Cognition Foundry wanted to help pioneering startups turn brilliant ideas into reality. How could it provide cost-effective access to powerful computing infrastructure and support exponential growth?
Cognition Foundry uses an IBM LinuxONE server to host multiple client environments, delivering the ultra-scalable, high-availability IT resources that startups need to expand their operations rapidly.
Democratizesaccess to enterprise IT, normally restricted to Fortune 500 companies
Supportstransformation of small startups into ground-breaking, global agents of change
Reducescomputing costs with ultra-high utilization in a small physical footprint
Business challenge story
Creating a new service model
Founded in 2016, Cognition Foundry is a new type of service provider. The goal is simple: to provide ground-breaking startup companies with the high-performance IT resources normally financially accessible only for major corporations, banks and government departments.
Ron Argent, CEO and Founder of Cognition Foundry, explains: “We started Cognition Foundry to serve startups with real vision—companies that want to change the world, alleviate poverty, or improve the environment. When we consider whether to take on a client, it’s about whether they have an exciting, inspirational idea guiding them that we can share. We want to build genuine partnerships and deliver the technology to turn cutting-edge concepts into reality.”
He continues: “In their early days, startups often face a real catch-22 situation: they want to achieve rapid growth, but a full-scale infrastructure can be prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, if you start with a small platform, it’s tough to scale operations without losing momentum. Once you hit capacity, you have to re-invest, order new hardware, then set it all up in your data center. When you’re aiming for exponential growth, those delays, enforced downtime and extra costs can ruin your chances of success.”
To enable innovative startups to realize their full potential, Cognition Foundry recognized that it would need to offer the very best enterprise-level technology.
“In many cases, startups rely on low-cost commodity scale-out hardware with poor utilization and efficiency,” says Ron Argent. “We felt that we could do so much better. To provide the processing power for massive client workloads, with bulletproof security to keep multi-tenant workloads separated from each other, we looked for the very best solution on the market.”
Deploying a best-of-breed platform
To support the rapid growth of its startup clients, Cognition Foundry decided to implement an IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper™ enterprise server.
Ron Argent explains the selection process: “The robustness and stability of the LinuxONE server is first-class. Our users need their systems to be online round-the-clock; built-in ultra-low latency and high availability to ensure that they always have the compute resources on hand to process massive transaction volumes rapidly. In terms of scale and performance, we knew we were getting the very best with LinuxONE.
“As for security, our users benefit from decades of evolution in response to the most exacting demands from international banks and governments. As a service provider, this all adds up to a compelling proposition when we first address potential clients.”
Cognition Foundry is using LinuxONE to host multiple client environments in a single physical footprint, providing each with a highly secure virtual data center for its core applications. “The multi-tenancy capabilities of LinuxONE are exceptional, built on IBM virtualization technology,” comments Ron Argent. “We can provision dedicated resources for different users on the same physical server, without having to worry about any impact from one environment on another.
Cognition Foundry is also taking advantage of the vertical scalability offered by the LinuxONE server, enabling it to provision additional resources as soon as required by its startup clients.
Ron Argent continues: “As soon as our clients want extra processing power, all we have to do to scale up is flick a switch, and they have all the capacity they need. There is no need for me to ring up a supplier to order extra physical infrastructure, take time out to plug it in, or employ more staff to manage a sprawling scale-out architecture.
“And with just a single, highly utilized server to host all our clients, we spend less on energy and cooling, avoid server waste, and limit our environmental footprint. All in all, IBM LinuxONE really helps us to keep our data costs firmly under control even as our hosted clients grow rapidly.”
Working with IBM also enables Cognition Foundry to offer clients access to expert support and application development teams. For example, the IBM Montpellier team was integral to developing the blockchain-based solution that key client The Plastic Bank uses to support its core operations.
Helping innovative startups go global
With IBM LinuxONE at the heart of its operations, Cognition Foundry helps pioneering startups achieve their ambitions, and turn their big ideas into reality on a global scale.
Ron Argent explains: “Working with IBM, we are democratizing access to enterprise technology for startup companies who are determined to change the world, and helping to make the incredible credible. We have a cost-effective model that means they can deploy the best-of-breed resources typically available only to Fortune 500 companies.”
Cognition Foundry has built up a growing roster of clients including several ground-breaking social enterprises. The service provider can offer startups the flexibility to invest in the infrastructure they need at the beginning of their journey, along with the freedom to grow exponentially without risk of slowdowns or loss of momentum.
Ron Argent continues: “That’s the real beauty of the LinuxONE platform: we can take small companies with brilliant ideas and applications, and help transform them into global agents for change. They can grow rapidly, without losing control over their costs and without having to compromise on their future vision.
“Take our work with The Plastic Bank, for example. They came to us with this amazing idea of cleaning up our oceans by turning waste plastic into a valuable commodity, and incentivizing the world’s poorest to collect and recycle it in return for useful goods and services. We worked with IBM to create a blockchain-based solution to track the process, and used LinuxONE to support potentially millions of global users.”
With IBM LinuxONE underpinning its offerings, Cognition Foundry is also well-positioned to expand its operations in the future. “We have a robust platform in place to help us spread our wings,” says Ron Argent. “Our success stories will only breed more success, and help us build even more valuable partnerships.”
He concludes: “Using LinuxONE means we get the best of the best. For me, today, it is not just about profit, but about giving something back to the world. Backed by IBM, we are supporting some of the finest thinkers and social enterprises in the world, and turning fantastic ideas into reality.”
Founded in 2016, Cognition Foundry is a service provider headquartered in Essex, United Kingdom with offices in Boulder, CO and Sofia, Bulgaria. The company provides low-cost access to enterprise-class IT resources for innovative startup companies. Cognition Foundry is an IBM Business Partner, and won an IBM Beacon Award for Outstanding Open Innovation Solution on Linux in 2017 for its work with The Plastic Bank.