GoToMyERP: A Case-Study

About GoToMyERP

GoToMyERP, based in Los Angeles, California, is a fully managed service for ERP solutions including Acumatica, QuickBooks, Sage Software (50, 100, 300, 500 and X3), SAP Business One, MS Dynamics GP and more. Their customers receive provisioned, dedicated network and application environments to which they connect using client software available on Windows, Mac, and Android devices.

The Challenge

Since 2012, GoToMyERP has been using Amazon EC2 to provide its hosted desktop and application environment solutions to its customers.

"We tune up our server specifically to the client's software. We monitor metrics as part of our go-live evaluation, and scale the server appropriately to support the software and performance."

To reduce the Amazon EC2 costs, George Khairallah, CTO with GoToMyERP, was looking for a robust solution in which their EC2 instances could be converted to lower-priced EC2 instance types during nights and weekends, and restored to stronger-powered EC2 instance types during business hours for the customer.

"We found that powering off the instances completely caused maintenance tasks to impede the performance of the server during business hours. So we opted to scale them down to a small instance to allow them to complete these tasks. By keeping them on as a smaller instance, actually reduced our support call volume for update related issues."

George was looking for a solution that met the following criteria:

  • Reliable: The EC2 instances needed to be running always, so the changes to the EC2 instance types needed to be reliable and recoverable in cases of problems.
  • Cost-effective: The company needed a solution that was low cost so as not to lose the cost-savings of reducing the EC2 instance's power.
  • Low Maintenance: They did not want to manage their own scripts or perform the tasks manually.

The Solution

GoToMyERP used Skeddly's "Change EC2 Instance Type" action to manage the EC2 instance type of their EC2 instances. Using this action, each EC2 instance was converted to a higher-powered EC2 instance type (such as an m4.large) at 4:00am, Monday through Friday. At 8:00pm, the instance was restored to a smaller instance type (such as a t2.small).

Using this solution allowed the instance to remain running overnight. Maintenance tasks, such as automated software updates, were executed at that time so that the customers were not affected by any daytime maintenance tasks.

The Benefits

To reduce the costs of Amazon EC2, one option is to purchase a 1-year or 3-year reserved instance. However, that requires a large up-front cost and would have locked GoToMyERP into a particular EC2 instance type for an entire year.

By converting the EC2 instance to a smaller instance type for just 88 hours each week (overnight and on weekends), GoToMyERP reduced the cost of the instance to under 88% of the "All Upfront" reserved instance price, and avoided the instance type lock-in.

"Because the type of software we host can't typically be scaled horizontally, we need to keep that flexibility to scale up or down for a client based on their usage. We also like the flexibility of being able to upgrade to the new instance types when they become available."

Using Skeddly to automate the EC2 instance type changes is a very inexpensive solution. Using this solution, GoToMyERP was able to achieve a return on investment (ROI) of 2,434% and pass the savings on to their price-conscious customer base.

"Skeddly has become such an integral part of our service."

What's Next?

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