ISAO Corporation was founded in 1999 and became a subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho Corporation in 2010. The company develops different types of solutions to support digital content. This includes services planning and development; implementing payment processing systems for others; constructing and managing servers; and customer support. 

In 2013, ISAO Corporation suffered an unforeseen logic failure in its payment system that prompted it to re-examine the system. The team agreed on changes that would strengthen its reliability and security. During the process, the Company also decided to adopt an open source-based database management system (DBMS).  The Company’s online payments system also managed memberships, points, and other capabilities it considers among its strengths and it needed a high performance DBMS. To support this system, ISAO Corporation adopted EDB Postgres from EnterpriseDB® (EDB™) after evaluating its performance. ISAO determined that with EDB, it could support huge data volumes at high velocity according to its requirements.

There were initial concerns related to the adoption of open source for the payment system. Said Mr. Hideki Iwakiri, of ISAO Corporation, “In the process of researching EDB Postgres, we looked at examples from other companies. The stellar performance of EDB Postgres at other companies assured us that EDB Postgres could support our implementation, even as a core database system, and that resulted in our adoption.”

EDB Postgres Partner Ecosystem

ISAO's payment system had always run smoothly until it went down in 2013 due to a logic failure. The system's importance and the dramatic failure prompted the team to consult outside expertise. Mr. Kōji Watanabe, head of the Payment Solutions Group at ISAO Corporation, said, “We really caused the customers trouble because the service outage lasted until the system was restored. But we were not going to replace the system, so we consulted with Fujitsu Marketing, with which we had prior dealings. As a result, we began to consider reconstructing it with the help of Fujitsu Social Science Laboratories (Fujitsu SSL). Fujitsu SSL is both accomplished in open source software and EDB Postgres™ Advanced Server, which has PostgreSQL as its base.” 

Fujitsu SSL is a major technology systems integrator in Japan and is an EDB partner. EDB provides an enhanced version of the open source PostgreSQL database, with enterprise-class performance, security, manageability, and compatibility features that organizations require to be successful with open source software. EDB also provides customers access to an ecosystem of specialized Postgres partners like Fujitsu SSL. 

New Disaster Recovery and High Availability Architecture

In rebuilding its payment system with EDB Postgres, the Company adopted a new architecture to ensure disaster recovery and High Availability to reduce the time it would take to restore service should a failure occur again in the future. The new system would also reduce the time it would take to migrate customers from one system to another should that be required as well. The Company also adopted a stringent High Availability policy of constant uptime. Fujitsu Marketing, in helping draft specifications, proposed designing a system that could be restored instantly should any failure occur. Such an architecture required new hardware and about ten months of implementation time. As a result, ISAO Corporation adopted a phased implementation program to avoid further service interruptions. 

In phase one, they determined they would address the problems they could fix immediately – for example, the adjustment of backup intervals. In phase two, they planned changes in the application architecture to ensure its safety by mitigating risk, reducing recovery time, and improving reliability. And finally, in phase three, they mapped out plans to construct a redundant architecture for disaster recovery so that even if a physical or logic error were to occur, the system could be restored instantly.

“The three-step process may have extended the overall implementation, but we were able to offer peace of mind to our customers by providing improvements gradually with no system interruptions over the long term,” said Mr. Iwakiri.

Long-term Partner Support

“We determined that open source-based EDB Postgres could ensure the same level of quality as a proprietary database but at a much lower cost. In addition, EDB Postgres could support the tools our company uses for specialty software and technology in various places in the system. The person in charge of Fujitsu SSL skillfully compiled those management tools, and constructed the current final form for us,” said Mr. Watanabe. “Thanks to everyone, I think we were able to construct a safe and secure payment system that the customers and all of the end users could agree on.” 

Finally, with high expectations for Fujitsu Marketing, Fujitsu SSL, and the whole Fujitsu Group, Mr. Iwakiri said he looks forward to continuing the collaboration started during the implementation of EDB Postgres: “We hope that Fujitsu can help us in many different ways, listening to our worries as our company’s consultation partner and making proposals to improve the system even more in this or that way.” 

Makoto Satō, of Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory Limited, Utilities Business Department, Third Systems Section, concluded: “We are very happy that we were able to participate in the EDB Postgres adoption plan to solve ISAO Corporation’s issue. With ISAO’s cooperation, we were able to implement the transfer, keeping effects on the service to the lowest possible level and realizing a system with strengthened reliability and security. We would like to continue supporting ISAO to help them with their expansion of services as a good business partner, with open source software at the core.”