Faced with the decision to build a new data center or move to a cloud-based service model, Cloudswell chose the latter—and achieved significant savings.
By William Atkinson
Cloudswell provides cloud-based application development, brokered cloud services, compliance and security, and support services to mid- to enterprise-level customers with data security and compliance needs. The company's goal is to support their customers' entire IT infrastructure, including managing risk and compliance challenges.
Initially, Cloudswell supported its customers through its own location-based data center. However, this subsequently proved insufficient to meet customer requirements as the data center was approaching the end of its life, and the technology could no longer meet the increasing customer demand.
At first, Cloudswell considered building a new Tier 3 data center. However, Chattanooga, Tenn., company decided to investigate cloud-based computing as an alternative to location-based computing and quickly saw the potential benefits of cloud-based computing, such as increased flexibility, ease of use, and lower costs.
Cloudswell eventually selected savvisdirect, which worked with its parent company, CenturyLink, and affiliate company Savvis, to provide a comprehensive and integrated solution for Cloudswell. The solution enables Cloudswell to offer customers a full range of cloud services that encompass application development, as well as fully outsourced IT, including the management of local and wide area networks and application hosting.
What did Cloudswell like about savvisdirect? "We vetted many vendors with great solutions in specific types of service offerings, but chose savvisdirect based on its ability to provide top tier services across the different service classes," says Roger Hale, vice president of cloud services and chief information security officer for Cloudswell.
The customized solution includes savvisdirect's AppGrid Private Cloud, hybrid managed dedicated servers in the cloud, flexible storage, and private IP networking. AppGrid is a single-tenant, dedicated, private cloud platform that allows Cloudswell to quickly design, deploy and manage its customers' application delivery lifecycle, while also mitigating risk and avoiding expensive hardware purchases. Cloudswell also implemented the savvisdirect FastForward Onboarding Guided Activation, Savvis Symphony Dedicated, and CenturyLink Migration Services.
"The solution met the requirements of our customers and what we were looking for, because it gave us the ability to do a hybrid cloud-type solution," says Hale. Why a hybrid cloud solution? "Cloudswell's business model is to provide a blended solution of top-tier cloud services to give our customers a competitive advantage and to position technology as a business driver, instead of a cost center," says Hale. "The hybrid cloud provides the scalability, flexibility and budgetary control of the cloud with the visibility and auditability to meet customer information security and compliance requirements."
With the savvisdirect solution, Cloudswell is now able to offer its customers predictable costs, which allows them to improve their business forecasts and projections. Currently, Cloudswell customers enjoy a 30 percent reduction in their technology expenditures. "We were able to lower the technology cost for our customers and bring them additional business continuity and risk management services," says Hale. "The solution we offer, and why we find our customers actually asking us to take them to the cloud, is about flattening their IT costs and the value-add of aggregated cloud solutions, versus the weight of stacking those services in-house."
In addition, Cloudswell was able to reduce its own technology expenditures by 35 percent, thus creating new revenue opportunities.
The future? "Our current solution with savvisdirect is absolutely meeting our needs," says Hale. "We are currently working with them on the opportunity of expanding our offerings across multiple regions and could include an international cloud offering next year."
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