Our delivery model

27-03-2014

Our customers’ mission critical applications must be available 24/7.

Getting to better, cheaper, safer

You have surely considered many aspects of outsourcing the operation of your mission critical application to Basefarm. But you probably still have concrete questions, for instance:

  • How does it actually work? And how is it all connected?
  • Where will your mission critical application be physically?
  • How does Basefarm set up the operations environment for your application and how are you involved? How do you know it will ‘fit’ your application?
  • Which components are included in the operations environment and who is responsible for them?
  • How secure is this environment and how flexible is it?
  • How will your application be supported?

Master-class datacenters

Basefarm has six state-of-the-art datacenters linked together by a backbone of 10 Gbit/s connections. This gives enormous transmission capacity and minimal latency. From a business perspective, it means your mission critical application performs optimally under usage peaks, and response times are user-friendly. You provide your customers/users with a positive end-user experience.

Each datacenter’s infrastructure is reinforced with redundant backup power supplies (UPS, diesel engines), cooling facilities, and physical security/access-control systems, etc. Just some of the measures to ensure your application is secure and available 24/7.

Our datacenters are located in Oslo, Stockholm, and Amsterdam. Geographically they form a triangle with double datacenters at each vertex (corner).

State-of-the-art, secure cloud technology

Each center’s cloud platform is based on VMware’s virtualization technology. Our servers are connected by state-of-the-art routers, switches, and security layers to both Internet and management consoles.

All components are designed with full redundancy, which means there are at least two instances of each component. If one instance should fail, its fail-over “twin” kicks in. Again, the most critical components like power, cooling, etc. are also delivered in pairs to make them independent of each other. These are the foundation for providing constant availability and high performance.

Our robust server clusters

Basefarm experts install your mission critical software on one or more clusters of two servers. The servers mirror each other—your application does exactly the same processing on each server. If one server should fail or becomes unavailable, the processing simply continues on the other server without missing a beat. The workflow to your application front-ends is load balanced to optimize processing.

On each server Basefarm configures redundant load balancing, firewalls, and security. Caching speeds the flow between the application front-end and the application itself, and it lowers bandwidth usage (thus costs). Another layer of load balancing optimizes the processing flow to your application. Below that, a layer of load balancing optimizes the transaction flows to the redundant databases (full replication).

Operating systems

Prior to installing your application on the servers, Basefarm preinstalls both the operating system your program runs on and access management. They are virtualized using VMWare.

Storage management

Storage capacity is handled in each environment by a storage area network (SAN). The SAN enables the most effective storage administration and flexibility, for example, vital storage replication and secure disaster-recovery processes. This way, high-speed storage is used for articles and pictures that are viewed often thus ensuring the best end-user experience. Data that is not used/viewed so often is stored in slower storage, which keeps costs down.

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Agile scalability, automated configuration management

The elements supporting these clusters boost availability and security. They enable Basefarm to offer you highly automated scalability—up-sizing and down-sizing. You can quickly meet fluctuating usage demands and at the same time pay only for what you use. A cost-effective way to solve the problems of costly overcapacity in your own computing facilities. Basefarm’s automated configuration management enables us to almost instantaneously add new clusters that are entirely congruent with your existing clusters. Investing in such sophisticated systems on your own is prohibitively expensive to say nothing of the cost of staffing them with competent personnel.

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Best at running mission critical applications

We are experts in running mission critical applications; we excel at designing, dimensioning, and building the environments they run in. It is our specialty, and we get your application to market quicker.

Valuable collaboration

We collaborate with your developers and any third party consultants to architect a unique operations environment (Basefarm’s cloud platform + Basefarm datacenters + Basefarm expertise). It is tailored to just your application. In designing the solution, our engineers factor in, among other things, traffic load, applications, security requirements, and budgetary limitations. To ensure the highest availability, we always recommend a fully redundant solution (but it is your decision).

We collaborate with the application developers to get a solid understanding of your application and what’s required for its optimal performance. And we collaborate with them when we deploy the code. We deploy in a highly structured, reality-tested way to ensure the stability of the deployment. Having done this for thousands of applications and leveraging our own automation, we can speedily integrate your application with its Basefarm-tailored, operations environment.

Attaining top performance

How does the operations environment we configure for your application improve its performance? Our broad experience enables us to dimension the server power your application needs—we configure the required number of virtual servers to effectively handle the load.

We configure caches to fine-tune the flow between the application front-end and the application itself. This reduces both the bandwidth used and the load on the servers to give the end-user better response times. We determine optimal performance and set up the number of application instances and replicated databases needed to achieve it. Then we monitor to see that it happens. And you can see the results.

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Exploit Basefarm’s expertise

You can exploit Basefarm’s unique body of expertise and knowledge gained from running thousands of servers cost-effectively with optimal efficiency and security. Our experience enables us to advise you on critical operational matters because, for example, we know how heavy a load each server can bear, how to best deal with fluctuations in the workload, etc.

Equally important, we are dedicated to helping you proactively. We monitor your application 24/7 for performance, security incidents, and database usage, just to name a few measures we track. The results of the monitoring are readily available to you. Your Basefarm service manager follows up all reports with you and provides suggestions for improvements.

High-touch support is part of the deal

We are your partner when it comes to optimizing the performance of your application. And Basefarm is always there; our support is not based on a voice mailbox; you can contact us 24/7 and get the interaction you want.

The business perspective

From a business perspective, cloud services gain their strength from economies of scale. For instance, Basefarm offers a peerless infrastructure in terms of physical plant and hardware (datacenters with thousands of servers, firewalls, load balancing, high speed cables, etc.).

This is clearly more secure, powerful, and financially advantageous than an ‘in-house’ solution. Furthermore, the scale of Basefarm’s expertise in handling all aspects of the operation is far beyond what would be available to you ‘in-house’.

So the win-win is that Basefarm offers unparalleled infrastructure efficiency and expertise to many while the lower costs are spread over multiple users.

Basefarm’s cloud services enable you to consume services and pay for them as operating expenses (Opex) rather than investing and burdening your organization with capital expenses (Capex).

You benefit from these manifold advantages while we keep your mission critical application secure and humming 24/7.

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