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Case Study

SchoolBrains ISV Reduces CapEx and Increases Productivity, Scalability


Situation

It’s the classic textbook case for the benefits of cloud computing. SchoolBrains was looking to reduce IT expenses and offer a high-performance user experience. Over the years, this Independent Software Vendor’s innovative Software-as-a-Service was enhanced allowing school districts to subscribe to the tools they require on a per-user subscription basis. Starting off in server co-location facilities using owned-and-operated equipment, as well as traditional web hosting providers like Rackspace and others, they found themselves being forced to hire a team of full-time IT infrastructure engineers. On top of that, their server and network performance was sub-par due to the constraints architected into their providers’ networks.

Additionally, SchoolBrains, built on a .Net platform with MS SQL, requires both server and network flexibility and scalability. As new customers are added, each district receives their individual database with a variety of custom module. Large urban districts require a more robust instance, while smaller urban districts will find exceptional performance with a smaller number of resources.


Solution

After speaking with and evaluating a number of Cloud Computing providers, SchoolBrains selected ProfitBricks.

“They have been great and helped us meet some specific goals all focused on increasing our ability to provide our customers with the best possible
experience…

  1. Reduce capital spending on technology infrastructure
  2. Reallocate operations and engineering headcount while increasing productivity
  3. Increase technological scalability, flexibility, agility, performance and minimize maintenance/upkeep
  4. The solution must be easy to implement

…ProfitBricks really epitomizes the premise of the Cloud and has taken it to the next generation,” says Rob Pemberton, SchoolBrains President and Founder.

Customers are more knowledgeable and demanding than ever before. The entire organization must be "customer-centered," shifting from the more traditional "process-centered" focus, ensuring that the organization can meet new challenges. This shift necessitates a complete rethink of an organization, concentrating on the critical success factors of people, process, technology, and environment, to bring about extraordinary customer service.

 

  • Reallocate operations and engineering headcount while increasing productivity

As a result of the move from traditional owned and operated hardware in a co-location facility to ProfitBricks means that SchoolBrains could scale-back on costly operations and infrastructure engineers. No longer would they be responsible for hardware replacement, networking issues, and other computing issues. Those same resources were freed-up to concentrate on product-focused innovation.

“Cloud Computing Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and specifically ProfitBricks, allows me to control the very high personnel costs that keep me awake at night. They are a true business partner,” adds Rob Pemberton. The Cloud now gives me the freedom to hire the very best people, regardless of their location.”

  • Reduce capital spending on technology infrastructure

Cloud Computing allows SchoolBrains to eliminate their capital spend on technology infrastructure; maintaining easy access to their data on a cost saving, pay as you go basis. Data center equipment (servers, routers, switches, firewalls, etc.) moves from CAPEX to OPEX In addition, since Cloud Computing services are available to use almost immediately, the revenue lost based on the time
associated with complex gear set-up is dramatically reduced.

  • Increase technological scalability, flexibility, agility, performance and minimize maintenance/upkeep

Imagine being able to flexibly scale your technology when needed, enabling your business to move faster, produce more, pivot easily and meet increased demand proactively. Cloud Computing makes this possible for businesses of all sizes, from startup to enterprise.

ProfitBricks’ vertical scaling capacities allow SchoolBrains to proactively respond to upticks in user load to secure the additional hardware resources.
  • The solution must be easy to implement

You’ll be up and running within a few minutes, all for a fraction of the cost of a traditional on-premise solution and without the need to purchase hardware!

In contrast to other Cloud Computing providers who require you to manage all resource data in cumbersome and confusing tables, ProfitBricks offers a 'virtual whiteboard' – the Data Center Designer (DCD) which does so much more than a whiteboard. Design your ProfitBricks Virtual Data Center with servers, storage, load balancers, firewalls and associated networking using the DCD. Once complete, simply activate the data center design with a mouse-click.

“The DCD makes it so easy. Not only do we have a graphical overview of our Cloud infrastructure, it saves my team an incredible amount of time and helps us avoid costly architecture/configuration errors,” says Rob Pemberton.


Benefits

According to Pemberton, “ProfitBricks has been an excellent partner who has met and exceeded our requirements for a Cloud Computing provider.”

  1. “The Data Center Designer is incredibly easy to use in designing and managing our Cloud environment. The user interface is incredibly intuitive, offers the utmost flexibility, and allows us to see what we have at all times.
     
  2. “The reallocation of the required engineering team that was necessary for our owned & operated hardware in a co-location facility to the ProfitBricks Cloud has resulted in a measurable uptick in customer satisfaction.
     
  3. “ProfitBricks IaaS Cloud Computing helps us control our human capital expenses, allowing us to employ the best people, regardless of location, and increasing team productivity.”

ProfitBricks provides the technology resources; SchoolBrains gets the benefits – that’s win – win!

The Secret World of Cloud Computing IaaS Pricing Learn how to compare apples and oranges

You'll learn:

  • The Current State of Cloud Computing IaaS Pricing and Packaging
  • Overview of Configurations
  • Understanding Price-Performance In the Cloud, including ramifications to CPU, RAM, Storage, and Bandwidth.
  • Evaluate IaaS providers - See how you can save 43% to 80%, while getting twice the performance
ProfitBricks API
Automate the management of your ProfitBricks cloud computing environment data center & virtual resources

The ProfitBricks API permits customers to develop applications for automating management of their virtual resources.

The API lets you to leverage the rich features and options offered by the ProfitBricks Data Center Designer (DCD) visual tool, while also taking advantage of automation attributes inherent in cloud computing environments.

Because the DCD was developed against the API, the model and methods of the API remain smooth and intuitive. Any DevOps practitioner would appreciate the quality and depth of our API.

 

Access the ProfitBricks API

Web Service Endpoint: https://api.profitbricks.com/1.2

WSDL Location: https://api.profitbricks.com/1.2/wsdl
 

What new in version 1.2?

  • Region, Availability zone supported.
  • DCD and API Synchronization: users can open the data center that they created through the API, and work on the DCD.
  • Users can send non stop requests to the API (they do not have to wait for any previous provisioning requests to complete).

Note

  • ProfitBricks continues to provide support for the old endpoint https://api.profitbricks.com/1.1
  • The old service endpoint, which has no region support, will have the region set to the default region of the user.

Authentication

ProfitBricks API is a SOAP web service provided via a TLS connection, combined with HTTP Basic authentication. The SOAP client needs to be configured with the user's ProfitBricks website credentials (user name, password).
All authentication requests and data center transactions continue to be performed using the safe hypertext transmission protocol HTTPS to ensure data security.

API Documentation

The ProfitBricks API documentation provides developers a detailed complete overview, including methods, functions, and reference materials, of the ProfitBricks API.

The API documentation is available here:

ProfitBricks API Documentation (Online)
ProfitBricks API Documentation (PDF Download)
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