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“Cloudistics natively includes features and benefits (migration, analytics, self-service) that were add-ons with the competition, this increased functional use and value tremendously.”
– Corey, IT Director

Introduction

Every vendor wants to sound better than the competition, and that’s especially true of cloud providers. Whether you’re talking about public cloud or private cloud, you’re being told that every cloud gives you unparalleled capabilities. The vendor may be touting simplicity, or versatility, performance or value, but however you look at it, everyone says they’re the best.

There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but it obscures a critical issue.

Every vendor talks about how great they are but none of them talk about what happens when something goes wrong. Your experience with problems isn’t part of the marketing spiel. Instead, it’s buried in the legalese of a service level agreement, where, if you read carefully, you’ll find, for example, that the leading public cloud vendor will make commercially reasonable efforts to limit your downtime to less than an hour a year. Sounds good, but when you check that same vendor, you’ll discover that they have had twenty-one service outages between April and October, 2018, ranging in duration from just over two minutes to nearly four hours—so there’s a disconnect between promise and reality.

Of course, you need your cloud to have the right features, functions, and benefits, but you also need a cloud provider that will solve your problems as they arise, because problems are inevitable. Recently, a global financial services and trading firm, based in Austin Texas, chose the Cloudistics Cloud Platform to replace their legacy virtualized IT infrastructure. And after going from success to success, one day they discovered just how important it is to choose a vendor who supports you when problems arise.

Setting the Stage

The company came to Cloudistics because they had a challenge any IT leader can relate to. Their existing IT infrastructure, supporting eighty business applications, was running out of capacity, was almost out of warranty, and lacked essential features. Their IT Director, Corey, was forced to make a move, and due to security concerns, had to choose an on-premise infrastructure. Option A, a typical approach, a legacy approach, involved replacing all their hardware and upgrading virtualization software. That was possible, but drove up costs and complexity beyond tolerable limits, with initial estimates well in excess of a million dollars. Not only was that capital expenditure not in the budget, building an entirely new infrastructure from scratch would drive up complexity for months and interfere with the company’s ability to innovate.

They needed an Option B. So, thanks to a relationship with a partner, they evaluated Cloudistics, the world’s first premium private cloud platform. Conducting a proof of concept, Corey immediately realized that Cloudistics could:

  • Cut his costs by 70-80% over Option A.
  • Deliver all the automation, self-service capability, security, and data protection he needed.
  • Be up and running in a few days instead of weeks.
  • Cut complexity and increase agility.
  • Provide superior support if things went wrong.

Cloudistics was a no-brainer because it’s such a transformative approach that highlights all the weaknesses of legacy solutions. So, they choose us to build their new IT infrastructure, moving away from legacy virtualization and conventional hardware with two Cloudistics Cloud Platforms, one at their production site, and one at their disaster recovery site.

The Cloudistics Experience

Once the procurement decision was finalized, they began to experience the Cloudistics difference. And they went from being pleasantly surprised to completely amazed in just a few weeks.
The experience begins with white glove deployment. A team from Cloudistics arrives with the hardware stack. The Cloudistics team set it up at both the production site and the disaster recovery site, powered it on, connected it to the network, set up initial configurations, and then turned to Corey and said, “Ready to learn how to use it?” Corey was delighted to discover that the platform was so intuitive that knowledge transfer took less than an hour. He knew that he could train any IT generalist to monitor, maintain, and manage the platform without time-consuming knowledge transfer, training, or certifications. From the start of the deployment process, to final signoff, the entire process took less than two days.

Then the team began to help with migration. Initially using Carbonite Doubletake™, they showed Corey how to move some workloads from the legacy infrastructure to the Cloudistics platform. But Cloudistics wasn’t satisfied with that migration approach, so recently, we released Migration Manager, a free tool for taking live VMware™ workloads and moving them to Cloudistics with minimal downtime. Corey has gradually moved all but a few workloads to Cloudistics, often creating a clean VM leveraging the templates included in the Cloudistics Application Marketplace, and then moving data over from the old infrastructure.

Once Corey was up and running, he began to discover that Cloudistics’ ease-of-use translated into operational simplicity. Tasks that used to take an hour now take less than twenty minutes. Integrated hardware automation saved him from manual intervention. He wasn’t carving out storage for new VMs or using third-party tools to set up snapshots. He began to have room in his day for planning and innovating, not just keeping the lights on.

