The Customer

Addison Lee is a London-based private hire minicab company that serves over 10 million customers per year. It has over 3,500 premium minicabs operating throughout the city 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The company is known for its excellent standard of service and its use of cutting-edge technology to guarantee pick-ups within central London in 10 minutes.

The Challenge

Addison Lee has grown rapidly over the past few years, during which time it has become a household name. A highly efficient growth model can make demands on IT infrastructure, which needs to scale in line with business requirements. Addison Lee’s IT team decided to make the switch from Microsoft Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 to provide an efficient email service between employees and corporate clients alike. Microsoft Exchange is a business-critical application for Addison Lee; its staff sends thousands of emails a day and any downtime can have a severe impact on the business. While migrating to Exchange 2010, the IT team needed to ensure that the newly upgraded system had the necessary resilience and reliability to handle increasing email volumes; any backlogs or unsent emails could potentially lead to lost business.

“We needed a load balancer that was simple, efficient and had the capacity to handle heavy 24/7 use, so we decided to build on our existing, trusted partnership with edgeNEXUS.”

Ian Reeves, Senior IT Support, Addison Lee

Architectural changes made to Exchange 2010 and 2013 mean that Outlook connections are now handled by a Client Access Server (CAS) role. For highly available Exchange services and for better management, Microsoft recommends that both external and internal connections be load balanced across the CAS server array. To address this, the team required a cost-effective load balancing solution that could be deployed as quickly as possible to ensure minimum downtime to the company.

Sharing the Load with edgeNEXUS

“The migration to Microsoft Exchange 2010 was a crucial part of adding resiliency to our infrastructure, and is a service that our staff and by association our customers, rely on every day. We needed a load balancing solution that was simple, efficient and had the capacity to handle heavy 24/7 use. Microsoft recommends using third-party load balancers for new Exchange deployments, so we decided to build on our existing partnership with edgeNEXUS,” said Ian Reeves, Senior IT Support & Technical Lead, Addison Lee.

Addison Lee already uses edgeNEXUS load balancers to support its bookings website, allowing the company to offer a great online user experience to its customers. This gave the team the confidence to approach the company for this new project. Furthermore, as the pre-sales team had an existing understanding of the business and had always provided prompt service and support, the Addison Lee team had peace of mind that edgeNEXUS could meet their additional needs.

“The jetPACK deployment template meant that the system was up and running within minutes rather than hours; ensuring minimal impact on business operations.”

Ian Reeves, Senior IT Support, Addison Lee

Addison Lee installed a pair of edgeNEXUS Accelerating Load Balancers (ALB-X) in a high availability deployment in their on-site datacentre in North London. As well as being fully-certified by Microsoft for Exchange, the edgeNEXUS ALB-X can be configured for this environment within a matter of minutes thanks to jetPACK deployment templates. “This removed a time-consuming IT configuration and set-up period and meant that the system was up and running within minutes rather than hours; ensuring minimal impact on business operations,” commented Ian Reeves, Senior IT Support & Technical Lead, Addison Lee.

Room to Work and Room to Grow

Since the deployment of edgeNEXUS, Addison Lee has benefitted from a reliable, manageable and resilient Exchange deployment; with servers always kept available and staff able to rely on an efficient IT system to work. This increase in performance has meant that end-users have a smooth and stable user experience and an improved working environment. With ALB-X, administration has also become far simpler for the Addison Lee IT team as system maintenance can be easily carried out at very short notice with zero impact; the team can even take a server down without end-users or clients noticing.

Furthermore, as the business grows its load balancing requirements easily scale. “Our business is always growing, and as such we’re likely to add more off-site servers for greater capacity and resiliency,” said Reeves. “edgeNEXUS will enable us to expand our requirements both quickly and cost-effectively.

“We have been using jetNEXUS’ solutions for a very long period of time, and we’ve always been very happy with the service we’ve received,” continued Reeves. “From dealing with the pre-sales team to the day-to-day support that we receive from their technical staff, it has been invaluable to helping our IT work. We’re confident that as Addison Lee grows, edgeNEXUS will be able to support us every step of the way.”

“edgeNEXUS has been invaluable to helping our IT work, whether it be from a pre-sales perspective or thanks to the superb day-to-day support that we receive from their technical staff. We’re confident that as Addison Lee grows, edgeNEXUS will be able to support us every step of the way.”

Ian Reeves, Senior IT Support, Addison Lee

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