Agile PLM installations: Hosting or On-Premise and things to consider

It can be a challenge to keep up with the fluctuating needs of your organization and industry. One alternative is to deploy Agile PLM on Oracle Cloud. With this type of implementation, you can take advantage of flexibility to pay only for the resources you use, gain interoperability with open-source standards and software, and improve your storage performance with your data always running on the latest and fastest hardware.

 Let us look at some commonalities between an on-premises implementation and a cloud implementation.

 Making the proper choice between On-Prem Agile PLM or Oracle Cloud

Before you decide on an implementation: 

  • Understand the requirements of Agile PLM deployment architecture for your desired implementation.
    • Note: Before setting up Oracle Infrastructure components, ensure that you’re using a Windows, Linux, or UNIX-like local host with access to the internet. The steps to set up and use Agile PLM are different on different operating systems.
  • Have a good working knowledge of the needs of an Oracle Cloud system and the options available.

Architecture considerations

You can design your Agile PLM deployment for both on-premises or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure in a variety of ways, a single domain, across multiple availability domains, or even in multiple regions.

Single Domain: You can deploy Agile PLM in a single domain. This is perhaps the most common implementation. If needed, you can ensure high availability by setting up multiple application instances. Use an availability architecture configuration when you want to ensure that your application is available even when an application instance goes down. The other available application instances in the availability domain continue to process the requestsPicture1-1

Example 1 - Single Domain Installation

  • Multiple Domains: Use this architecture configuration when you want to ensure that your application is available even when an entire domain goes down. You can still access the application instances in another domain.
  • Multiple Regions: Use this architecture when you want to set up a disaster recovery site for your application in a different region. This architecture is essentially the same as the multiple domain architecture, but instead of creating resources in a second domain in the same region, you create resources in another region.


Example 2 - Multiple Region Architecture


Building Your Infrastructure

You can deploy your Oracle Agile PLM on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure or an on-premises infrastructure in a single instance or in multiple instances. First, you diagram your basic topology desired. Then you verify that this plan is the best option for your organization with input from others. After you create a basic installation of resources, you then fine-tune it to suit your business requirements.


Example 3 - Basic System Installation

 When you apply your plan and install Agile PLM, all application instances in the domain should be active. The load balancer instances receive requests and sends them to the application servers. The application servers process these requests and forwards them to the database instances. You can access the instances through the host.

One advantage of a cloud-based implementation over on-premises is the automatic and on-demand database backups to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Object Storage can be configured using the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure console. The backup of applications can be configured by using the policy-based backup feature of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes provides you with the capability to perform volume backups automatically based on a schedule and retain them based on the selected backup policy. This allows you to adhere to your data compliance and regulatory requirements.

A Plan for Single Instance: This architecture consists of either a virtual cloud network or on-premises Virtual Machines with the load balancer (optional), application, file manager, and database hosts that are required to run Agile PLM. The plan will be to install the application server, file manager and database hosts on a single virtual machine. You can use this configuration for training or testing purposes or for a very small implementation. The host is deployed in a public subnet if you use cloud, or behind a firewall if on-premises.

A Plan for Multiple Instances: This architecture consists of a virtual cloud network (VCN) with the load balancer (optional), application, file manager, and database hosts placed on separate machines. If on-premises is decided, each component should be on separate virtual machines that can be on one or multiple hosted machine(s).

In this architecture, it is best for multiple application instances to be deployed in an availability domain to ensure high availability. This ensures that your application is available even when an instance goes down. Fault domains enable you to distribute your instances so that they are not on the same physical hardware within a single availability domain. (See Example 1 above for typical installation.)

For further information on planning, see the Agile Capacity Planning Guide E71149-13

Based on the above information, you can see the similarities for an on-premises and a cloud implementation. How then can you choose which is the best solution for your organization?

Here are a few reasons why your organization should consider cloud PLM over on-premises PLM?

  1. No added infrastructure costs

To use cloud PLM, you only need a desktop or laptop computer, a web browser and an Internet connection. You don’t need to pay a monthly server rental fee or purchase additional hardware, and you obviously don’t need any extra real estate for housing the hardware. Another cost savings is that you don’t need to hire dedicated IT staff (or contractors) to update and monitor your server or the software itself. This means the enterprise hardware cost associated with cloud PLM is almost none. Since your PLM is hosted in the cloud, you only pay for what you use so your investment is always cost-effective.

  1. Quicker implementation time

Since you don’t need to spend weeks or months waiting for delivery and then building out the entire infrastructure, cloud PLM can be implemented much faster. The only thing to do is pay for the licenses, install and then configure the software with the help of your PLM vendors’ support team, and you’re ready to go. Your system can be up and running in as little as a couple of days! This ensures the least disruption to your business processes and the smallest amount of downtime.

