Álvaro Jaso Blázquez
Customer Relationship Manager
Spanish SaaS ISV of e-learning services migrated from Azure to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure with MySQL HeatWave for superior performance, uninterrupted availability, and 80% cost savings.
Introduction & Background
WelcomeNext is a Spanish e-learning SaaS ISV specializing in developing technologies for online training and learning. It helps companies implement, improve, or update their online training strategy by providing a suite of e-learning services developed in the SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) format.
The flagship product, ScormNEXT, allows for the remote distribution of e-learning content to external Learning Management System (LMS) platforms, including Moodle, WordPress, and other SCORM-compatible systems. The company also offers hosting and interactive content distribution services in the cloud.
Business Challenges & Goals
When the company started in 2013, its solutions were hosted on-premises. In 2018, it began hosting them on Microsoft Azure with MySQL Community Edition as the backend database. However, WelcomeNext encountered problems on Azure with faulty interfaces, servers going down, loss of connectivity, and unsatisfactory support. The situation became intolerable, particularly because system failure during online training was the company’s biggest challenge.
Furthermore, WelcomeNext found Azure’s billing policy, especially the data transfer fees, to be excessive.
In search of an infrastructure that would allow for solid growth at a reasonable cost, with high availability as the critical goal, the company came across Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and MySQL HeatWave.
Business Results & Metrics
In migrating from MySQL Community Edition on Azure to MySQL HeatWave on OCI, WelcomeNext has attained the high availability and increased performance required for managing heavy e-learning traffic and dynamically changing loads.
Fear of a disastrous chain reaction due to server failure has been eliminated with the failsafe guarantee of OCI’s multiple availability domains: in the event of failure of the primary member, another availability zone automatically takes over the primary role, and business continuity is assured.
The deployment of OCI Flexible Load Balancers has provided WelcomeNext with the ability to optimize HTTP/HTTPS traffic and guarantee maximum uptime for thousands of users connected to their LMS platforms delivering employee training or commercial courses.
MySQL HeatWave’s load balancer strategy has drastically improved performance, horizontal scale-out, and data redundancy for backup and recovery purposes.
Reinforced by deploying Oracle’s Web Application Firewall (WAF) to ward off attacks, the company feels secure and equipped for business expansion. Creating even stronger security, WelcomeNext’s production database sits in one Oracle Cloud Region, while a second region serves as a Disaster Recovery site. Both regions are synchronized with OCI Object Storage data lakes.
Operationally, the company has reallocated database administrators to development work, since MySQL HeatWave is a fully managed database service taken care of by the OCI team.
Onboarding new clients now only takes minutes, resulting in more focus on creating value for clients than on administering the system.
With the elastic and maximally available architecture of OCI in place, the company is confident that LMS services such as Moodle and others deliver a seamless, uninterrupted learning experience.
The e-learning provider, intent on launching itself on the global market, has also benefitted in terms of cost reduction and increased support. It now pays 80% less per month than under Azure and with zero data transfer costs. In addition, migrating from Azure to OCI brought with it 24/7 proactive support from the MySQL Heatwave team, a welcome change from previous tardy, unsatisfactory support.
Why MySQL HeatWave?
WelcomeNext needed high availability for its main tool, ScormNEXT, a repository for e-learning courses that could be distributed to third parties to integrate with their LMS systems. Azure proved to be a difficult experience, so when the company discovered OCI and MySQL HeatWave, they decided to make the switch. WelcomeNext calculated that there would be major cost savings and higher performance.
Since Oracle is the developer of MySQL HeatWave, it made sense to use it on OCI. During the decision-making process, they were also amazed at the calls and support they received from Oracle—a proactive structure that has continued since the migration.
“We could not believe that we could get the same attention as big players such as Repsol, Banco Santander, or Telefonica. But that’s exactly what we are getting from Oracle and MySQL, the same treatment,” said Álvaro Jaso Blázquez.
The MySQL team advised WelcomeNext to work with Quistor, a long-time Oracle Partner with operations in Spain and Europe. As a managed services provider and Oracle Partner, Quistor provides daily IT consulting services to more than 250 clients worldwide using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Oracle Cloud Platform as a Service, Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse and Oracle Analytics Cloud.
Experienced in Oracle Cloud solutions and MySQL databases, Quistor helped throughout the migration from Azure and consulted on the best ways to take advantage of MySQL HeatWave analytics and machine learning going forward.
WelcomeNext intends to use the analytics and machine learning capabilities of MySQL HeatWave in order to offer its clients dashboards with statistics from user logs showing the number of students enrolled in certain courses, average grades, and other valuable insights to be mined from their LMS systems.
“With OCI, the potential is enormous. And with MySQL HeatWave we can achieve greater things,” commented Álvaro Jaso Blázquez.