ERP = Cloud?

ArchivistaERP = Cloud or Box?

Egg, 22. September 2014: As of now, ArchivistaERP is available in the ArchivistaCloud. ArchivistaERP has also seen some major further developments: both in terms of execution speed and as regards the batch mode, significant improvements have been achieved. The following blog also addresses the advantages and disadvantages of a cloud-based ERP solution.

ArchivistaCloud – the world’s simplest ERP solution.

For end-users, the use of ArchivistaERP in the cloud is the easiest thing in the world. Open a shop account, place the ArchivistaBox Community in your shopping cart, complete the order and, voilà, ArchivistaERP is available to you in the cloud. The only condition: like ArchivistaDMS, ArchivistaERP is intended for private use. In this context, private means that all private individuals as well as non-commercial institutions (particularly associations) can work with ArchivistaBox Community.

A note to previous customers: previous ArchivistaBox Cloud customers can go through the order process again. An instance for ArchivistaERP will be opened.

As easy as cloud-based solutions may be for customers, running a cloud is technologically complex. Normally, entire server farms are available for distributing the load efficiently to individual computers. In this regard, the design of the ArchivistaCloud is simple: two redundant ArchivistaBox universal servers handle the load. Distributed on these are three ArchivistaDMS/ERP instances each, where 256 concurrent (simultaneously working) users can work on each instance. This way, 6×256=1536 simultaneous connections are possible.

From a technical viewpoint, ArchivistaCloud can easily be expanded, as the current infrastructure (12 kernels) could easily be expanded to 192 kernels, making 49,024 connections possible. In short: ArchivistaCloud would be unthinkable without the use of ArchivistaVM, as it is only thanks to ArchivistaVM that ArchivistaCloud can be run with an acceptable amount of effort. This makes it possible to provide ArchivistaERP for free and without advertisements in addition to ArchivistaDMS.

An aside: the six instances are updated in a script-based manner. The instances (operating system) are each completely reinstalled (ISO files). Then a restart is carried out, during which the instances are unavailable for 30 seconds at most. In total (for all six instances), no more than 5 minutes are needed.

Disadvantages of cloud solutions

In the commercial environment, business solutions are usually provided to customers as rental solutions (Software-as-a-Service=SaaS). An ERP solution that is adapted to localised (country-specific) conditions will not be available for less than CHF 100 per month (and it won’t come to much less in euros), because, as stated before, a cloud requires maintenance and updating efforts.

No cloud version of the ArchivistaBox systems are currently available in the commercial environment, as cloud-based solutions have significant disadvantages despite their simplicity:

  • External data = loss of data control
  • 100% requirement to work with the latest upgrade
  • External line outages = standstill in the company
  • Integration into/with third-party applications is far more complex
  • Dependence on service providers is high
  • Sensitive data on the internet is always unsafe = company data is sensitive!
  • ERP offers in the cloud usually run on Windows = high maintenance costs (clients) remain in place
  • Clouds are more complex than conventional solutions

Although customers may indeed be aware of these drawbacks, it is becoming increasingly difficult for smaller companies (in particular) to run their IT environment in-house at an adequate cost. The requirements for hardware and software for business solutions have increased by a factor of approximately 10 over the last decade. Of course, hardware costs much less today than it did a decade ago, but the hours required for the installation and maintenance of an IT infrastructure have barely decreased, or have even increased, over the last decade. If company owners used to take care of their own IT on the side, this is hardly possible today, considering how complex computing landscapes have become.

ArchivistaBox – the simplest business server available

In comparison, the ArchivistaBox is extremely simple to install, maintain and operate. When ordering, you merely need to provide the IP specifications for the desired ArchivistaBox(es), and the ArchivistaBox is then delivered completely pre-configured. Connect the network cable to the ArchivistaBox and switch on the electricity, and you are good to go.

Because the ArchivistaBox is 100 percent web-based, you don’t need to install any specific clients, apps or plug-ins. You can do all your work comfortably in any commercially available browser. And because the ArchivistaBox starts at CHF 360, or EUR 300, an ArchivistaBox will always be functioning more cost-efficiently after just a few months than any other rental solution in the cloud, without having to put up with cloud-specific disadvantages.

The ArchivistaBox comprises the modules ArchivistaERP, Archivista DMS (document management) and ArchivistaVM (virtualisation). This makes available to you the three most important pillars of any modern IT infrastructure within a company. Even the common Office applications are conveniently available via the web on every ArchivistaBox. Forget about clouds and server rooms – the ArchivistaBox offers the greatest advantages of the cloud (web) comfortably at your desk. For these reasons, we are not offering ArchivistaERP (nor ArchivistaDMS and ArchivistaVM) as a cloud in the commercial environment, but in the shape of the ArchivistaBox, even if an ArchivistaBox can (if required) also be run in the cloud.

Batch mode and greater speed

As mentioned earlier, ArchivistaERP has seen some major developments in the last month. These developments also form the basis for making ArchivistaERP available in the cloud. Furthermore, the speed has been hugely increased. Currently, ArchivistaERP is already running so smoothly on the microcomputer Raspberry PI that nobody will even take note of it any more (reaction time now between 1 and 2 seconds). The load test for recording 10,000 invoices on a 100-gram computer now takes less than 30 minutes, meaning even the Raspberry PI could handle a daily load of around 500,000 orders.