CAPSiDE: Architecting Cloud for Enterprises

Josep Ruano Founder, CEO The beautiful city of Barcelona with its unique blend of historic and modern architecture lends the perfect backdrop for Josep Ruano’s mission: to propel the enterprises' journey from legacy systems to the cloud. Josep’s twin ideologies—to create a company that stands out as an employer of choice for top-notch engineers, and the commitment to continuously improve the quality of products and services are anchored in CAPSiDE. Unfolding the CAPSiDE story, Josep, CEO and Founder, and his team of systems engineers, embarked on a mission to build web-based business applications and manage the systems supporting them. However, they soon stopped building applications and dedicated only to systems management and automation, and after many years of experience as MSP, have focused in creating software for systems automation. “Back in 2001, companies didn’t think about scalability and performance, because systems weren’t as open and connected as they are nowadays,” recalls Josep.

The disruption brought by cloud computing, big data, and the Internet of Things has changed the business paradigm to an era which is more digital and interconnected than ever. With online businesses and projects reaching out to more people across the world at a faster rate, and enterprises demanding platforms that are scalable, performant, and always available, without forgetting about security and adaptability.

CAPSiDE has built its forte out of this ecosystem. As an early bird to take advantage of public cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure, Josep and his team explored the rapid scalability and the drastic reduction in infrastructure investments offered by the cloud. “The automation capabilities and the programmatic abilities offered by Azure over physical infrastructure enabled us to leverage our full potential on systems automation to boost our customer’s businesses,” says Josep. Today, with its specialization in continuous operations (SysOps 24/7) for business-critical platforms and a vendor-neutral approach, CAPSiDE takes pride in over 10,000 managed business services for more than 180 clients worldwide and is growing quickly: 52 percent revenue growth year over year on 2014, and a projected growth exceeding 105 percent on 2015 over 2014.

According to Josep, though 57 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500 are already using Azure, the complexity of cloud computing proves to be overwhelming for many, and most of the ones already using it are not taking advantage of its full potential. The pace of Microsoft Azure’s innovation is extremely high which warrants companies with home-grown solutions to go through the challenging grind of managing their software development life cycle and keep up with Azure’s new functionalities. Reinforcing its position as a Strategic Services Broker, CAPSiDE team’s technical quality, skills and experience, which are in tandem with Azure’s pace of innovation and capabilities, help its clients meet these demands. In short, Microsoft’s cloud platform is the base technology, while CAPSiDE focuses on delivery areas by creating tools that turn complex and critical activities into simplified, repeatable and reliable tasks.


Since we focus on systems that cannot fail, our senior engineers attend any alert in less than 10 minutes round the clock


Driving the Azure Advantage

Being a Managed Services Provider, CAPSiDE works together with Azure’s engineering and services team to help its customers better design their server architecture, develop and deploy scalable and reliable solutions. The company incorporates Azure’s best practices when designing the architecture. “One has to continuously improve, on a self-assessment basis and not in comparison with others,” says the CEO.

“By leveraging Azure, we are able to program, change, and test the infrastructure like the rest of the software and replicate the same architecture in other regions. This is a quantum leap ahead from the conventional ways,” remarks Josep. The infrastructure can be seamlessly adapted to applications and user needs through the APIs that Azure provides, while ensuring that the critical infrastructure is always performing at its best. “Customer’s benefits in terms of business continuity and coverage are phenomenal,” adds Josep.

During their engagements, CAPSiDE guarantees the most suitable technical design and solutions for every business needs. CAPSiDE’s expertise in cloud technologies and Azure benefits companies like Al stom, McCann Worldgroup, Mitsubishi and PRISA Group, including projects of eCommerce, Big Data, SaaS, enterprise architecture and data governance. Recently, a leading business technology company required the services of CAPSiDE to overcome the performance issues and reduce high operational costs. With more than 300,000 clients, the firm had deployed an on-premise Oracle based platform to collect and analyse user-generated content, to understand the behaviour of their customers in order to improve the service. To increase the scope of data analysis, CAPSiDE carried out a complete re-architecture of the system for cloud enablement with Azure and MongoDB. The auto-scaling features of Azure, and the architecture and automation brought by CAPSiDE ensured that the platform adapts automatically to the requirements of the client. The migration resulted in a huge increase in performance, where the platform was able to process more than 2,500 operations per second. Greatly exceeding customer requirements, “We helped bring about over 60 percent savings on mid-term and drastically reduced their licensing costs by using open-source technologies,” adds Josep.

Apart from helping clients achieve their enterprise architecture goals, CAPSiDE recently co-founded another company—Ackcent Cybersecurity—solely dedicated to address the ever-increasing cyber security concerns on cloud. The Ackcent team is strategically located across Barcelona, London, Miami, and Mexico. “We are utilizing Azure Security Center and developing new products and services that can assess the risks on a continuous basis,” says Josep. The CIOs can benefit by comprehending the risks better, being able to quantify the impact of a change on their risk exposure and undertaking the necessary remedial measures quickly.
Redefining Business Performance

Alongside navigating the Azure landscape, Josep has infused a culture of achieving the right work-life balance at CAPSiDE. The CEO likes to relate this to his passion in cooking delectable dishes of the famed Mediterranean cuisine. He says, “Good cooking needs the best and fresh ingredients, patience, attention to detail and a little love. I try to bring all these factors into the holistic work-life balance practised at CAPSiDE.” This reflects in the company's employee training programs and tailored flexible schedules. Josep takes pride in investing 6 percent of their turnover for internal training programs, while closer to 18 percent is allotted for R&D—towards improving tools and technologies for infrastructure and systems automation. This adds potential to the hardcore engineering team to make systems as automated as possible, and handle exceptions through a single tier of ongoing support system. “This is an important differentiator in terms of response and issue-solving time. Since we focus on systems that cannot fail, our senior engineers attend to any alert in less than 10 minutes round the clock,” states Josep.

"We reached over 60 percent savings on mid-term and drastically reduced licensing costs by using open-source technologies on Azure"

With products and technologies catering very specific needs of IT and development teams, CAPSiDE is all set to release a group of products in the first quarter of 2016 that will help companies automate and streamline their software development and operation processes. ENZiME™ automates the software deployment process under a blue/green deployment model with canary testing, which in short, helps customers deploy new versions of code without service interruption, while enabling roll back to previous versions. This innovative tool helps customers to deploy software in accordance to the end-user feedback quickly and safely—tens of times faster and 15 to 20 times more often than before. Another tool will automate the management of complete stacks without losing control on costs and security. Development and QA teams, with a point-and-click interface or via API, can create and manage service platforms on the cloud. “We have been using earlier versions of these tools in production during the last year, managing more than 1,000 code deployments and over, 10.500 stack builds and changes for our customers. This ultimately improves the end-user experience and in turn, the business reliability and performance for our customers,” says Josep.

Additionally, for the year ahead, CAPSiDE is foraying into open-source technologies to automate business-critical processes with Azure. Emphasizing on the sharp learning curve of Azure, Josep has this simple advice to those wanting to maximize their advantage of the public cloud: “It is a cultural change underway. One stands to benefit from understanding and embracing a different way of thinking and approaching IT challenges, while solving them in a simple way in the new age.” CAPSiDE wants to lead this change, exuding trust with its strong focus on developing solutions on Microsoft Azure, and increment the performance and scalability of mission-critical platforms.

Company
CAPSiDE

Headquarters
Barcelona, Spain

Management
Josep Ruano Founder, CEO

Description
Designs, implements, and manages 24/7 the systems architectures that empower businesses