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Building a business case for moving from PRO On-Premise to PRO Cloud SaaS

  • 24 April 2024
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Based on an exercise we conducted with a specific customer recently, we would like to offer a framework for building a potential business case for making the switch from PRO On-Premise to PRO Cloud SaaS.

Historic context

In 2011 AIMMS launched AIMMS PRO, a deployment platform for AIMMS applications. It ran on servers inside our customers’ data centers or cloud tenants.

It met customers’ needs for:

  • Easily and quickly distributing AIMMS apps to end-users.
  • Lower Total-Cost-of-Ownership (TCO).

In 2016 AIMMS launched the AIMMS Cloud SaaS, delivering AIMMS PRO as on-demand cloud-powered Software-as-a-Service. In addition to the needs listed above, it met customers’ needs for:

  • Security, reliability and scalability
  • Not having to ‘manage IT’

After that, all new AIMMS customers opted for this new SaaS solution, the AIMMS Cloud SaaS.

Because of this customer preference and because almost all companies now have a ‘cloud-first’ policy, AIMMS made the strategic choice in 2022 to focus innovation on the AIMMS Cloud Platform and not add any new features to the PRO On-Premise product.

Main differences

The main differences between PRO Cloud and PRO On-Premise are:

 

PRO On-premise

PRO Cloud SaaS

Management

Customer

AIMMS (SaaS)

Reliability

Typically single server, in some cases cold or hot standby provision.

‘Designed for failure’ with extensive redundancy and auto-recovery

Scaling

Vertical scaling only limited by available hardware.

No horizontal scaling as license is limited to one server.

Vertical scaling to 16 vCPU and 120GB per each user session.

Almost infinite horizontal scaling.

Costs

Hardware must be sized for peak demand, so underutilized most of the time

Only pay for capacity needed now and instantly extend when necessary

AIMMS’ Pricing

Subscription per user seat and per solver session, limited to a single server.

All-inclusive subscription per user seat and per solver session.

 

Business case framework

This framework contains various components, each of which may or may not apply to an organization’s situation. It runs from ‘most tangible’ to ‘less tangible’.

 

 

Applicable when

Potential PRO Cloud SaaS benefits over PRO On-Premise

Cost savings in IT infrastructure / hosting costs

IT infrastructure / hosting costs are charged to your budget

  • No CAPEX
  • No charges for facilities (housing, power, cooling, etc)
  • No charges for monitoring, maintenance, upgrades, backups or helpdesk
  • Avoid paying for hardware sized for the occasional peak moment that ends up underutilized most of the time

Reliability

PRO On-Premise IT infra is limited to a single server, without ‘cold’ or ‘hot’ failover.

Potential user disruption caused by hardware or software failures is much reduced:

  • Almost all hardware and software components are implemented redundantly (more than one)
  • Failed hardware is automatically and instantly replaced
  • Crashed software services are automatically and instantly restarted
  • Continuous, automated availability testing by AIMMS, our partner Intercept and Microsoft.
  • PRO Cloud uses geo-redundancy (workload is spread across multiple geographically-spread data centers)

Security

PRO On-Premise installation is lacking up-to-date information security arrangements

  • Designed and implemented using industry’s best practices.
  • Continuous, automated intrusion detection and vulnerability scanning by Microsoft Cloud Defender software and Microsoft’s Security Operations Centers

Vertical Scaling

Model size is growing and becoming large

  • Each user and each solver session can receive up to 120GB of RAM and 16 cores/vCPUs.

Horizontal Scaling

Usage is growing and/or highly variable over time

  • Infinite (in practical terms) and instantly available horizontal scaling to allow very large number of concurrent users or concurrent solver sessions. For example, an AIMMS PRO Cloud instance recently scaled automatically to 1600 vCPUs and 12 TB RAM.
  • Subscription options designed for short periods of peak activity or big variations in usage over time.
  • Support for ‘Parallel CPLEX’

Performance

PRO On-Premise server is sized to operate with ‘time-slicing’ between users

  • Each user and each solver session is provided with exclusive compute power (vCPUs).

Room for Innovation

There is program/roadmap for adding more AIMMS applications

  • No need to worry that more applications and their associated increased usage will ‘hurt’ existing usage.

AIMMS’ Innovation

App developers have a need for new and emerging technologies for the deployment platform

  • New features are no longer added to PRO On-Premise.
  • Virtually any Azure service can be added to an AIMMS Cloud subscription (i.e. data handling and analytics, machine learning, etc.).

Data Integration

Your organization is moving to new data platforms and data management strategies

  • Support for data warehouses, data lakes and data lake houses through REST APIs, OpenAPI, OAuth and Parquet files.

Python Integration

Your organization wants to combine the powers of AIMMS and Python

  • PRO on Cloud contains a service to run Python scripts
  • PRO on Cloud REST APIs ease combination with Python applications

Accessibility

Your users need easy access to the applications from anywhere in the world

PRO Cloud can be accessed via the Internet. No need to be on the organization’s network, possibly using VPN, etc.

 

Please contact us

We understand that each company’s situation is unique, and that the above framework can at best be a starting point for building an internal business case for moving from PRO On-Premise to PRO Cloud. Please do not hesitate to contact us for support on your specific case.

 

 


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