CUSTOMER'S BUSINESS: Automaker
CHALLENGES: Handling traffic spikes during marketing advertisements and campaigns
BUSINESS OUTCOME: Increased burst capability and proactive problem solving due to an advanced warning system
Mazda North American Operations thrives in an environment built on speed, agility and efficiency. Since 1970, when they began importing vehicles to the United States, Mazda has built its brand on providing the most thrilling vehicles, as well as parts and accessories, to its customers. When the time came to choose a hosting provider for its North America website, Mazda chose Rackspace Hosting, a company that delivers 100% network uptime and provides Fanatical Support® 24-hours a day.
During initial cloud-migration discussions with Rackspace, Mazda presented its hopes for a rich-media website featuring a database, several rapid search features and a ‘Build Your Own’ application that allows users to mix and match features to create their perfect custom vehicle. Like many enterprises, the IT team at Mazda was exploring a cloud hosting strategy, but needed more information to learn how to effectively leverage the technology for their specific needs.
Unpredictable traffic can be a costly pain point for many IT executives, including Vashdev Vangani, the Department Manager of Information Technology at Mazda North American Operations, who explored the cloud initially to help mitigate the cost-heavy dedicated gear he was currently utilizing through a large outsourcing provider.
Vangani met with Rackspace to learn more about cloud technology and, through those discussions, Rackspace architects created a tailored solution for his business needs. Many of the features of the Mazda website fit well into the cloud model, though some would work more efficiently on dedicated gear, which led him to Rackspace hybrid model, a configuration that allows companies to leverage the scalability and economy of the cloud, while still employing the security of dedicated gear.
“Rackspace’s main differentiator is their hybrid model that allows us to quickly add burst capacity when our traffic spikes from major ad campaigns,” says Vangani.
Critical Sites, an added service level offered by Rackspace, played a large role in Vangani’s decision to migrate from his previous provider, by instilling confidence in Rackspace’s ability to support his mission-critical site. With around 60,000 unique visitors a day, Mazda’s website requires reliable uptime and availability around the clock.
Mazda chose to add Critical Sites on top of their hybrid configuration to take advantage of the proactive monitoring by Web Scale Engineers (WSEs) along with increased Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The website is not only able to handle the current traffic, but is also optimized to handle future spikes before they happen, rather than after the fact.
In today’s fast moving markets, nobody wants to be left behind due to technology failures. In the vehicle trade, any downtime can lead to potential brand degradation. With the Critical Sites advanced warning systems, however, the Mazda team is able to assimilate and often resolve potential technical issues before they happen and thus gain a very valuable inside look into their application’s performance.
“The proactive monitoring from the Critical Sites team is a huge value-add to my business. Before, we had to react; now, we can proactively scale for future demand,” says Vangani.
He believes that the early warning and fast response from the Rackspace support team makes the Critical Sites service worth every penny.
According to Vangani, the most valuable addition to Mazda is the added depth and technical prowess of the Web Scale Engineers (WSEs). All Rackspace Managed Hosting customers receive an account team that works hard to learn each customer’s unique business needs, and the Critical Sites team acts as an additional layer of support.
The Critical Sites team represents the pinnacle of technical knowledge and efficiency, comprised of LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP-PERL-Python) and Microsoft (Windows, IIS, MS SQL, .NET/ASP) professionals. When asked how this translates into a business gain, Vangani says, “The sophisticated warning system allows the Mazda IT team to take the necessary measures to ensure maximum uptime for the site, thus creating a better end-user experience.”
With Critical Sites, Vangani and his team have access to analytics and data metrics from the Mazda site, allowing them to better understand how their applications are running. Vangani says his experiences with the Critical Sites dashboard—which offers real-time inside information 24x7x365, such as his Java VM usage—truly represents the Fanatical Support that is Rackspace brand for customer service and support.
The five-day server turnaround during Mazda’s migration to Rackspace was just another example of Fanatical Support. Since the migration, Mazda’s site has run faster due to the higher CPU and more advanced hardware, and the support his team is receiving is unparalleled.
“Fanatical Support is getting exactly what you need, immediately,” says Vangani. “Our aches and pains are gone by reaching the right people with the first call.”
Avoiding the dreaded phone chain saves valuable time when response time is crucial. With previous hosting providers, Mazda was forced to jump barriers to spin up servers or submit a ticket, but now Vangani has access to a portal where he can submit tickets and even take real-time snapshots of his environment.
Mazda’s migration to Rackspace has proven to be a cost-saving decision that serves employees and customers. The move has equipped IT employees with the means to increase agility without difficulty, and has created a solution for end-users to experience the very latest generation of Mazda ingenuity to come off of the line.
To experience the Zoom-Zoom factor for yourself, visit the Mazda site at www.mazdausa.com.
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