Paraca: The company behind smooth, efficient parking
Paraca develops, operates and manages coin-operated parking spaces across Japan.
Pay-by-the-hour parking lots are a highly competitive field. Differentiation is difficult, so user-friendly machines, glitch-free operations, and competitive fares are crucial for a company to succeed. But Paraca wanted more: they had plans to grow their core parking business all over Japan. In addition, in 2013, they also launched a solar power generation business.
At the time, Paraca was running their entire SAP ERP system on-premise. And they once learnt the hard way what a system failure means for their business: their production site recovery didn’t properly work, so Paraca had had to send staff to their disaster recovery site to replace servers. This took a lot of time, and forced them to halt their business operation. And they weren’t going to let this happen again. So Paraca realised improvements needed to be made to their SAP system and so approached IIJ to:
- Find a scalable solution for the ever increasing workload of operation and maintenance of their core business.
- Secure business continuity (during expansion and in future) – ensure the reliability of operations and put disaster recovery measures in place.
- Enable the company to react quickly to requirements as they occur (the company collects usage data from fare machines to optimise the service).
Moving SAP to the cloud: for scalability and independence from on-premise hardware
Paraca’s SAP system (as well as sales systems, groupware and webservers) were running in a VMware environment. The company chose the IIJ GIO VW Series to move their mission-critical operations to the cloud – for a number of reasons:
- Cost savings.
A public cloud solution wouldn’t have been flexible enough: it would have required a mandatory upgrade of their SAP system version – and that would have brought considerable costs.
- Minimal migration risk.
In the IIJ GIO VW Series, Paraca’s existing environment could simply be moved over (without the system reconstruction that the public cloud would have required). This drastically slashed migration costs down to a tenth, and minimised the risk of migration.
- Robust disaster recovery planning.
IIJ’s data centres are geographically dispersed, in the East and West of Japan. This infrastructure, as well as IIJ’s private backbone service for connectivity, provided a robust disaster recovery planning solution for Paraca.
- Migration speed.
IIJ completed the migration together with subcontractor QUNIE Corporation, using PlateSpin migrate as a migration tool. Together, they leveraged the modular nature of IIJ GIO’s service, employed the latest technologies, and profited from the knowledge of both companies’ engineers. The result: the migration went smoothly and was completed within 2 months.
With the IIJ GIO infrastructure, the company now benefits from:
- A drastic reduction of operation and maintenance workload: The constant need to monitor is now over: The system status is tracked and managed on a central console, which automatically sends out notifications in case of problems and failures. This means that Paraca is able to maintain the high quality of its service, while staff can focus on the company’s expansion plans rather than on troubleshooting.
- A whole new level of scalability: Paraca’s new infrastructure is much more flexible than the old on-premise servers. The company can now increase CPU, memory and disk space immediately, as needs arise. This enables them to react quickly to any requirement.
- A reliable business continuity plan: IIJ GIO has provided Paraca with a double safety net for the business: when a problem occurs on the production site, the system now automatically switches over to the DR site, meaning that at all times, systems can be used continuously without the intervention of engineers.
The move to the cloud has greatly stabilised Paraca’s business operations – and made them more efficient at the same time. And with IT systems in a great place, staff can go full speed ahead with their business development and expansion plans.