Why Mutual Materials runs core apps on separate virtual machines replicated in different fault domains

September 9, 2021 | 3 minute read
Sasha Banks-Louie
Master Principal Technical Program Engineer
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As more Americans turn their backyard patios into an outdoor oasis, the demand for bricks, pavers, and masonry materials has grown into a $3.5 billion US market, sending hardscape manufacturer Mutual Materials scrambling to expand their midsize family-owned business.

Having spent the last 18 months riding a 30% growth wave while operating at near full capacity, “we needed a new way to scale to meet our demand, grow the business, and process more transactions faster,” says CTO Guy DeFlorio.

Founded in 1900 as a Seattle-based brick manufacturer, Mutual Materials is now a fifth-generation company with 500 employees, who produce cement, block, and masonry products in 13 manufacturing facilities, for markets throughout the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia.

While its product designs were in step with the latest trends, the company’s manufacturing and distribution operations needed modernizing. “We really needed to smooth out our supply chain, better serve our retailers and consumers and continuously look for cost savings opportunities,” DeFlorio says.

How Oracle helped Mutual Materials

When Mutual Materials decided to move its Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle database to the cloud, DeFlorio considered Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), before choosing OCI. “I’m certain that we could run an Oracle Database service on AWS, but the AWS architecture isn’t tailored to run an Oracle database in the way that OCI is,” he says. What has surprised DeFlorio is the boost in systems performance that his team saw after moving to OCI. “When we went live on OCI, frankly, we weren’t expecting the 15% to 20% faster performance improvement that we saw,” DeFlorio says.

For help with migrating to OCI, Mutual Materials partnered with the Dallas-based technology consulting company Doyensys, an Oracle partner that specializes in application and database deployments, migrations, and managed services. Doyensys explains Mutual Materials’ OCI migration during an episode of the Built and Deployed video series, which features conversations with software architects about how they’re using OCI.

“We started the migration by first designing a segregated environment for Mutual Materials’ production workloads, application development and testing, and disaster recovery,” says Pritam Jaipuriar, Doyensys vice president. After creating three subnets for the production environment (one for applications, one for databases, and one for the load balancers), they then created a separate set of subnets for non-production environments.

Doyensys also helped Mutual Materials choose a region with multiple availability domains, which includes OCI’s high-speed virtual cloud network, Compute shapes, public and private load balancers, Oracle Block Volume Storage, Oracle Data Guard, Oracle Identity and Access Management (IAM), and Oracle Audit Logs. “Eliminating service interruptions for Mutual Materials’ core applications and databases were critical, which prompted us to run them on separate virtual machines, with separate block volume storage, replicated in different fault domains,” Jaipuriar says.

To strengthen its security posture, Doyensys helped Mutual Materials implement Oracle IAM service, while restricting access to its applications through public and private load balancers.

Want to know more?

To learn more about Mutual Materials, Doyensys, and what Oracle Cloud Infrastructure can do, see the following resources:

Sasha Banks-Louie

Master Principal Technical Program Engineer

A regenerative hay farmer, program manager, and brand journalist, Sasha Banks-Louie is a master principal technical program engineer at Oracle, producing editorial programs for developers who build and deploy applications in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

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