Angel Solutions is an innovative, hard-working company that creates web applications for schools, local authorities and businesses. For nearly a decade Rackspace has been supporting the company as it develops pioneering software and internet solutions for education.
Circus of Dreams
There probably aren't too many workplaces that are decked out like a circus, but after experiencing the office at Angel Solutions it's hard to work out why more don't have crazy mirrors and a big-top theme. It may sound an odd choice for a software company, but the reasoning behind it is inspired, as IT manager Phil D'Ambrogio explains: "The idea is of a bunch of experts working in balance and being able to put on something spectacular." The company's flagship product, Perspective - which allows schools to improve processes and impact the quality of the education they deliver - is an example of something spectacular created by a few talented people. "It succeeds where big corporations struggle," says Phil, "because by having a small, tight-knit team working together on a project, far more is achieved."
Rackspace is a perfect fit for Angel Solutions. "Even though Rackspace is a massive multinational company, I still find it's flexible at a local level," says Phil. "In a previous job I used to deal with one of the other major hosting companies, and I found it was fairly difficult to be able to deal with the same person each time. I think that's why it's quite different dealing with Rackspace - we've been able to get a single point of contact assigned within the Rackspace team each time. It makes it a lot easier and takes away a lot of the headaches."
Angel Solutions has an Intensive contract with Rackspace, its highest-level of service offering, which ensures they get a dedicated account team consisting of a service delivery manager, lead engineer and business development consultant. The services they use include a firewall, a single load balancer, a two node virtual cluster hosting eight Windows and one Linux server, and a two node Microsoft database failover cluster, as well as Rackspace email and anti-virus products. An important part of the package from Rackspace is the security, as Phil explains: "We host a large amount of data for our product Nexus, and that is all pupil-level so it needs to be highly-secure. Knowing that the data centre is protected by our fully-accredited partner is an absolutely essential selling point for us."
Angel Solutions' contract was renewed in early 2014 and, as part of the renewal, a couple of the database servers needed to be replaced. The account team came up with various options in terms of machine specification and time frames based on Angel Solutions' requirements. "It was important that any existing hardware wasn't going to go end of life mid-contract and also that the new hardware they were moving to would have equal or greater performance to the hardware that they were previously on," explains the Lead Engineer. "We worked hard with our product team to give Angel Solutions peace of mind and instil confidence in our recommendations. That is the idea of Rackspace after all: Fanatical Support®."
The work put in by the account team is clearly appreciated by Phil: "I would always recommend Rackspace. Without a doubt!"
If, like Angel Solutions, you would like a hosting company that can grow with you and keep your business secure, visit www.rackspace.co.uk or call the sales team for a free chat on 0800 988 0100.
Angel Solutions creates web-based applications for the educational sector. To see what they can do for you, visit www.angelsolutions.co.uk.