He also uncovered the robust analytics possibilities of the Cloudistics platform. Cloudistics comes with comprehensive analytics built-in, and also has a new tool, Metering Manager, which enables administrators to identify VM level storage, compute, and networking utilization for showback and chargeback. His old platform didn’t comprehensively address his analytics needs so he was glad to have a much clearer and useful view of his environment.

And he noticed another change. His users stopped complaining about slowdowns. The ongoing friction caused by the limits of the old platform disappeared.
But just as Corey had settled into a positive Cloudistics experience, something happened.

Cloudistics EarlyInsight: A Life Saver

“Regardless of the platform you choose, you will run into problems. With Cloudistics I’ve been overly impressed with the support experience. I engaged with an engineer who was already aware of my issue and we had it resolved faster than they initially estimated. Proactive, amazing, I’m a fan!”

One day, Corey had a problem. That’s hardly surprising, every platform has problems once in a while, even the leading public cloud platforms. But when issues arise, a typical support experience isn’t exactly satisfying. If this problem had happened with his old infrastructure, he would have:

  • Called his virtualization vendor
  • Waited on the phone
  • Provided proof of his licensing and support
  • Waited some more
  • Gotten on the phone with an Level 1 tech
  • Commenced with resolution of the problem.

If the issue was caused by the virtualization platform, he might have gotten a resolution in hours…or days. If the problem was caused by a third-party tool or by hardware, he would have called another vendor, only to begin steps 1-6 all over again.

If Corey was using a public cloud, he would have emailed his representative and hoped that the company resolved his issue alongside hundreds or thousands of impacted customers. But he would not have priority treatment or a faster resolution for his problem, no matter how disruptive the issue was to his business.

  • But Cloudistics offers a better way. Cloudistics EarlyInsight support is part of our premium experience and it goes well beyond the support model other vendors can match. EarlyInsight offers:
  • Support that covers hardware and software seamlessly—no finger pointing or multi-vendor engagement needed.
  • 24x7x365 support that’s built-into the management console—accessing an engineer in seconds is easy, or you can call, email, submit trouble tickets online, as you prefer.
  • If a problem arises, the system automatically submits a trouble ticket on your behalf. We’re able to respond to an automatic trouble ticket in 120 seconds.
  • We include comprehensive analytics and diagnostics without third-party tools or additional licenses, and we give you one-button log retrieval that spans hardware and software.
  • We give you instant access to user guides, support notes, troubleshooting resources and API documentation from a single support page.
  • Finally, for routine enhancements, patching and updates span the entire platform, are usually non-disruptive, and we offer to handle patching for our customers, freeing them up for other work.

Corey contacted support through the secure built-in support link in our management interface. Literally, in a few seconds, Solomon, one of our support engineers, engaged and was already aware of the issue. He said, “I see you’re stuck here. Let’s troubleshoot.”

One button log retrieval and direct access, through the Cloudistics Remote Assist, gave the EarlyInsight team a comprehensive view of the problem. After troubleshooting, they recognized that Corey had encountered an issue that needed a fix. Within ninety minutes, the team had resolved the issue.

Every platform has issues, which is why every support vendor has dozens or hundreds of support personnel. What was so different about the Cloudistics experience was how quickly and efficiently the EarlyInsight team were able to diagnose and resolve the problem. Corey didn’t sit on the phone, go through a call script, or wait for an engineer. In ninety minutes, the Cloudistics team solved his problem.

What other vendor could do that? None of them. What differentiates Cloudistics is that it’s not a vendor, it’s a cloud partner. We work hand in hand with our customers to ensure maximum value and impact. Instead of limited legacy support models, we believe in going above and beyond to make sure customers succeed.

Conclusion

Needless to say, Corey is thrilled with the Cloudistics platform. He’s already, in a few months, discovered that Cloudistics can:

  • Cut his CapEx by 70%
  • Deploy new sites in a day and a half
  • Reduce the time he spends on routine tasks by 60%
  • Resolve a support issue in 90 minutes instead of days.

That’s why Cloudistics has become the backbone of their business expansion plans. They’re planning to open offices in several countries over the next year, expand their development team, and bring new capabilities to market, and they know that Cloudistics will enable them to succeed.

To put it in Corey’s words,

“Cloudistics fundamentally changed the way we deliver IT resources to our users. It has also positively affected my hiring profile for future staff. Now I can hire team members to focus on higher value projects versus hiring people to keep the lights on.”

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