Case Study - QPC shifts server workloads to hSo cloud while keeping control
QPC develops, resells and supports software that helps organisations manage their contact-centres better.
As a result, QPC needs hosting for its source-code repositories, testing and staging environments, backup archives, and virtual machines used by technicians to securely connect to customers' systems.
As part of QPC's efforts to harden its systems, the firm brought in an independent consultancy. It advised QPC to replace older hardware and software for which support would soon end.
QPC decided to refresh and future-proof its IT platform by moving its workloads to a cloud run by experienced hosting provider hSo. This increased the robustness, flexibility, security and scalability of QPC's systems, yet allowed QPC's IT team to adjust things for themselves using familiar VMware tools.
"It comes down to specialisation. We need to concentrate on our business and leave hSo to take care of the hosting platform." - John Callegari, Operations Director, QPC
Staying In Control
QPC retains near-total operational control of its hosting via a self-service web portal powered by VMware Cloud Director.
This lets QPC pause and unpause VMs, power them up and down, delete them and resize them. QPC can also check utilisation levels and set its own firewall rules.
New VMs can be created in seconds, using QPC's VM images, its own templates and templates provided by hSo.
QPC controls the frequency and scope of any data backups and can start restoring lost data within seconds using hSo's Veeam-based backup & recovery portal.
Keeping Costs Predictable
When picking cloud suppliers "cost is always a factor, especially for a company of our size," Callegari says.
With hSo, QPC doesn't get charged per VM or per gigabyte of data transferred. It just pays for fixed pools of resources which can be allocated to VMs and reallocated as required, with VMs able to borrow unallocated capacity from their pool.
Individual VMs don't have to be overspecced to cope with infrequent peaks in demand. This reduces cloud costs.
Windows and Veeam licences are included as part of QPC's package of services, making its bills even more predictable.
Moving to a Managed Cloud
QPC didn't need to modify its apps to work on hSo's cloud.
The VMs just moved from one VMware platform to another.
Callegari says the move was "very easy... very painless." As soon as QPC requested the move "it was pretty much done."
“We know what our hosting costs are going to be going forwards. That makes budgetary planning so much easier.” - John Callegari, Operations Director, QPC
Increasing Uptime & Resilience
QPC provides 24/7 support to some customers and business-hours support to firms in multiple time zones, so it needed its own internal systems to be available 24/7. Moving to the hSo cloud enabled QPC to instantly improve the availability and resilience of several important systems.
Now, if a single host fails, affected VMs are automatically restarted on another host within the same data centre. If all hosts within a data centre fail, affected VMs restart on another host in another data centre. If that were to fail, the workload would restart on yet another host. This belt-and-braces approach helps shield QPC's systems from downtime. When VMs and virtual firewalls migrate to alternative hosts their IP addresses follow automatically.
QPC's data are stored on a VMware vSAN, stretched across multiple data centres, with changes continually replicated.
The virtualisation and backup platforms are also hosted in multiple data centres, each with resilient power supplies, network connections and backup generators. hSo monitors its platforms 24/7 so any issues can be spotted quickly and addressed promptly by hSo's skilled technicians.
Protecting Data, Improving Security
Contact centre software has access to a lot of customer data. So QPC's customers insist on stringent IT security protocols. John Callegari says hSo's solution helps QPC “tick all the boxes” when answering questions from customers' security teams and responding to requests for proposals.
OS vulnerabilities are minimised by hSo regularly patching QPC's managed VMs. Automatic offsite backups safeguard data on the VMs and QPC's Office 365 SharePoint account.
VM groups have their own virtual firewalls, allowing QPC to set the rules governing access to its cloud. Authorised staff at QPC's head office can privately connect to the VMs via an hSo leased line, without any data passing over the Internet.
hSo and its UK data centre suppliers are ISO 27001 certified, making it simple for QPC's customers to verify that robust independently-audited security processes are in place to help protect data that clients may share with QPC. QPC can also demonstrate to UK customers that any support-related data processing or storage occurs solely within the UK.
Ensuring Good Service
QPC has been an hSo customer for over 13 years, ordering connectivity, cloud backup, VPN and cloud hosting services.
“One of the main reasons we continue with hSo has been the level of service,” said Callegari.
- Enterprise software for contact centre operators
- Offices in UK, US, UAE, Australia and Sweden
- 50+ Staff, 130+ clients 80,000+ end-user agents
- Contact Centre Analytics, Workforce Management Tools, Contact Centre Agent Tools, Consultancy & Support, Cloud Contact Centres
- Web site: www.qpc.com