Working with leading-edge technology presents its own unique set of issues. Even technology specialists can encounter problems when faced with designing and building business critical systems on new technology platforms.
DSS, headquartered in Greater Reading, Pennsylvania delivers IT solutions that drive business for over 400 regional clients. From their Tier III data centre through a 24/7 service desk to a full portfolio of IT products, the company continually strives to produce high-quality, beyond standard solutions to exceed the expectations of their customers.
Proof of concept environment
Early in 2013 DSS was working on a new proof of concept environment for an IaaS platform based on Apache CloudStack. Justin Brophy, Systems engineer at DSS explained: “Although we have a great deal of experience in-house, this was a new technology for us to get to grips with so, naturally, we encountered a number of challenges. We were faced with the choice of either spending hours on end trying to make sense ourselves of what was available or to bring in an expert source of information on CloudStack.”
After spending some time on forums and researching the options available, Justin contacted ShapeBlue for advice. After initial discussions it was decided that the best solution to their problem would be for a ShapeBlue consultant to work with the DSS project team reviewing what DSS’ goals would be for the CloudStack environment and helping them to develop in-depth design and build documentation for the new platform.
CloudStack best practices
Justin continued, “ShapeBlue sent in one of their Cloud Consultants. He discussed with us what we were trying to achieve and how we had so far gone about it. From this he was able to understand our requirements and help us work through the problems we had encountered. This covered detailed topics like overcoming problems trying to assign a static IP to VPC as well as more general areas. By the end of the week he had helped us develop a build document that specified in detail what our final production environment would look like.”
Commenting on the time spent working with ShapeBlue, Justin said, “their Consultant was great, he was very knowledgeable and easy to work with. His consultative approach enabled us to understand why we had been having problems and it was easy to work with him to overcome them.
“He also used his in-depth practical experience of implementing CloudStack to build into the final design best practices for ensuring that our production platform would be able to support the new solution to the benefit of our customers.
“We now have in place everything we need to build our proof of concept IaaS platform using CloudStack and the skills transfer that ShapeBlue also effected has helped to greatly improve our internal expertise on this important new technology platform. ”