Its web site champions the adoption and value of cloud computing; helps companies select services and providers best suited to their needs, and acts as a central hub, information resource and community for all cloud-related issues. Its directors also consult with firms to give strategic guidance on creating competitive differentiation and influence in the cloud, with its opinions on cloud trends being highly regarded and its directors often speaking at international events, such as IBM’s recent Executive Edge 2015 summit in Las Vegas. Today, Compare the Cloud is also increasingly branching out into international markets, and has recently run projects in Hong Kong, Russia, Norway, Finland, Netherlands and Belgium.
Consult and Create
All the above factors are driving web traffic on the site, with LinkedIn visits and tweets generated from individual blogs, articles and posts often running into the thousands. Given that the site also uses a large volume of images, and traffic levels are typically ‘spiky’ rather than flatly consistent, Compare the Cloud is conscious that the load on individual pages and the operation as a whole can be close to unsupportable during busy times.
Without the right enterprise cloud platform and cloud hosting provider in place, service could potentially be interrupted, which would in turn negatively impact both the reputation of Compare the Cloud and the overall user experience for the site’s many visitors.
Indeed, the organisation had experienced some downtime and support issues with its existing cloud service platform provider which ultimately led it to take the decision to switch to Pulsant as its managed service partner and the Pulsant Enterprise Cloud Platform as its web managed hosting solution.
According to Andrew McLean, Chief Technology Officer at Compare the Cloud: “with the level of interest in the site ramping up all the time, our focus has to be almost exclusively on our core business. We have neither the time nor the resource to manage our own hosting requirements independently. We needed to work with a provider we could trust, with the business experience, expertise and technical capability to deliver the managed services process end-to-end. We were impressed by the knowledge, understanding and professionalism Pulsant demonstrated and by their consultative approach. After a period of due diligence, we decided to switch to the Pulsant Enterprise Cloud Platform”.
Integrate and activate
Pulsant handled the migration of the Compare the Cloud web capability independently. In spite of minor technical issues, the process ran smoothly, and the inherent risk of switching was seamlessly navigated. As McLean explains: “moving cloud providers is complex. There is always risk involved – but Pulsant mitigated the vast majority of it by handling the migration, delivering the project management and keeping us continuously in the loop on progress”.
Pulsant has continued to prove reliable following the implementation, keeping the site up and running at all times despite the inevitable peaks in load that impact it every day. In addition, Pulsant has consistently delivered high-end security services with tiered levels of access, ensuring that sensitive content is protected at all times.
Support and Evolve
A 24-hours support service ensures that in the event of issues and concerns, Pulsant can deliver a rapid response and quickly rectify the problem. In technical terms also, there are clear lines of demarcation between the two companies with regard to their areas of focus. As McLean explains, “We handle the content, design and coding on the site – whereas Pulsant effectively manage everything up to the code”.
Compare the Cloud has benefited throughout from Pulsant’s personal approach to service. “Thoughout the engagement process, Pulsant has at all times adopted an open consultative way of doing business with us”, says McLean. “They are receptive to our ideas and proactive in coming up with their own. Partnership lies at the heart of the relationship and the two companies work closely together to resolve issues. According to McLean: “Without that close relationship driving the ability to proactively address concerns before they become real problems, there is always a danger that the site might fall over, or an individual page become unresponsive. If we expect an item on the site to go viral, we let the Pulsant support team know, and issue support tickets. Pulsant then raise the security monitors for a set period and work closely with us to ensure the relevant pages remain up and running”.
Going forward, Compare the Cloud is looking to further tap into the versatility and flexibility that Pulsant is increasingly able to provide. It is looking forward, for example, to making the most of Pulsant’s evolving multi-data centre approach which will enable it to effectively ‘flip’ between different data centres as and when required. Pulsant will also be playing a key role in Compare the Cloud’s ongoing expansion into international markets. The cloud hub is developing several regional sites for Europe, all of which are local language-based. It is also starting to prepare content to serve up in the Chinese market.
“As and when we make the move and set up the hosting capability, we know we will be able to rely on Pulsant to manage that hosting capability for us”, added McLean. “That’s the benefit of a true partnership approach”.