The results of phase one have been a resounding success. The company has practically eliminated downtime and has improved its volume of server transactions and business revenue.
“We haven’t had a single significant outage in the last 12 months,” says Antoine. “During this time, the cluster has failed-over about six times resulting in no more than a few minutes of lost time. We can also now patch our servers without incurring downtime.
“The system is also more powerful and efficient. We can commission gold-image clones of our virtual machine in less than thirty seconds and commission new projects we’re working on in just a few minutes thanks to multiple virtual processors with the equivalent RAM of 35GB.
“The biggest result of all the changes that we’ve made with eSpida’s help is that we’ve been able to grow our online server transactions three-fold and double business revenue compared to four years ago.”
The system is also more secure. The online programmes are supported by a reverse proxy programme that can channel network traffic and the transition also involved cloud migration as well as the move to Office 365.
The second phase of the project, involving co-location, is now underway. The company reduced its server footprint from four 42U racks housing some 35 servers, to just one 42U rack. This consolidation will result in a much lower annual co-location cost, which will add to the already considerable cost savings the company made during phase one.
“Our work with eSpida provided us with significant cost savings compared to the alternative options we considered,” continues Antoine. “Our total cost was roughly a quarter of what we would have had to pay otherwise.
“Despite the low cost, eSpida delivered a project that was just as effective and arguably more personalised than we would have received by going to some of the bigger vendors. As a small or medium sized business it can often feel like you’re just a number to many large businesses, so working with a like-sized business feels more like working with a partner. We didn’t feel pressured to buy any one brand and we were given the best-in-class level of security at an achievable cost.
“On top of this, the migration strategy was stable, providing a phased transition that allowed us to make changes to our servers and communications network without causing disruption. eSpida also gave us a smooth handover and provided us with some up-skilling to help in the long term. While our in-house IT experts are very skilled, they are often specialists in one or two specific areas. Despite the size of the company, eSpida has a broader skill set than we expected.”
As competition in the travel market heats up, companies will have to do more, with less, to achieve a leadership position. Offering flexible all-in-one packages is only the start. Antoine concludes, “To truly drive online adoption, companies also need to consider the role of their IT infrastructure in delivering round-the-clock availability, security and scalability – something Hillgate Travel, with the help of eSpida, is proud to have under control.”