Private cloud for Silicon Valley start-ups

Lohika Company specializes the development of software and engineering solutions for the corporate segment and is part of the Capgemini Engineering group. SIM-Networks has been a permanent partner of the company for some time now, providing resources for development. The IT department of Lohika Company created a private cloud for its customer projects with our help. Edward Smishlyayev, IT Director of Lohika Company, told us his impressions of our cooperation in this short interview.

Why did Lohika choose SIM-Networks' services?

ukrainian company-private - cloud for startups

Edward, your company chose SIM-Networks while searching for solutions for specific tasks. What was it, what tasks did you face and did you solve them?

The global task was to choose a powerful hosting provider suitable for us in terms of a wide range of criteria. The first aspect we considered was the geographical location. The data center had to be located between the USA, Ukraine and Romania. The second aspect was technical: data exchange speed, waiting periods. The third aspect was legislative: it was very important for customers from the USA that the hosting provider fall under the jurisdiction of the EU, in particular in terms access and data storage (customers’ data cannot be stored in Ukraine). One more important limitation was that the equipment could not be our property. If it were in our possession, we’d limitations related to the US accounting law: we’d have to pay double the lease.

At the first stage we collected information. The list of potential hosting partners consisted of around 30 companies. What immediately caught our eye was that we had to wait for answers on the requests. The average waiting period was around 4-5 business days. The quickest response we got took 3 days. We were uncomfortable with that. We think that companies demonstrate their SLA on the managerial level at that point. Later, I remembered a meeting I had with a representative of SIM-Networks and contacted you.

How did our cooperation begin?

From the very beginning we were pleasantly surprised by the response time, especially after our experiences with other providers. We got a response to our first request in 5 minutes. It was fast and, most importantly, we got a transparent price calculation. Even in matters that required more time and technical evaluation, the manager kept us informed. We never felt that we were in the dark, we were always aware of what was going on with our potential partner.

It should be noted that ping time was a crucial aspect in our choice of data center. With SIM-Networks it made up around 30-50 ms. With other European providers that we considered, we faced indexes of 200-300 ms. What’s also important is that your prices were lower.

I should note straight away that we never considered low-cost services or public clouds – we store customers’ data. For this reason, we could not take Amazon into consideration.

Why not low-cost? People say it is cheaper.

Same reason – customers’ data. Matters of security and access are critical. Another reason is the providers fault-tolerance. Data in our cloud must be accessible 24/7. Besides, flexible scaling is important for us: today customers use a certain volume of data, tomorrow that volume will increase and we will need more space, more power – we have to be able to adapt quickly.

How did you build your private cloud with SIM-Networks?

Let’s start from our demands to the infrastructure. It must be Enterprise-class. We used НРЕ equipment with leased VMware licenses. Virtual machine backups are organized with Veeam virtual solutions which are perfectly integrated with VMware solutions. We were searching for a disaster-tolerant provider whose infrastructure nodes are doubled by the N+1 formula. SIM-Networks had everything necessary for the structure we came up with.

In our SIM-Networks cloud, we use VMware Enterprise Cluster HA, DRS with high accessibility plus EVC. We also use vSAN Distributed Storage and the required traffic balancer. The Cisco ASA gateway is used for traffic encryption.

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Do you use popular OpenSource solutions in your IT infrastructure?

About 5 years ago, we had to deploy a testing environment for developers. As of now, we use 2 clouds. We use them as labs where programmers and testers deploy and test projects. The clouds are located on-premises and are built on OpenSource solutions. For this infrastructure we used equipment which could not be used for production. The data in this environment is not vital to the operation of the business, that’s why we use OpenSource solutions for internal needs only. We gave our developers access to API and we always help our programmers automatize processes.

How do you currently use your SIM-Networks cloud?

We use 60% of the capacities for our production needs, 40% is reserved for customers.

Can you tell us more about the clients who use the cloud, if you don’t mind, of course?

There are 5-6 Silicon Valley start-ups among the customers who use our cloud. We do not resell the capacities, we provide the customers with the capacities within our projects. We also support the clients’ IT infrastructure as part of our cooperation.

Do you plan on expanding your cloud?

Of course, our strategic plans include the expansion of the service package offered by us and providing our capacities for lease. This will help us develop and improve our own cloud infrastructure used by the customers.

What can you say about our technical support and cooperation with SIM-Networks? We’re not looking for praise, if there are any lapses, we’ll correct them :)

Everything from the deployment of the cloud to the day-to-day functioning and countless technical questions is beyond any praises.

We haven’t run into a single issue during these 1,5 years of our cooperation – your administrators always respond to our requests and wishes.

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