  1. Ease to scale

For many organizations, work fluctuates based on the number of PLM projects, size of projects and the number of users working on them. Cloud PLM gives you the ability to buy more licenses when you need them and cancel the excess when you don’t. You can add users or even upgrade storage limits as and when required with almost no waiting period (depending on your provider). This pay-on-demand model can save you from having to invest in software, hardware and personnel that will lie dormant, or must be released once a big project is over.

  1. Remote access from anywhere

Unlike most on-premises PLM deployments, which is accessible from within a network of physical machines (unless you use a slow or awkward VPN), cloud PLM can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Just like other SaaS products, you login and access projects whether you’re working from an office, factory, your home, or on a workcation.

With just an Internet connection, teams can work on the same platform from different geographical locations and time zones. This means greater flexibility and collaboration for your employees. This is often not possible with an on-premises PLM where staff can only access the database when they are physically present in the office or rely on VPNs that can be incredibly slow and unreliable.

  1. Securing your data

With cloud PLM, you can set up role-based access control to your files, information, and processes. Create customized group policies so that only certain people can see certain projects. For example, contractors or other external users will have access only to the parts of your project that they need to perform their job.

You can also protect your intellectual property rights with other measures such as multi-factor authentication, data encryption, regular cybersecurity check-ups, and ensure a secure environment for your company’s data. When configured correctly, cloud-based implementations should never be a security concern.

  1. Minimal maintenance cost

With cloud PLM, the stress of managing your data is lifted off your shoulders. You don’t have to invest in VPNs, firewalls, physical security measures, or a mountain of high-priced IT teams to protect your data security—because your PLM provider does that for you.

This means you end up paying less for state-of-the-art services without compromising on quality. Your organization will not be in the constant hardware replacement cycle that an on-premises implementation requires. Cloud PLM lets you invest in your organization, rather than infrastructure.

  1. Better collaboration

Companies using cloud-based applications find it much easier to adapt to constant change. Gone are the days of needing in-person meetings for every decision. Cloud PLM enables people to collaborate and communicate faster, more accurately, and all in real-time - thanks to a centralized database.

As an example, a designer from your company in the US can work on the same product design as a designer in the UK and both will be able to make changes and communicate with each other. Even with different time zones, employees from around the world can collaborate on the same product design, not concerning themselves about the miscommunications leading to making incorrect design changes or working on retired versions of designs. Cloud PLM eliminates issues like multiple versions of the same design and only shows the latest design version to anyone - who has permission.

  1. Easy, instant updates

Updating cloud PLM is fast, easy, and painless. Updates are completed automatically and are included in your monthly cost. It lowers the cost and time associated with updates by shifting the burden of bug fixes, IT support and downtime to the third-party vendor.

Unlike on-premises software, you will not have to incur any infrastructure-related costs, but your team can still enjoy working on the latest version of the platform as soon as it’s released and tested.

  1. Built-in business intelligence

You can gain insights that are truly data-driven by using the built-in business intelligence tools—visual dashboards, reports, and other analytical tools—that come with a cloud PLM. This will enable your management to have a clear picture of the business’s health.

You can make data-driven decisions about everything from inventory, finance and production to design selection. The intuitive user interface allows you to quickly find your way around; you can analyze past trends and key performance metrics, check the status of products in development, and even share your data with people in real-time. In short, you can use your own data to quickly get ahead of issues before they become problems.

Agile PLM – Secure, Budget Friendly, Rapid Implementation

Agile on-premises PLM has many years in the market and is known for user friendliness, it’s thorough product lifecycle abilities and also for the powerful and effective lifecycle management tool that it has become. It is the tool that competitors benchmark against.

Agile cloud PLM is the most mature PLM solution in the market today, with years of research and development behind it and a history of innovation. It has a proven Time-to-Market benefit that leads the industry.

The business environment of today’s markets requires a greater focus on your core competencies. Companies today have more constraints with leaner IT budgets than ever before. The Agile PLM cloud enables companies to rapidly deploy Agile by eliminating IT dependency for system support.

One of the biggest reasons for a cloud solution: with nothing more than simple subscription payments, the Agile PLM cloud solution is treated as an operational expense, not a capital expenditure.

Take the first step by understanding the requirements of Agile PLM deployment architecture for your desired implementation, and explore the options available. Don't miss out on the opportunity to streamline your processes, reduce costs, and improve your bottom line. Contact us today!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Domain Systems. The author takes full responsibility for the views expressed here.
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