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Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, David Green, Lori MacVittie

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Ozinga Solidifies Upgrade Testing for Concrete and Bulk Materials Delivery Application Using Ravello

Ravello Systems, the industry’s leading nested virtualization provider, today announced that Ozinga, a premier supplier of concrete and materials, uses Ravello to perform extensive software upgrade testing of Apex packaged software, a ticketing and automation solution that tracks dispatch and delivery of bulk materials. Ozinga uploaded a copy of its production VMware virtual machines (VMs) to Ravello and saved a blueprint of its existing Apex application. Now it creates an isolated production clone in the cloud whenever required for extensive upgrade testing, and then rolls out the changes in its on premises production without any disruption to users.

“As Ozinga transitioned from one generation of leadership to the next, we were looking forward to innovating and improving our production systems to track dispatch and delivery,” said Chris Visser, system administrator at Ozinga. “With a business-critical logistics system, we needed a way to conduct testing without the risk of any downtime or a costly, massive upgrade that required more hardware. With Ravello, we’ve been able to use the public cloud to continuously test and upgrade our systems with every new release and pay as we go with the cloud, keeping our costs low and our application upgrades flexible with no downtime.”

Established in 1928 in Evergreen Park, Illinois, as a small coal and coke yard, Ozinga survived the Great Depression and World War II before becoming one of the first ready mix concrete providers in the region. What started as a small coal yard in 1928 has grown into the Midwest’s premier supplier of concrete and materials. Today as a fourth-generation family-operated company, it provides ready-mix concrete, decorative concrete supplies, and bulk materials while offering transportation services through an extensive network of truck, rail, barge and ship terminals.

Long ago, Ozinga used punch cards to track dispatch and delivery of bulk materials. Today the company uses a sophisticated packaged application called Apex, the leading ticketing and automation solution for the bulk materials industry, on VMware vSphere, for managing its logistics. Although Ozinga works closely with Apex to roll out upgrades, it was difficult to execute updates in production because Ozinga needs its system available all the time, with no risk of downtime. It also did not want to implement a resource-intensive solution that required expensive hardware and manual overhead to replicate the entire environment internally, making every upgrade a massive project.

Instead, Ozinga realized it could use the Ravello nested virtualization solution to easily and cost effectively test upgrades in the public cloud, on Amazon Web Service (AWS) without modifying its VMware VMs. Now, each time the Apex team releases a new version of its software, Ozinga uses Ravello to simply spin up a replica of the Apex application VMs in production and use it as a temporary testing environment in the public cloud in order to fully test the upgrade. Ravello’s collaborative features enable shared access for the Apex and Ozinga teams during the process, and Ozinga can take snapshots or blueprints of the entire multi-tier application and conduct thorough upgrade tests to identify and resolve any errors. Once the application passes the upgrade tests, Ozinga applies the same upgrade process into production with a high degree of confidence. Since the VMs and networking remain the same, the team is ensured a smooth, easy upgrade, without disruption to users.

“Ozinga is a longstanding company that utilizes technology to streamline operations, lower costs and improve customer service,” said Shruti Bhat, director of product marketing at Ravello Systems. “With Ravello, Ozinga is able to keep its business critical applications, including its dispatch and delivery software, thoroughly tested and up-to-date and leverage the public cloud without additional migration or automation overhead.”

Supporting Resources

About Ravello Systems

Founded in 2011, Ravello Systems delivers a Software-as-a-Service that enables developers, DevOps and IT to easily use the unlimited resources of the public cloud to develop and test their on-premise applications. Ravello’s nested virtualization enables enterprises to encapsulate their multi-tier applications and run them in any cloud – without making any changes whatsoever. Ravello Systems is backed by top tier VCs including Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. For more information, visit www.ravellosystems.com.

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