The Customer

With over 30,000 users accessing services on a day to day basis, powered by a partner ecosystem encompassing over 300 partners who deliver, brand and resell their services, Colt Ceano is the platform of choice for IT solution providers looking to migrate their customers to the Cloud. An exclusively channel-focused vendor, Colt Ceano provides turnkey worldwide infrastructure and a control panel platform that allows IT solution providers to become cloud service providers, able to create, bill and manage IT services from the cloud in real-time. One of CRN’s top 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors, Colt Ceano is owned by Colt Technology Services and counts industry titans such as Tech Data and Ingram Micro among its Distributors.

Constantly expanding, Colt Ceano currently operates out of 20 Datacentres worldwide, with those numbers continuing to grow by the quarter and has established itself as one of the world’s leading providers of Hosted Virtual Desktops.

The Challenge

The demands of a rapidly expanding infrastructure, and a highly efficient growth model, can be difficult to manage, especially when reliability is the key. However, with years of industry experience behind the team, Colt Ceano were well aware that high-performance load balancing was vital to being able to build scalable, available services.

“We use edgeNEXUS technology for resilience, scalability and performance across all 20 data centres in our worldwide cloud infrastructure.”

Rob Lovell, CEO, Colt Ceano

Complicating the challenge was the sheer number of services that Colt Ceano provide to their partners and end users. As well as being one of the world’s leading providers of Hosted VDI, the Colt Ceano portfolio also encompasses, among others Hosted Microsoft Exchange and Hosted Microsoft Lync. Finally, these services have to be delivered to end users right across the globe, in a manner that makes the user experience seamless from accessing them across the LAN.

Colt Ceano Build ALB-X into Standard Infrastructure Design and Deployment Model

One of the key factors behind Colt Ceano’s ability to rapidly scale infrastructure on a global basis is a standard deployment model, a concept they refer to as a ‘pod’, allowing them to add new footprints in a quick, controlled manner.

A core component of each new infrastructure is a HA pair of edgeNEXUS ALB-Xs. In the words of Colt Ceano’s Director of R&D, Keif Gwinn, “We looked long and hard for the right load balancer to build into our standard deployment model and in the end edgeNEXUS was the clear winner. Whilst its advanced feature set was clearly crucial, it was the combination of this with flexible form factors, great pricing and first class support that really made the difference for us.”

“We’re proud to work in such close conjunction with Colt Ceano. They were one of the first companies in the UK to really understand the potential of the Cloud and are exactly the kind of forward thinking client we enjoy working with.”

Rob Lovell, CEO, Colt Ceano

Colt Ceano run a wide array of virtualisation platforms within their infrastructure, carefully selecting each technology in relation to the varying demands of individual workloads. In this respect, they found a great marriage with the ALB-X Virtual Appliance, available on VMware, Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, as well as a powerful hardware appliance.

Another key factor when managing the individual components of such a vast, demanding, high-performance infrastructure is ease of use and for Colt Ceano the ALB-X stood out from the field in this respect. “Without naming names, when you look at some of the other leading products in the field, sure, they have good functionality, but none that we tried can stand up to the ALB-X in terms of executing that functionality and getting the most out of the feature set”, says Keif Gwinn, whose team played a vital role in the technology choice.

The Microsoft Piece | Exchange 2010 and Lync 2010

Among the core services delivered by Colt Ceano are Hosted Microsoft Exchange and Lync 2010, the architectures for which require the use of external load balancers. As well as being fully-certified by Microsoft for both platforms, the edgeNEXUS ALB-X can be configured for these environments within a matter of minutes thanks to jetPACK deployment templates. As some of Colt Ceano’s most popular offerings, both platforms are built to seamlessly scale to tens of thousands of users and require a load balancer that can meet those delivery challenges at a cost-effective price point. In this respect, Colt Ceano were able to rely on jetNEXUS’ flat licencing model to ensure costs remained firmly under control.

In the words of Colt Ceano CEO, Rob Lovell, “We use edgeNEXUS technology for resilience, scalability and performance across all 20 data centres in our worldwide cloud infrastructure. It’s simple to use, extremely scalable and comes at the right price point, all of which make it a great fit for us…it’s become a key component in our infrastructure.”

“It’s simple to use, extremely scalable and comes at the right price point, all of which make it a great fit for us.”

Rob Lovell, CEO, Colt Ceano

Download a free evaluation of our virtual appliance load balancer