Saint Paul Public Schools, in conjunction with their partner psadmin.io, has moved their PeopleSoft system to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. They re-architected their PeopleSoft applications to take advantage of OCI's features that are not available when running on-premise.
In 2018, the St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) data center housed the systems and servers that run the Oracle PeopleSoft application for human capital management, payroll, HR, and the district financial system. The servers running the PeopleSoft application were all out of date, out of warranty, and susceptible to failure.
Initially, SPPS used Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) for DR and Non-Production. After a year of using OCI, SPPS moved production to OCI. SPPS partnered with psadmin.io to migrate and re-architect their PeopleSoft applications to take advantage of OCI's features that are not available when running on-premise.
Some of the architecture changes we made include using the File Storage Service (FSS) to serve shared files and a number of the PeopleSoft HOMES. The FSS is an NFS v3 compatible service that offers incredible storage capacity and high levels of availability. We also leverage the Block Storage Service (BSS) to attach data volumes to all of our instances. The OCI Block Storage offers us different performance levels based on our needs and also allows us to clone servers quickly by replicating our storage drives.
We use a Terraform module to create all of our instances, attach block storage, and associate a backup policy for boot and block drives, and provision DNS entries as needed. Using Terraform ensures that all of our instances are created in a systematic way so each instance is identical, and Terraform also performs the initial server bootstrapping.
OCI has provided some tremendous benefits for St. Paul Public Schools. First, there is a tremendous cost-saving. Jeff Cummings, Business Systems Support Manager at SPPS, adds, “After the Oracle solution, life improved dramatically. We were able to respond a lot quicker on incidents that would come up. We reduced our infrastructure costs by about 75% because we didn't replace 24 outdated servers. We reduced licensing costs by 50%, staffing costs by 25%, and facility costs by 75%.”
As SPPS upgrades to PeopleSoft 9.2, OCI also provides the flexibility to add additional environments quickly and cheaply during the upgrade project. Prior to moving our infrastructure to OCI, upgrade projects would incur large costs in provisioning new hardware. But with OCI we can quickly scale up for the project and scale down when the project completes.
After migrating to OCI, SPPS experienced no system downtime, saved a substantial amount of money, and saw a dramatic increase in system performance.