OGiTiX Software AG, based in Langenfeld, Germany, is an owner-managed and medium-sized software manufacturer. Founded in 2008, the company offers solutions for Identity and Access Management (IAM).
IT-Services und IT-Consulting
When OGiTiX was about to replace its local server infrastructure for development and test environments, a move to the public cloud promised more flexibility, performance, and security. In addition, the software manufacturer wanted to noticeably reduce its storage and security costs for temporarily used instances.
When comparing the market, the leading cloud platforms proved to be far too complex. With providers outside the German legal area, the medium-sized software house also missed guarantees for data sovereignty and the protection of its intellectual property.
Nevertheless, OGiTiX did not have to do without state-of-the-art cloud technology. The decision was finally made in favor of a platform from Germany. The gridscale public cloud focuses on the essentials: extremely simple operation, automation, and German cloud locations and data protection standards.
Easy to manage for a small development team
Easy and fast provisioning of virtual machines (VMs)
No holding costs for VMs
Previously, we ruled out any migration to a public cloud for security reasons alone. gridscale provides us with the data sovereignty to effectively protect our trade secrets as well as our customers’ data.
Nils Hondong, co-founder and product manager at OGiTiX
Starting point and key objectives
Transfering your source codes to the public cloud? For OGiTiX, this was not an issue for a long time. The software company has been successfully developing solutions for identity and access management (IAM) for 14 years. The application infrastructures on the customer side and at OGiTiX itself were traditional “on-premises”. But the market is changing.
Market in transition, SaaS & development in the cloud, replacing legacy IT
Before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic in 2019, companies spent less than a third of their IT budgets on cloud services, according to current market figures from Gartner. By the middle of the decade, market researchers expect the cloud to become the dominant IT infrastructure in the economy for the first time. Cloud services are growing more than twice as fast as the rest of the IT market. By 2025, this difference will even quadruple, according to the Gartner analysts in their study.
For OGiTiX, the step into the data cloud makes twofold sense: The software manufacturer wants to meet the growing demand for flexible IT services and also offer its solutions as software as a service in the future. In the first step, the cloud offers advantages for a migration of the in-house development and test environments.
In recent years, the operation of over 70 virtual machines (VMs) has taken up more and more of the four-person development team’s working time. The complexity of the company’s own IT landscape made it difficult to quickly provision VMs for development projects and test scenarios. Although 50 percent of the systems are offline most of the time, the medium-sized software company had to provide and maintain the necessary hardware. Ever-increasing security requirements made it uneconomical to operate the infrastructure in-house. When the old server hardware was about to be replaced, the opportunity arose to noticeably reduce the effort and costs for the company’s own IT.
Too complex for medium-sized businesses?
But market research disappointed: The platforms of the hyper-scalers are too complex for the small team. Features that are superfluous for SMEs would tie up too much working time. Without specialists, the ongoing costs for the new IT infrastructure would remain intransparent and unpredictable. The software house would have to interpose a managed services provider specifically to make the cloud manageable.
In addition, OGiTiX attaches great importance to data sovereignty and German server locations. Many of its customers come from security-sensitive industries such as high-tech, utilities, or healthcare, including a leading German provider in the hospital sector. However, there are no effective data protection guarantees outside the EU legal area.
They were therefore looking for a public cloud to automate their own IT infrastructure, which was also easy to operate and complied with European data protection standards. The IAM specialists from North Rhine-Westphalia did not find what they were looking for in Silicon Valley, but a few kilometers up the Rhine in Cologne-Ehrenfeld at gridscale, a specialist for medium-sized businesses.
At its core, gridscale itself is a software company. In 2014, it came up with the idea of developing an operating system that makes a cloud manageable for everyone, even in customers’ own data centers. However, the technology did not originate in managing gigantic server farms for the world’s largest search engine or e-commerce website.
Its scenario is the midmarket, for which server infrastructure is a means to an end, where small IT teams operate, if at all. While hyper-scalers are increasing the complexity of their platforms weekly, the gridscale team is looking for ways to cut out the unnecessary and introduce the new in a user-friendly way. Like OGiTiX, gridscale received the ISG “Rising Star” award in its market.
In September 2022, the OGiTiX development team started the migration of its development and test environments to gridscale’s public cloud. Most server instances had to be rebuilt and modernized for this step. Nevertheless, the core infrastructure was moved after only one day. After that, every new development project will find its home on the gridscale platform in the future.
We were used to a lot when it came to managing our virtual servers. We had been working with a Hyper-V console until then. When we first looked at the gridscale dashboard, we were surprised at how much tidier and more intuitive a cloud can be.
Nils Hondong, co-founder and product manager at OGiTiX
What specifically has improved for OGiTiX?
Right from the start, the user interface of the new platform made an impression: “We were used to a lot when it came to managing our virtual servers. Until then, we had been working with a Hyper-V console. When we first looked at the gridscale dashboard, we were surprised at how much tidier and more intuitive a cloud can be,” recalls Nils Hondong, co-founder and product manager at OGiTiX.
The basic installation of the systems was therefore completed quickly. Nevertheless, the developers had not expected how quickly IT resources could be provisioned. “Within minutes, we start virtual machines. In the past, preparing our own hardware and software often took hours before we could start productive work,” says Hondong.
For example, the gridscale cloud noticeably accelerated development and testing work at OGiTiX: “In our test scenarios, we simulate a wide variety of infrastructure setups: load peaks for user access, interconnection of management servers or new demo data. gridscale freed us from all the hardware and admin ballast here,” explains Hondong.
This also pays off on the cost side: Unlike in-house operation and other cloud platforms, gridscale does not charge for holding unused resources. “We keep preconfigured VMs ready. But we only have to pay when and for as long as we put them into operation. The costs for our cloud infrastructure are always transparent and comprehensible,” says Hondong.
At the same time, the software house benefits from the higher performance level of its cloud IT. Compiling new source code, a standard task, is now a third faster. “This adds up extremely in everyday life and saves us a lot of time,” reports the product manager.
The conclusion of the software manufacturer is correspondingly positive: OGiTiX’s initial skepticism about clouds quickly evaporated. The reduction of the gridscale platform to the essentials made the changeover easier. Simple user guidance and personal service enable the medium-sized company to align its processes and business model with the public cloud with a small team. This also convinced the judges at the EuroCloud Native Summit, who presented OGiTiX and gridscale with the Silver Award for the best cooperation projects of the year.