Deploying Agile IT Health Services in the Cloud: Where Performance & Scalability Matters

Customer Profile

Aviso IT is a niche IT provider in Western Australia, providing specialised IT services for Medical and Dental practices throughout the state. Aviso IT provides and supports a full suite of IT products and services ensuring clients are able to have a single point of contact for all IT needs.

“The CloudSigma performance is excellent; everything has exceeded our expectations. I thought we’d hit a limit with the performance of the magnetic storage but it has not slowed down one bit since we initially deployed onto CloudSigma.”Liam Gale, Managing Director @ Aviso IT

The Challenge

Aviso IT is a provider of customized IT solutions for SME businesses in Western Australia, with a focus on medical and dental practices. As part of their solutions portfolio, Aviso IT offers backup repository and disaster recovery (DR) solutions which require instant scalability and high performance. More specifically, originally Aviso had a backup repository consisting of a virtualized server connected to SAN storage. The performance problems grew incrementally as storage grew. The performance of the SAN storage was not scalable and on top of that, there was no extra storage available at times when it was required.

“One of the reasons we moved off our in-house solution was because the performance of the SAN storage was diminishing as we were adding data to it which was severely hamstringing the backup data verification and consolidation on the repository.”

The lack of flexibility of the SAN-based backup repository was causing a lot of issues. The inability to scale up drove overall bad virtual machine performance. Not surprisingly, Aviso started looking for a new solution which could help them solve these major drawbacks.

The Solution

Given the obstacles which Aviso IT was faced with, they started exploring other solutions which would give them the opportunity to meet the storage expansion and performance requirements of their solution.

“The performance and scalability, the fact that you do not have to think about the underlying machine and just being able to add extra storage as we needed or extra CPU or RAM, was exactly what we needed.”Liam Gale, Managing Director @ Aviso IT

Despite the fact that Aviso IT had initiated tests on two platforms, CloudSigma Australia and another local provider, they decided to continue their tests only on CloudSigma due to the very good results they noticed immediately. Their cloud servers were fast and there was always additional storage available immediately to meet their growing demand.

The cloud platform of CloudSigma tackled Aviso IT’s main concerns with respect to the availability of capacity and performance of the storage. The company decided on CloudSigma Australia as the platform they could finally rely on.

The Implementation

The transition over to CloudSigma was an easy task for Aviso IT who did not really require any technical help, apart from some initial tutoring on how the platform works. As the initial deployment was a greenfield deployment and relatively simple Aviso IT managed to deploy on their own without the assistance of the technical support team of CloudSigma.

“The support team did not really play a role in the implementation phase. We did not need a lot of support because the onboarding has been flawless. It is very straightforward to spin up new servers on CloudSigma.”

After running on CloudSigma for some time, Aviso IT was astonished by the speed of the virtual instances of the CloudSigma cloud from both a computing and storage perspective. They were expecting to see more or less the same deficiencies they were seeing before with the SAN setup.

The backup data which Aviso IT stores on their virtual instances in CloudSigma is growing at a stable pace. This requires expansion of their cloud drives regularly. In the past, when Aviso IT had an issue they have been able to reach the 24/7 customer technical support very quickly.

“The 24/7 support is fantastic because often we were doing stuff outside of hours to avoid disruption of our service. It is nice to have someone assist you outside of working hours at a moment’s notice. Previously, we could not enlarge a drive above 5 TB manually via the webapp and we were pinging support to do this for us. However, we have not really asked them for any technical support rather than the expansion of the disk. We have never had any technical issue with the platform.”

As a result of Aviso IT’s feedback, today drive expansion beyond 5TB is available in the customer webapp with drives up to 100TB possible. Therefore, Aviso IT has had practically no need for assistance by the CloudSigma technical support given how stable the cloud service is and are able to focus on better servicing their customers.

The Impact

Since day one on CloudSigma, Aviso IT have been able to count on highly performing storage and compute, ease of use and assistance from CloudSigma at any time of the day and night. The support they receive from CloudSigma allows Aviso IT’s business to grow by focusing on their core strengths. The backup and DR systems they are hosting in the cloud are continuing to grow. Aviso IT’s deployment is increasing in complexity as they are now moving additional internal IT systems and clients’ systems to the cloud.

“We are steadily putting more stuff in the cloud. Our deployment is getting bigger organically as we put new systems in the cloud by retiring old servers and equipment.”

Currently, Aviso IT runs more instances in the cloud including testing machines and larger amounts of backup data than ever before. The company finds the management of their cloud infrastructure intuitive and straightforward. Due to the rapid two-year replacement cycle of the physical equipment in CloudSigma’s cloud and a proven cloud architecture, CloudSigma sustains consistent high levels of cloud performance. As a result, Aviso IT’s deployment is running high performance systems which exceed their preliminary expectations.

“We are seeing pretty fast storage and impressive speed for spinning up new VMs. The added fact that we can get a response from technical support almost instantly if required is amazing.”

Another positive change Aviso IT has found is the better price they get from CloudSigma compared to the shared SAN solution they were previously hosted on. Aviso IT continues to evaluate the prices of CloudSigma competitors and hasn’t found an equivalent price to performance ratio as offered by CloudSigma.

“Certainly the CloudSigma price is way better than having to purchase hardware and beyond comparison when we examine CloudSigma and the SAN hosting we used in the past. We did a comparison with AWS, Azure and other Australian cloud providers, and CloudSigma comes up cheaper. Your price to performance ratio is unmatched.”Liam Gale, Managing Director @ Aviso IT

In addition to the technical and commercial aspects, Aviso IT notices another positive trend. Their customers are actively asking for a cloud solution located not only in Australia but also in Western Australia for latency and data sovereignty reasons.

“The fact that CloudSigma has a cloud located in Perth is a great benefit. We look after a lot of medical and dental practices in Western Australia and there are many legalities related to the data being stored in Australia. In the back of their mind, our users like to know that the cloud is local and that the data is physically within their reach.”

CloudSigma runs clouds in numerous locations around the world and operates under legally separated entities for each location which allows the company to offer cloud hosting subject only to the local jurisdiction of the actual cloud location. CloudSigma’s Perth and Melbourne locations are both run by a local Australian company and subject only to Australian law and regulations. This is an important advantage compared to competitors who often are subject to unattractive US and other regulations that endanger or potentially violate local data security regulations.

The Future

Aviso IT is working on a couple of new customer projects. The expansion of their deployment and deployment of new services in the cloud are causing them to start engaging with many new features that CloudSigma offers. The company is looking at using more disaster recovery functionalities as currently they are running a backup repository for DR purposes for one of their customers.

“We use a hardware independent restorer and then restore the backup images to a CloudSigma server. The ability to spin up servers very quickly, in this respect, is very good for us from a DR point of view. We want to start testing more DR features and start moving clients’ servers to the cloud. CloudSigma is a core part of our solution set now.”

Aviso IT is confident about their future development on the CloudSigma platform. Their managing director, Liam Gale, is inspiring other users to give CloudSigma a try:

“Give it a shot, dive in, it is pretty easy to get started, it does not cost much. There is a free trial so little time or money investment is required. The important thing is to get a trial and start playing with it.”

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About Vanya Nikova

Vanya is leading the Global Customer Development Team at CloudSigma. Beside that, she is responsible for a number of big data and big science partners and projects at CloudSigma. She has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim, Germany with 10 years of work experience in sales and consulting services.

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