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Shin-etsu Information has begun its history in 1988 as a Software Development Company, called Shin-etsu Information. In 2012, it became independent as a company mainly running a computer networking business. That the trust bond which the company had been cultivating with the local helped them to receive a good amount of IT infrastructure building jobs from Zyouetu-shi, Niigata Prefecture. They have gained high credibility not only from companies, but also from governmental offices and educational institutes. This time, we interviewed Mr. Keisuke Takahashi and Mr. Yamagishi Chouken, who are working at the computer networking department, to ask about why they, Shin-etsu Information decided to utilize CloudStack, which is open source software to meet customer’s needs of IT infrastructure construction and problems that they faced in the process of constructing and operating the system. We are going to learn how they overcame those challenges as well.

Construction Using Open Source

Pleases let us know how you came to use CloudStack?

In 2011, our customer, an educational institute, had a need to create a cloud environment where staff could create servers according to their needs. It had to be an environment where servers could be built and destroyed over and over to allow staff to try certain applications or software in different environment.

For example, some staff wanted to use software just for one time. Besides that, another condition that the institute requested was to hybrid the environment which would enable private network inside the facility and outside service such as AWS to work together.

First, they showed interest in OpenStack to build the infrastructure; however, back then, the user interface had not yet finished developing, and most of the tasks were handled by command-line interface. That would not be convenient for users. To that end, we chose CloudStack whose interface was more developed, and its stability and other factors convinced us that CloudStack is holistically more suited for what our customer requested.

So, we decided to go with CloudStack. Also, to keep its running cost low, we constructed the OS used for cloud management with Open Source, CloudStack, and client-side servers with Open Source, Xen Server.

Shin-etsu Information Corporation.

Meeting with the CloudStack User Community

Was there any stumbling block in the process of building of CloudStack?

At that time, many CloudStack references were available only in English, not in Japanese. By doing research, we were able to build staging environment at long last without any problem; however, when it came to network configuration, there were many things that we were not familiar with. Gathering necessary information was not an easy task. That was the time when we heard about the establishment of the CloudStack User Community, and we decided to participate in it. Some of those who made up principle members were working at Creationline, Inc. With that, we started having a close relation with Creationline, Inc through that community.

We were impressed by a technical blog “CL LAB”, which has been posted on Creationline website. Since we were receiving e-mail of CloudStack User Community, we came to know that questions raised from its members were mostly answered by Creationline’s staff. Also, we enjoyed their lectures, too. All of that convinced us of the reliability of their skills, so we asked them for technical support.

Offering Products with Creationline’s Support

What advantage did you have by having Creationline’s technical support?

yamagishi

One of the risks that comes with using Open Source software is you have to be self-independent meaning that when technical issues or questions arise, you have to be capable of handling those issues. Thanks to Creationline’s backup, we now have a place we can run into, and we can offer products and propose business plans to our customers with strong confidence. Having such a strong backup absolutely makes a big change to our business method.

We also appreciate Creationline’s availability and accessibility. In case of technical trouble in our hectic work site, Creationline can access servers remotely, share what’s going on, and solve raised issues. Although this type of quick technical support service can be very challenging, it is very much appreciated even from users’ stand point since their support solves and fixes the system without being interfered by any other distraction, which results in a quick recovery of system.

We’ll Continue with Open Source.

What’s your future perspective?

By taking advantage of this experience of system construction and operation that we engaged in, we’d like to extend it to hosting service that we offer.

For now, since both paid OS like OpenStack and CloudStack are being used for production environment, we cannot predict how they would turn out to be. But both CloudStack and OpenStack are key technologies that can be a great source of profit for our company. So, we’ll continue making full and good use of it to meet our customers’ requests.

Shin-etsu Information Corporation.

Shin-etsu Information Corporation.

Business
LAN/WAN design and consulting, offering network lease line and hosting service, network system architecture, and so on.
CEO
Jun Omata
Established
November, 2012
Capital
9,700,000 yen
URL
http://www.sinfo.co.jp

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