5 Reasons Why we Host Your Data with Google Cloud Platform in The Netherlands

Did you know that your data is hosted in a sustainable data center in Groningen, The Netherlands? 

MoreApp offers a tool to capture data digitally using all sorts of digital forms, like a checklist or a safety inspection. The data captured with these different types of forms is hosted on Google Cloud Platform. Keep reading to find out both the ecological and technological reasons for this decision. 

1. 100% renewable energy from Dutch wind

Google's data center in Eemshaven, Groningen is one of the most efficient data centers worldwide, consuming around 50% less energy than average data centers*. Next to being efficient, it's also running on 100% renewable energy, mostly from Dutch wind. This perfectly aligns with our company mission. With every choice we make, we go for the more sustainable option. Extra special is the fact that this is Google’s first data center that has been running on 100% renewable energy since day one. Other reasons for Google to go for Eemshaven is the right combination of energy infrastructure, developable land and available workforce for the data center.**

2. Automatically scaling up

At MoreApp we love using generic tools, like our own. We firmly believe in using proven technology, instead of building everything from scratch. This way, our development team can focus on the core MoreApp product and benefit from all the work that's being done in the community. Because our mission is to scale up our product, we need the right software to help us achieve this.

Like many SaaS companies, we've jumped aboard the Kubernetes train. Kubernetes is a widely used system for automating deployment, management and scaling of cloud applications. However, we don't want to spend too much of our precious development time on managing a Kubernetes cluster ourselves.

This is why MoreApp developer Joël Christ, during his research, found that Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is the best match for us. This way we can run our complete MoreApp cloud application on top of a managed Kubernetes cluster. Kubernetes started as a Google product and Google is still the biggest contributor. That means it's a safe bet to combine a managed Kubernetes cluster with a data center run by Google.

"For a product like MoreApp it's important to scale automatically. We need to be ready to scale up to more and more users worldwide. Kubernetes allows automatic scaling! This means that if more disk space or CPU performance is needed, more is added automatically." - Joël

3. An improved backend infrastructure

Google Kubernetes Engine gives us the possibility to use several different machines to run our cloud services on. Services like our website, API, Hooks, PDF generator, Excel exporter et cetera. In the past, you'd usually have one (virtual) machine run one specific service, for example the website. The problem is that if that machine stops, your website would be offline. Now, with our new Kubernetes infrastructure, any machine is able to run any service. That means if one of the machines stops running, all other machines can take over and perform the task we ask them to do. This infrastructure makes our product even more robust and reliable.

4. Building stateless applications

In the past, virtual machines usually had a long life span. With the new and improved infrastructure, machines can be added and removed on the same day! For example, in the morning a lot of users are submitting forms, but in the evening there's less activity. This made our development team think differently about storing data, when writing code. Building stateless applications is key in an infrastructure in which applications can be scaled up and down independently and can run on several different machines.

What is a stateless application?

State refers to information that will be remembered by the application. If an application is designed to not remember anything, it's a stateless application.

"Working with stateless processes is principle number 6 given in The Twelve-Factor App, a methodology for building modern software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. At the software development team of MoreApp, we implemented all 12 principles written by Adam Wiggins." - Joël 

Terraform, another great tool, allows us to write down our infrastructure as code. "Let's sketch the worst case scenario; all virtual machines are down. Since all applications are stateless, we can set it all up in a few minutes by executing our Terraform code. That's another advantage that we did not have before we switched to Google." - Joël

5. MoreApp becomes faster

The location of the data center, the new infrastructure, the automatic scaling, all together make that our product performs better!

Curious about MoreApp and its improved performance? Sign up for a free MoreApp account

* https://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/environment/100-percent-renewable-energy/

** https://www.google.com/about/datacenters/inside/locations/eemshaven/

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