Caps

CAPS

Container and Pooling Solutions (CAPS) is North America’s leading provider of container management services. The company’s complete management, rental, and tracking of reusable containers helps customers reduce their overall costs while improving supply chain performance.

One of the smartest ways for companies to shave logistics costs is to refurbish and reuse more of their shipping containers. Whether liquid or dry goods, reusing containers saves money—and the environment—for thousands of companies throughout the U.S. CAPS has spent over 12 years helping companies ‘green’ their supply chains and reduce shipping costs. Its container rental, tracking, and management system (Container Lifecycle Management) is the first choice of leading automotive, manufacturing, food, beverage, and other major industries. CAPS’ Web-based system tracks thousands of containers daily.

Environment

  • Joyent Compute Instances
  • Stingray Load Balancer
  • Oracle DBMS
  • Java-based application

"Once we migrated our system to the Joyent cloud, performance was nearly twice as fast."

  • Keith Schall, Director of Business Systems and Technology, CAPs, Inc.

The Challenge

Tracking containers is a marathon. Boxes, bins, and liquid containers may make multiple stops along their long-distance supply chain. CAPS-TRAC™, the CAPS proprietary asset management software, uses bar codes or RFID tags to keep an eye on every container, no matter where they are shipped, stored, or used. But 24x7 container management requires sophisticated back-end computing resources, including extensive database, networking, and storage capacities. “We didn’t want to become network hardware experts, buying more and more equipment to support new customers,” said Keith Schall, Director of Business Systems and Technology for CAPS, Inc. The company needed a way to preserve its superior service level but avoid the costs of more hardware, software, and management as business grew.

Scalability: Expanding its business without growing a huge data center was a primary concern for CAPS, especially since launching tracking services for one of the largest appliance manufacturers in North America. This user alone would require significant additional tracking and management capabilities, putting a potential strain on CAPS’ existing computing and storage capacity.

Reliability: Customers cannot afford downtime: the CAPS-TRAC™ system must be up and running around the clock. Lost data is the equivalent of lost goods and containers. Rather than continue to build out the fault-tolerant capacity of its data center, CAPS needed a solution that required less capital expenses yet provided greater reliability than its current system.

System Management and Support.: In premises-based systems, the larger the data center, the bigger the support staff it requires. CAPS wanted to reduce the need for more personnel yet ensure management does not suffer as its client base grows.

It quickly became apparent to CAPS that quality business growth called for a more flexible approach—cloud computing. “We needed to focus on our core strengths—tracking and managing containers,” said Keith Schall. “Not on building and maintaining a bigger data center.”

The Solution

After researching and comparing various cloud vendors, CAPS chose Joyent for the following reasons:

Easy Scalability: The Joyent cloud is easily scaled. When CAPS needs more resources, the Joyent Compute Service environment can easily handle sudden bursts in traffic. To accommodate sustained demand, CAPS can add server or network capacity in a matter of minutes.

Performance: Joyent Smart Technology is the basis for its high performance cloud computing. Through intelligently deployed CPU, memory, and network I/O, Joyent customers experience a higher level of performance than simple machine-based clouds. “Once we migrated our system to the Joyent cloud, performance was nearly twice as fast,” said Keith Schall.

Fault-tolerant Reliability: CAPS enjoys fault tolerance and system reliability that would have required a significant investment in new hardware, monitoring, and disaster recovery software, and a new data center staff dedicated to overseeing the expanded systems. With Joyent, reliability is a part of its service.

Extra Management Resources and Superior Support: CAPS hired Oracle consultants to work with Joyent in migrating its extensive CAPS-TRAC™ database application to the Joyent cloud. “The Joyent team worked with our Oracle DBAs and came up with a solution that fit, one that worked,” said Keith Schall. Once the DBAs signed off on the architecture, Joyent assisted CAPS in moving its business to the cloud. Since final deployment, the company has experienced zero downtime. “With Joyent managing the data center, we can focus on our business,” said Keith. “We can be more proactive, rather than reactive.”

Visit the CAPS website to learn more about their container rental options.

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