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ControlCircle uses Apache CloudStack to offer customers hybrid cloud platform

ControlCircle is a leading provider of managed and cloud-based services to enterprises and on-line businesses on a global basis. ControlCircle serves organisations that require enterprise-grade solutions across the spectrum of IT requirements – from colocation to cloud – aligning the right solution to address the stated business imperative and evolving these solutions over time as demands and requirements change.

ControlCircle’s customers rely on them to manage their critical IT infrastructure and applications.. Since its inception in 2001, the company has focused on developing a robust foundation, including its ability to service customers from data centres across the UK, US and EMEA, ISO20000 and ISO27001 accreditation and key partnerships with technology leaders.

Business situation

 ControlCircle recognised that although it managed its customers’ private clouds within its datacentres ControlCircle needs to be able to offer a service that enables the delivery of a hybrid cloud. As Tim Cox, Chief Technology Officer at ControlCircle explained, “All the private clouds we manage are revenue generating platforms for our customers. We need to provide a service that enables our customers to extend their private cloud for either testing or development purposes or to be able to bring new products to market, all with enterprise level SLAs and hardware.”

Technical situation

The new solution is named Hybrix™. It is a highly flexible and customisable platform that offers traditional Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS),IaaS with monitoring and management and hybrid platform connectivity.

Hybrix™ enables a customer to self-administer virtual servers, storage, virtual networking, security configuration and components with fully managed enterprise-grade load balancing and firewall options. The Hybrix™ architecture is built upon years of experience designing, building and managing mission critical hosted virtual platforms for large-scale enterprises.

The solution

ControlCircle decided on a parallel implementation strategy of using Citrix CloudPlatform (powered by Apache CloudStack) for the customer platform and Apache CloudStack directly for their own internal development estate with a view to ultimately moving everything to CloudStack.

After implementing Gen1 of Hybrix™, they approached CloudStack specialist ShapeBlue to help them with the design and installation of Gen2. “We wanted to upgrade using established best practices and with maximum flexibility and ShapeBlue provided us with the expertise to do that,” explained Tim.

“They were able to help us define the landscape and identify the decision points. This helped us understand exactly what our new platform could do so we were never in a position where we oversold its capabilities.”

Benefits

“Apache CloudStack is more mature and feature-rich than all the other solutions we looked at,” Tim noted. “It is possible to configure and deploy it out of the box and start making money. Its powerful API enables us to quickly build automation around it, and the customer can see the results in the GUI.”

“By having a parallel implementation strategy, we achieved the best of both worlds,” concluded Tim. “We have the documentation, support, development and SLAs offered by a major organisation as well as the benefits of being part of the wider Apache CloudStack community.

“Because the code has been donated by one company, Citrix have a vested interest in ensuring that it is sound, solid and maintained. Unlike other open source communities I have been involved with, people are regularly putting stuff back in, making it a very vibrant community that is progressing and growing.”

 

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