can have a safe and secure system where IT persons don’t realize there was a failure until when they receive a failure report email after restoring the system.

Tozu told us about why they decided to use SIOS Coati. "The function of SIOS Coati was exactly what we wanted. In terms of costs, it costs 30,000 yen per month and it is a fraction of the costs of using manual backup services. The balance between the price and a sense of security was good."

Orijinal flow

Image of Orijinal flow

Failure detection with operation monitoring tool

  1. Monitoring is specifically built and configured,
    or of low accuracy
  2. Recover from failure manually
  3. Someone has to up all night to watch
  4. Engineers are waken up in the middle of the night
  1. Manual intervention is required for trouleshooting
  2. The reason why the operation cost does not decrease

Flow after introducing SIOS Coati

Image of Flow after introducing SIOS Coati

SIOS Coati recovers application (Hardware is managed by cloud)

  1. Easy monitoring settings & highly accurate checking
  2. Failure is automatically recovered and
    no one has to stay up all night
  3. Engineer's troubleshooting is not required
  4. Information on cause investigation is available immediately
  1. Engineers can focus on more valuable tasks
  2. Reduce operation costs

It seems that what Tozu wanted was a visualization tool of the health status like "physical power lamp" attached to AWS. Actually, if the application of AWS really is not working due to failure, the operations can be returned to the conventional method where delivery slips were printed manually. However, it is necessary to determine whether it is really down and not recoverable. SIOS Coati's monitoring mechanism was a perfect fit.

Feel so relieved - even forget using Coati

Tozu, who met SIOS Coati at the exhibition in July, talked to Coati representative at SIOS Technology instantly and came to believe that his company could obtain the service required for operation monitoring of the delivery management system running on AWS. He decided to introduce Coati in late August after summer break. As of October 2017, several months have passed since the start of the operation.

When asking about the effect and impression of SIOS Coati, Tozu said, "nothing has happened so far. It is peaceful enough to forget that we introduced Coati. When looking at the dashboard occasionally, I just check the increasing cumulative monitoring time once an hour." Since introducing Coati, he has not received any emails notifying of recovery yet. Nothing is happening is a grateful situation for one-person IT.

"I am relieved because it is working great. We cannot stop monitoring even though nothing happens. I'm glad that we could introduce good service that was easy to implement and gave us a sense of security," said Tozu.

SIOS Coati's production management screen for Ogura

Ogura was able to accumulate knowledge of cloud services by "trying AWS" in the building of this delivery management system. "In order management, some systems require hardware that works with faxes or telephones, and I think that it is difficult to replace all systems with cloud services such as AWS. However, when introducing new mechanism to the system, we can consider using AWS," said Mr. Tozu.

Ogura became able to trust and use AWS by introducing the low cost service to which they can entrust the operation monitoring with confidence when utilizing AWS at the right place. The possibility of introducing and providing new mechanisms and services with the speed of the cloud has expanded toward the future.

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