Avalon

Differentiates itself from the competition with an innovative hybrid cloud solution

Published on 31-Jan-2014

"None of our competitors currently offers a true cloud service in our region, so the IBM solution really differentiates us." - Damir Mujic, founder and CEO, Avalon

Customer:
Avalon

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
Croatia

Solution:
IGF, IGF: IT Financing - IBM HW, Microsoft Hyper-V, Microsoft Windows Server, Cloud Computing, Cloud & Service Management, Connectivity - High availability, Enabling Business Flexibility, High Availability , Virtualization

IBM Business Partner:
Altus IT, M-San, BCS

Overview

Avalon is a premium web hosting provider in Croatia. It has around 6,000 clients, mostly from the Adriatic region, and manages 16,000 domains. It is currently the only Croatian company that has attained both ISO 9000:2008 quality management and ISO 27001:2005 information security certification.

Business need:
IT hosting provider Avalon was growing rapidly, but its infrastructure was struggling to keep pace with client demands for more agile and flexible hosting services and cloud-based offerings.

Solution:
Built a hybrid cloud on IBM® System x® servers that supports both Windows on the Hyper-V hypervisor and CentOS Linux on the KVM hypervisor, and integrates seamlessly with public cloud services.

Benefits:
Performance has increased dramatically, despite a 50 percent reduction in hardware footprint. Ongoing server and networking costs cut by 50 percent. Redundancy boosts availability above 99.9 percent.

Case Study

Avalon is a premium web hosting provider in Croatia. It has around 6,000 clients, mostly from the Adriatic region, and manages 16,000 domains. It is currently the only Croatian company that has attained both ISO 9000:2008 quality management and ISO 27001:2005 information security certification.

Meeting growing client demands
To support the growth of its business, Avalon needed to replace its aging infrastructure of dedicated Dell servers with a virtualized cloud platform that would be scalable and flexible enough to meet its clients’ demands for on-demand computing.

Damir Mujic, founder and CEO of Avalon, comments: “Public and private cloud infrastructures each have their advantages in different situations. We wanted to find a hybrid infrastructure that could offer our clients the best of both worlds.”

Innovative hybrid cloud solution
Working with IBM and IBM Business Partners Altus IT, BCS and M-San, the Avalon team replaced its Dell servers with 16 IBM System x3550 M4 servers to handle the hosting workload, plus a pair of IBM System x3650 M4 servers as backups. The System x servers use the latest Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 v2 series processors, which offer an optimal combination of performance, built-in capabilities and cost-effectiveness. Avalon also upgraded its network with IBM System Networking RackSwitch™ G8052 switches. IBM Global Financing arranged payment terms that enabled Avalon to optimize its cash flow by spreading out the capital cost over time.

“The new infrastructure provides full redundancy at the network, hardware, storage and hypervisor levels, which enables us to offer better than 99.9 percent availability,” says Mujic.

The Linux cloud services offered by Avalon are hosted on CentOS servers virtualized using the KVM hypervisor. They are managed using OpenNebula cloud management software, which is REST (representational state transfer) API compatible with Amazon S3 and EC2 cloud services. Similarly, the Windows cloud services—based on Windows Server 2012 virtualized on Hyper-V with the Windows Azure Pack—provide REST API compatibility for public Azure clouds.

“Our Linux and Windows private cloud environments can be seamlessly integrated with public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure,” says Mujic. “Effectively, our customers are already running S3, EC2 or Azure in their own private environments, and can use RESTful APIs to extend those environments into the public cloud. This gives our customers an enormous amount of flexibility in how they manage their clouds, and practically unlimited scalability.”

Impressive cost savings
Compared to the old Dell servers, the new IBM hardware provides better performance while reducing the total physical footprint by more than 50 percent—saving space, power and cooling in the data center.

“With the System x servers, our ongoing hardware and networking costs have been reduced by about 50 percent, and we now have a much more powerful and flexible platform on which to build our future business,” says Mujic. “The x3550 M4 servers offer excellent performance for multiple virtual environments, enabling us to support a large and diverse multi-tenant cloud.”

As its customers’ requirements grow, Avalon can quickly and cost-effectively provision new virtual machines for them. Rather than investing in their own permanent in-house infrastructure, these customers can adjust their landscapes up and down in line with changing patterns of demand. For intense, short-term peaks—for example, during seasonal sales periods—users of the Avalon cloud can even rapidly add new servers from the Amazon or Azure public clouds to help them manage elevated levels of web traffic.

“Crucially, thanks to the IBM solution’s full integration with external public cloud services, it also enables us to scale both vertically and horizontally, giving our clients the IT resources they need, as and when they need them,” says Mujic. “Instead of making large investments in their own infrastructure, our customers benefit from a secure, flexible and highly cost-effective hybrid cloud.”

“None of our competitors currently offers a true cloud service in our region, so the IBM solution really differentiates us,” he concludes.

For more information
Contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm.com/systems/x

For more information about Avalon visit: www.avalon.hr

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
System Networking, System Networking: IBM RackSwitch G8052, System x, System x: System x running hypervisor - Hyper-V, System x: System x running hypervisor - KVM, System x: System x running Linux - Other, System x: System x running Windows, System x: System x3550 M4, System x: System x3650 M4

Operating system:
Linux

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2014. IBM Corporation, Systems and Technology Group, Route 100, Somers, NY 10589. Produced in the United States of America. January 2014. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, RackSwitch, and System x are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.