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Hybrid Cloud: The Better Way

This is a guest post written and contributed by Sunny Dhillon, Technical Operations Manager at Coastal.com, a Rackspace Hybrid Cloud customer and the largest online retailer of eyeglasses and contact lenses in North America.

Coastal.com is the better way to buy eyewear – and we strive to keep it that way. You don’t become North America’s largest online eyewear retailer by maintaining the status quo. You have to innovate. You have to shake things up. But, most importantly, you have to thrill your customers. Without them, you’re nothing.

So we also needed a better way to run our business.

At Coastal.com, we’ve been a Rackspace customer since 2002. We made the move from another provider mainly because Rackspace doesn’t have template solutions; it works with its customers to provide customized sets of solutions from server configurations, to architecture to new technologies.

With Rackspace, we have a completely segregated hybrid network for Coastal.com through which all of our ecommerce servers are managed and hosted at Rackspace. This is critical for anything that can’t suffer a moment’s downtime. We also use RackConnect and Rackspace’s open cloud along with our own private servers. This builds our hybrid cloud environment.

First, we had a front-end web server and a backend database. That evolved quickly as we grew – into 25 front end servers, backend servers, clustering, failover and redundancy. And we can grow further from there, thanks to the hybrid cloud.

We require assurance that our dedicated servers, which handle the base load, can be spun up quickly to accommodate heavy traffic loads and spikes. We need this to happen within 24 hours – and downtime isn’t an option. With the open hybrid cloud we can scale exponentially with little to no downtime while also growing. We can provision services that get up and running immediately.

And we need all of this to happen while remaining PCI compliant. We accept credit cards, so we need a trusted partner for PCI compliance. We couldn’t work with Rackspace if it wasn’t a trusted provider.

And this PCI compliant hybrid cloud solution is tied together with Rackspace’s Fanatical Support. We can call the support staff at any time without worry. The support teams are truly an extension of our business. We’ve tapped support any time something critical needs to be resolved with swiftness – any hour of the day, weekends, holidays, you name it. I can call our account manager or someone technical without going through the ticket process, but that’s there too if we need it.

This hybrid cloud platform backed by Fanatical Support has empowered us to grow into the  global online business we are today, and to plan for the future.

Rackspace has truly become a trusted provider for us at Coastal.com; so much so that we plan to move all of our critical systems – with the exception of our in-house staging and development environments – to the Rackspace Hybrid Cloud by 2014.

Just like we’re the better way to buy eyewear; the hybrid cloud is the better way to power a business and prepare for growth.

To learn more about how Coastal.com uses the Rackspace Hybrid Cloud, check out this case study: http://www.rackspace.com/knowledge_center/case-study/coastalcom-grows-globally-online-with-a-hybrid-hosting-solution

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Sunny Dhillon.

Sunny is Technical Operations Manager at Coastal.com, the largest online retailer of eyeglasses and contact lenses in North America,


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