IT service provider Ruhoff migrates to the Green cloud
If you visited IT service provider Ruhoff-Informatik in Härkingen in the canton of Solothurn, Switzerland today, you would only find a few team members in the office. Most of the employees are on the road visiting the company’s more than 70 customers. And that is a good thing, as owner Jean-Pierre Ruhoff explains, “For us, it is important to be at the customer’s premises. Our core competence is providing consultancy services for hardware and software.”
But that wasn’t always the case. After Ruhoff-Informatik got off to a good start with its first customers, its IT infrastructure also grew rapidly – and so did the maintenance effort. Jean-Pierre Ruhoff didn’t want to make any compromises when it came to customer security and availability. So there was always a lot to do. Engineers regularly drove to one of the two data centers where the leased racks were located. The team was responsible for all levels of the IT solution, from the physical infrastructure to the application. It was a balancing act that was difficult to manage.
Not only did it take up a lot of time, but the service provider could not respond to customer inquiries as flexibly as it needed to. Thanks to the ongoing trend towards more and more IT outsourcing, new inquiries came in, but it took four to five weeks before he could deploy the necessary hardware. That was too long for some customers. Stockpiling servers was out of the question since this approach would have required too much capital.
The right time for a new business model
In March 2015, Jean-Pierre Ruhoff made the decision to gradually replace the existing IT equipment with a virtual infrastructure. Outsourcing the infrastructure as a clearly defined, high-quality service and offering SME customers a complete managed service consisting of the infrastructure bundled together with Ruhoff services was the most promising business model.
The key factor when looking for a new partner was that this new partner had to operate its own state-of-the-art data center and could therefore ensure the quality of the infrastructure. Only providers who could host Ruhoff’s existing IT equipment in a colocation zone and also offer a cloud-based infrastructure were considered. It should also be possible to have both in the same data center to keep network latency times low. Only two companies made the short list, and ultimately Green was chosen. “The quality of the Green infrastructure and support was excellent, and the new solution could be tailored exactly to my requirements,” explained Jean-Pierre Ruhoff.
The new IT infrastructure
In February 2017, Ruhoff moved its IT equipment to the Green Datacenter in Lupfig. The existing servers and firewalls were set up in the colocation zone of the data center that opened in 2014. For new customer projects, Ruhoff now relies on the virtual data center (VDC) IaaS solution from Green. Thanks to the full client capability of the virtual data center platform, smaller customers can be organized separately from each other on a single installation. For larger customers, a virtual data center is set up for each customer. Since Ruhoff’s existing hardware is located in the same data center, the physical hardware and the cloud are optimally networked. This gives Ruhoff the flexibility it needs to respond to different customer requirements.
For Jean-Pierre Ruhoff, the move has paid off. He now has more time for customer support and can focus better on his core competence as a managed services provider. For new customer projects, he has the IT resources he needs within 30 minutes – at the press of a button and without having to use his own personnel and capital.
Jean-Pierre Ruhoff, Owner of Ruhoff-Informatik
“A virtual data center offers the highest level of flexibility and transparent costs. There is no other solution that allows me to unlock new resources within minutes and lets me know exactly what it costs.”
“With this solution, we can be sure that the data is stored in Switzerland, in a data center that we know.”
Ruhoff-Informatik is an IT service provider that specializes
in managed services and serves more than 70 SMEs in the Swiss Plateau (Mittelland).
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