A guest blog by Tom Chappelow, Managing Director of Nimbox.
Choosing the right sales model, coding languages, website font and coffee machine are all important decisions when launching a new and (hopefully) popular app. As we began to build a company around our app, and as the availability of the Nimbox service became the biggest cause of our sleepless nights, we started to think seriously about how we could get the best service availability, whilst ensuring that we could scale out with minimal disruption.
We knew that as our production environment grew, it would become harder to manage our servers, software deployments, MySQL topology and configuration updates etc. We also knew that it would be a bad idea to grow our physical infrastructure, when we should instead be focussing on platform auto scaling in a virtual environment.
We needed the Cloud. A Cloud that would always be there. And, whilst large Public Cloud providers like Amazon Web Services do serve a real purpose, we don’t think that they’re great fit when you value quality of service, over a cheap product.
Finding a virtual hosting company in the UK is harder than you might think, especially given some providers whom offer a slick front-end management service whilst placing your VMs on a Public Cloud.
After searching high and low for a company that we could trust, we went to meet with the team at virtualDCS (at this point it is probably worth mentioning that we never had to speak to a pushy sales rep, fill out a confusing quote form, or wait for America to wake up before getting a reply to our emails).
Yes, we pay more than we would at Amazon. But who cares? Amazon aren’t going to be there at 2 A.M. when you need to bug-fix a major issue.
Which brings me to my last point.
Price isn’t everything, but it’s important. Cost saving is essential in any organisation (especially so in a startup environment), but so is the ability to pick up the telephone and speak to a named engineer. Or, better still, meet with that engineer in person. And that’s what we found at virtualDCS. Sure, their platform kicks ass (and hasn’t had an outage in 5 years), but they offer us what we came to miss — the human face of the internet.