Wednesday, 19 October 2016 19:34

MYOB brought AccountRight onshore without missing a beat

By

MYOB migrated the Azure part of its AccountRight accounting system from Singapore to Australia with no interruption to the service.

MYOB was one of the first companies to adopt Microsoft's Azure cloud service. It used Azure to provide a way of synchronising data across multiple copies of its AccountRight Windows-based accounting software.

One of the main problems with desktop accounting software was that it meant a business owner couldn't easily work on different computers at home and in the office. Nor could accountants or external bookkeepers work on the same copy of the data as their clients.

But that was overcome by using Azure to keep AccountRight databases synchronised across multiple computers. And unlike SaaS products, AccountRight could be used even when internet access was unavailable – any changes were applied when that particular computer was next online.

At the time, the closest Azure data centre was in Singapore. "Rightly or wrongly, customers feel better if their data is onshore," MYOB general manager of engineering and experience Adam Ferguson told iTWire in an exclusive interview.

As a single tenant solution, AccountRight required each customer to have their own database in the cloud. MYOB explored options including migrating customers to Azure’s S3, or to the then still-emerging Elastic Pools. After much consideration and testing, it went with Elastic Pools because MYOB was confident it could work with Microsoft to overcome any challenges that might arise.

Elastic Pools was designed to reduce the database management effort for Azure customers with a large number of databases, and there are around 120,000 AccountRight databases for MYOB to look after.

At the same time, MYOB wanted to move the AccountRight databases from Singapore to Australia. Latency was one issue, especially for MYOB customers in New Zealand. Another was that as MYOB was using so many Azure resources in Singapore, Microsoft could not guarantee 100% business continuity from the one location, explained MYOB development manager Alex Barreto.

So the software was redesigned to be multi-datacentre-aware, and the data is now split between Melbourne and Sydney, and can be restored to any Azure data centre in the world to ensure business continuity.

The performance improvements provided by Elastic Pools plus the latency reduction from using onshore data centres together yielded a 70% performance improvement in AccountRight's cloud functionality for Australian and New Zealand customers, Ferguson said.

While the entire project took a little over a year (including the preliminary work on S3), the actual migration between data centres took around 21 nights during May and June 2016, during which time MYOB's tech team consumed 472 cups of coffee and established 312 Elastic Pools on the Azure cloud with absolutely no downtime for users. "They would not have known that we made that migration" apart from the performance improvement, he said, and that was "a fantastic outcome for our clients".

"Performance has held up," he added, and MYOB is enjoying the benefits of Microsoft's tooling for Elastic Pools.

Part of the problem with managing a large number of databases, Barreto explained, is that there are limits on how many databases can be assigned to one pool, and costs rise as additional resources are made available to a pool. So an important systems management task is moving databases from one pool to another to optimise performance and keep the total cost down. For example, it is desirable to have a mix of low, medium and high-activity databases in each pool to smooth out the demand on resources. Microsoft provides the tools needed to make these adjustments without service disruptions.

Asked for a tip for his peers, Barreto suggested organisations that expect to scale rapidly should make their software multi-datacentre-aware from the start.


Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here
BACK TO LATEST NEWS here

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

VENDOR NEWS