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Help for Heroes goes Hybrid with Rackspace

Rackspace provides hybrid cloud environment for Help for Heroes’ web presence

London, UK – 24 October 2013 – Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX), the open cloud company, today announced that Help for Heroes is building a Rackspace Hybrid Cloud platform to help optimise performance and resilience of the charity’s websites and databases, and in doing so help even more British servicemen, servicewomen and veterans.

Help for Heroes is a major UK charity formed in 2007 to provide an enduring national network of support for those who have been wounded in Britain's current conflicts. It relies on public donations to fund its vital work.

Handling a 10x increase in online demand
Historically, the charity's main website, ecommerce site and related databases ran on a dedicated platform hosted and managed by Rackspace. This solution worked well for Help for Heroes until earlier this year when it experienced a sudden tenfold increase in visitors overnight to both its main website and its online shop.

"We've always had outstanding service from Rackspace," said Charles Bikhazi, head of development at Help for Heroes, "and earlier this year we experienced how important its Fanatical Support is when you're in need. When online demand jumped overnight, Rackspace's support teams went over and above any expectations we had. In a matter of hours we had a stripped down version of the website on public cloud servers in a load-balanced environment."

Building for the future
With a successful short-term solution in place to manage demand spikes, Help for Heroes decided to start building for the future. The charity is deploying a Rackspace Hybrid Cloud solution that incorporates public cloud, to provide the agility to accommodate sudden data peaks at any time, and dedicated servers, to host its database applications and ecommerce platform and ensure their performance, resilience and security. This hybrid cloud works as a unified platform linked by a single network powered by RackConnect.

Bikhazi said, "The colossal demand we experienced earlier in the year was a wake up call for us. We depend on the generous British public for our work, with almost 100 per cent of donations going to servicemen, servicewomen and veterans, and proceeds from our online shop going towards our overheads. Any downtime means we may miss out on this vital income, so Rackspace's hybrid cloud is therefore mission-critical."

Ongoing innovation
According to Bikhazi, the migration to the Rackspace public cloud is complete, and building the clustered database for its main website is progressing well. "Rackspace experts continue to help us with the entire process, and we know that with such Fanatical Support we'll be able to keep innovating for the future."

Jeff Cotten, Managing Director of Rackspace International, said, "Help for Heroes is a positive force for so many people in Britain, and an innovator in the charity sector with its adoption of cloud technologies, so we get great satisfaction from helping the team do their good work. With the hybrid cloud we're building together, Help for Heroes is now in a strong position to manage future peaks and ongoing growth in online activity, as well as more donations and other offers of support."