Cloud Service Provider Chooses Cisco HyperFlex to Fuel Growth
Challenge: Expand cloud services to support explosive growth
Because it started as a telecom company, Linxdatacenter was in a position to recognize a great untapped opportunity in the data center market in Russia. It bought its first data center in Moscow in 2007 and has expanded the business year by year.
Strict data privacy laws require that international companies operating in Russia—such as credit card companies—perform all data processing locally. However, major cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform don’t have data centers in the country, creating an opportunity for other providers.
“By 2011, we began to see that if you combine colocation with telecom and cloud, then you have the perfect mix for financial services companies and other large enterprises,” says Heiko H. Koop, CEO of Linxdatacenter. “Today, 20 percent of our business comes from cloud, and we recognize it as a big growth opportunity. We continue to expand our cloud services, and plan to double the size of the company over the next four years.”
Delivering enterprise-class services
Linxdatacenter’s initial cloud deployments were in Warsaw and St. Petersburg, serving customer needs in both Europe and Russia. Over time, the Linxdatacenter team has scaled and expanded its cloud offerings to meet growing customer needs, including connectivity to global cloud service providers.
Beginning in 2018, the company added Cisco HyperFlex systems to its Moscow data center to support its expanding line of cloud services. The team chose Cisco HyperFlex because it delivers the robustness, scalability, and compute performance their customers need, while saving Linxdatacenter both money and time. The result is a lower cost of ownership for Linxdatacenter, and more competitively priced cloud services for its customers.
“Cisco HyperFlex is extremely simple and fast to deploy using detailed Cisco Validated Designs,” explains Maxim Khalkevich, digital services team leader at Linxdatacenter. “And, because the system is easy to manage, we can expand quickly to address customer requirements; we don’t need a big IT team to support the product.”
“We also now resell Cisco HyperFlex systems,” adds Koop. “This gives our customers a choice between an OpEx model with cloud services on Cisco HyperFlex or a CapEx model with colocation.”
Supporting the most demanding enterprise applications
Linxdatacenter customers rely on Cisco HyperFlex to run a wide range of demanding enterprise workloads—from virtual data center (VDC) to ERP with massive databases. The hyperconverged design of the system is not only ideal for virtualized desktops and applications, it is certified to support business-critical applications such as SAP. Linxdatacenter is itself a SAP-certified provider of cloud and infrastructure operations. Numerous customers also run 1C accounting software, which is extremely popular in Russia.
“We’re exploring a variety of new technology offerings, including Cisco Container Platform, that will enable customers to run containerized and cloud-native applications on our infrastructure as well,” adds Khalkevich.
“We grow our business with Cisco,” explains Koop. “Cisco brings new services and new technologies to market that we can adopt and offer as a value-add. This encourages existing customers to expand their footprint with us, and it helps attract new customers looking for a technological advantage.”
Partnering for success
In Russia, it’s typical for service providers to purchase equipment from low-cost vendors. Linxdatacenter views Cisco as an important partner that helps the company differentiate itself from competitors.
“While other vendors may offer a low upfront price, the follow-up and support is expensive,” comments Koop. “With Cisco, the equipment is not only extremely robust, they back it up with the training, knowledge, and support we need to deliver high service levels to our customers.”
The support from Cisco extends to marketing. The Cisco team supporting Linxdatacenter is always willing to lend a hand, whether that means meeting with potential customers or hosting important prospects at Cisco events.
HyperFlex was already an established infrastructure solution when Linxdatacenter began offering it, but it wasn’t widely known in Russia. A viral marketing campaign showing how quickly the platform recovered from various types of simulated outages—disk and node failures, power outages, network failures, and so on—was instrumental in convincing potential customers of the resiliency and value of the solution.
Financing growthCisco Capital has been an important element of Linxdatacenter’s success. Established to support projects based on Cisco technology, Cisco Capital operates in more than 100 countries worldwide.
For service providers, Cisco Capital can provide the financing necessary for the equipment needed to kickstart new services. In 2018, Linxdatacenter was named the Cisco Capital partner of the year for Russia and the CIS countries after a highly successful HyperFlex deployment.
“We are deploying a second data center in Moscow and doubling our capacity there over the next two years,” says Koop. “We recognize that Cisco not only gives us very good equipment, but that the pricing and financing is in accordance with our needs in order to remain competitive.”
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