Business challenge

Customers expect that cloud services will offer consistent performance at affordable prices. Behind the scenes, providers must find the optimal infrastructure to keep them ahead of the pack.

Transformation

Seeweb chose VersaStack as the foundation for its cloud services solutions, gaining low latency, high performance, efficient storage and rapid support that help set the company apart from its competitors.

Results

Days

not months to on-board new clients, reducing time-to-value

Up to 85%

compression and deduplication and 90% floorspace reduction

Slashed

response times for customers, enhancing satisfaction

Business challenge story

Offering dependable services

Cloud services providers can make bold claims about the performance they will offer clients, but often it’s service continuity that is the decisive factor in customer experience. Inevitably, things will go wrong in providers’ data centers, but customers expect that providers will minimize – or even eliminate – any downstream impact on their businesses.

Cloud computing specialist Seeweb seeks to differentiate itself on the quality of its offerings and the speed of its responses. To achieve this goal, the company is always looking for the latest and greatest infrastructure solutions.

Fabio Fedele, CTO at Seeweb, elaborates: “We’re experts in building tailored software stacks to meet a wide range of customer needs. So that we can focus on what we’re good at, we want the underlying infrastructure layer to deliver in three areas.

“First, it must be easy to configure so we can get new solutions to market quickly. Second, it needs to offer reliable performance, as we commit to very demanding SLAs. Finally, we want quick support, so that if something does go wrong, we can depend on the vendor to help us resolve matters as soon as possible.”

The combination of incredibly fast IBM Storage and powerful Cisco compute and network components means we can support even the most demanding client needs, giving us a real edge over the competition.

—Fabio Fedele, CTO, Seeweb

Transformation story

Stepping up to the plate

Seeweb reviewed infrastructure solutions on the market, looking for an option that could kick its offerings up another gear. The company had previously used IBM® Storage and Cisco network and compute solutions with great success, which made VersaStack, a converged infrastructure offering from the two vendors, a natural consideration.

“We have a long-standing relationship with IBM, so when they suggested VersaStack it caught our interest immediately,” comments Fedele. “As soon as we looked at VersaStack more closely, we realized the positive impact it could have on delivery of our solutions. Because it’s optimized, we save time on comparing and configuring different hardware components. The Cisco compute nodes offer high performance, scalability and reliability, supporting fast delivery times. Another aspect that appealed to us is the single point of contact for support.”

Seeweb was able to achieve a rapid implementation and migration of data over to the new converged environment, with zero downtime. As the storage component within VersaStack, the company selected IBM FlashSystem® A9000, an all-flash platform that includes data compression and deduplication features.

“VersaStack is designed for low-risk deployment, which is a key advantage when you’re a service provider targeting maximum service continuity,” says Fedele. “IBM has stepped up its game again with FlashSystem A9000, so we were excited to see what it could do for response times and data efficiency – and we weren’t disappointed.”

Seeweb now uses VersaStack as the foundation for all its cloud hosting and colocation services, and as the basis for a new “streaming-as-a-service” offering. The company deploys a diverse range of software on the platform, designing environments to suit individual client needs.

Chiara Grande, Content Creator for Sales and Marketing at Seeweb, comments: “VersaStack is extremely versatile, making it the ideal platform to support us as we explore new areas. We currently operate thousands of virtual machines running a huge range of applications in the environment, from WordPress to SAP clusters. VersaStack gives us the freedom to innovate, confident that we have infrastructure that is flexible enough to give us excellent results.”

VersaStack is a lot more compact than our previous infrastructure solutions – decreasing our overall data center footprint by 90 percent. These cost savings enable us to offer highly competitive pricing to our customers.

—Chiara Grande, Content Creator for Sales and Marketing, Seeweb

Results story

A cut above the rest

With time-to-market a key competitive differentiator in the cloud services space, Seeweb is seizing a valuable advantage by creating new customer environments faster with help from VersaStack.

Fedele explains: “Relying on high-quality, pre-integrated infrastructure from IBM and Cisco allows us to on-board new customers in just a few days rather than months. We can skip to the part where we add value – building the software stack – sooner, slashing time-to-market and boosting client satisfaction.”

By taking advantage of built-in data reduction features in IBM FlashSystem A9000, Seeweb is driving up utilization of storage resources. At the same time, the low-latency IBM and Cisco solutions enable greater performance, so that these efficiencies do not come at the cost of missing SLAs.

“Using the first FlashSystem we deployed in our Milan data center, we were able to use compression and deduplication to reduce the storage resources used from 200 TB to 83 TB, which is a 59 percent decrease,” says Grande. “The results were even more impressive at our Frosinone site, where the FlashSystem A9000 gave us data efficiency rates of 85 percent, allowing us to go from 47 TB utilization to just 7 TB.

“VersaStack is also a lot more compact than our previous infrastructure solutions – decreasing our overall data center footprint from 80 units to eight, which is a 90 percent reduction. These cost savings enable us to offer highly competitive pricing to our customers.”

Many of Seeweb’s customers noticed the move to VersaStack, remarking on shorter response times. Offering consistently high performance, the platform is helping the company inspire customer loyalty and strengthen its foothold in the marketplace.

Fedele concludes: “One of our customers said the move to VersaStack had changed his life, he’s so thrilled by the fast response times! The combination of incredibly fast IBM Storage and powerful Cisco compute and network components means we can support even the most demanding client needs, giving us a real edge over the competition.”

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About Seeweb

Established in 1998, Seeweb is a cloud computing provider that operates data centers in Italy, Switzerland and Croatia. The company provides a wide range of SaaS, IaaS and PaaS solutions, both shared and dedicated, streamed and collocated, and adds value via exceptional technical and commercial support.

Take the next step

To learn more about how IBM and Cisco are working together to develop innovative storage and networking solutions for the data center, contact your IBM or Cisco representative or Business Partner, or visit the following websites: ibm.com/versastack or www.cisco.com/go/versastack

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