Mithi’s journey to the Cloud

Mithi Software Technologies chose cloud over open source and traditional data centers. It found open source email infrastructure to be complicated to manage. And traditional data centers were compromising the hosted mail service offerings.

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Cloud Computing

Collaboration software development and innovation today is moving along at an intense pace. According to industry analysts, collaboration software market size will grow at 13% CAGR from 2016 to 2024 and exceed USD 8.5 billion by 2024. Another recent research by G2 Crowd illustrates that the boom in corporate adoption shows no sign of slowing down in the near future. It found that more than half of all the surveyed companies have already implemented team collaboration solutions of one kind or another, and 31 percent plan to adopt one in the next two years. The major forces driving this trend include widespread usage of social networking websites, increased usage of mobile devices, and the growing need for improved enterprise efficiencies.

Mithi Software Technologies distinguishes itself as a provider of Email, Team Communication and Archiving solutions. Mithi SkyConnect, an integrated collaboration suite, is designed to provide Secure, Reliable and Real time collaboration for enterprises over multiple communication channels and is serving business users globally. The company started by building collaboration solutions on an Open Source Platform around 2005, with the objective of creating an affordable collaboration platform. It saw that as a way to democratise the benefits of collaboration software.

Although the Open Source Platform is affordable, the task of setting up and managing an email infrastructure on it is complicated. With the growth in the number of customers and installations, much of the teams’ time and resources were taken up in maintaining and managing these set-ups. Worse still, it was hard to deliver a high quality experience uniformly across all customers. The experience of the customers changed with variations in the resources available at the customer site. Likewise, the limitations of traditional Data Centers were compromising the hosted mail service offerings.

About two years ago Mithi made the choice of moving to the Cloud platform to overcome these limitations. When moving to the Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was a clear choice. In the 2016 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide, for the 6th straight year, Gartner placed AWS in the “Leaders” quadrant and named AWS as having both the furthest completeness of vision and the highest ability to execute. Trusted by over one million customers globally, AWS has 16 regions and 42 availability zones. In addition, AWS has built a world class, highly secure infrastructure, both physically and over the internet.

Moving to AWS

Mithi considered two major objectives before making the big move to AWS. First, the cost of Bare Metal Infrastructure at a data centre was less than similar resources on Cloud, due to the highly redundant architecture used to deliver high availability and reliability. Added to this, was the high manpower cost of migrating to this platform. Therefore, it was necessary to find a way to keep the costs down and avoid a sharp price escalation to the customers. Secondly, live services to the customers with all their data had to be migrated (email, calendar, chat history, rosters, address books etc.) with minimal disruptions to the service.

In order to do this, careful planning was carried out. The first round of migration was done in the month of May, 2016 and involved a simple lift and shift operation for a small set of users. Over the next 6 months, the rest of the domains and users were migrated in a phased manner. The migration for all users was completed by the last week of November, 2016.

Migration involved the support, infrastructure/operations and the development teams. While the support team was responsible for coordinating with the customers, helping resolve any migration-related issues and answering queries, the operations team worked on the data migration. Starting with manual migration for the first batch, the team ensured that all the learning was captured in designing an automated migration process to ensure minimum downtime.

All this, while the engineering team optimized the computing and storage requirements ensuring that the costs were contained without compromising the availability and performance of the solutions. And though the tasks related to migration for the ops and support team is over as of now, the dev team continues to work on optimizing the resource usage to deliver better performance and availability for the service.

Delivering uniform, dependable experience

As noted before, the physical business model was part of the reason for slow deployment, uneven outcomes, accessibility challenges and lack of cost flexibility. AWS offered Mithi a platform to mitigate these limitations, helping it deliver more convenience, better performance, cost customization, on top of better security and reliability that Mithi has built into its software.

Mithi has been serving the needs of some of India’s leading enterprises for long, delivering high outcomes under very demanding performance standards. All that learning is now available on the cloud to companies of every size, especially benefitting startups and SMBs that want to make the best use of their resources and are conscious of both cost and productivity. The greater flexibility, reduced capital costs, improved security, dependability and faster upgrades, that AWS offers is a welcome change.

Moving towards a promising future

Moving to AWS has enabled Mithi to innovate faster, bringing newer and better offerings to its customers. The company recently launched two new services on AWS: Vaultastic – a cloud based email archiving and backup solution that can be used to archive mails from any mailing system; and ClearStream – offering AntiSpam, AntiVirus and RansomWare protection for mail servers as well as a basic disaster recovery to ensure email service continuity in case the primary email server is down or inaccessible.

Powered by AWS, Mithi intends to continue with improving the convenience, flexibility and performance of its basic platform, while also building derivative products that will help businesses create more dependable and secure collaboration environments without incurring high costs. In the works is Ideolve – a product that promises to offer a creative new way for team collaboration.
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The writer is Co-founder and CTO, Mithi Technologies


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