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Industry: Telecom
Location: Denmark
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Hostnordic

Highlights

  • Expanded product offerings by 20 percent without the need for additional personnel
  • Ensures high-quality support by enabling teams to continue working with familiar tools
  • Reduced the cost of deployment through tight integration with existing systems

Products

Hostnordic wanted to capture incremental business opportunities by adding Linux-based hosting products alongside its Microsoft portfolio. To maximize profitability, the company needed to deliver the Linux offering without increasing headcount in its support team. To solve the challenge, Hostnordic uses SUSE Linux Enterprise Server solutions to provision, monitor and manage Linux servers via the Microsoft tools that its support teams are familiar with—avoiding the need to increase headcount by 20 percent.

Overview

Founded in 2006 in Viby, Denmark, Hostnordic is one of Scandinavia’s leading managed services providers. Employing more than 40 people, the company delivers a comprehensive range of hosting, remote backup and outsourcing services to businesses across the region.

The Challenge

To continue its rapid growth, Hostnordic wanted to complement the success of its Microsoft-based hosting products by adding virtual Linux servers.

Christian Osbahr, CTO at Hostnordic, said: “In recent years, we have seen increasing demand for end-to-end cloud solutions in our target markets. Many potential clients have a mixture of both Microsoft- and Linux-based servers in their infrastructures, and to help win new business we decided to extend our offering with Linux virtual servers.”

As the company moved forward with its growth strategy, ensuring the profitability of the new Linux offering was essential.

“Our infrastructure is based on software from the Microsoft System Center suite, and we have invested heavily in training our support team on this platform,” said Christian Osbahr. “We realized that if we had to manage a new Linux environment with separate systems and processes, we would have to increase our support headcount by up to 20 percent. This increase would raise our operational expenditure significantly, and harm the profitability of the new products. As a result, we were keen to find a Linux solution that would integrate tightly with our Microsoft environment.”

“Thanks to our SUSE solutions, we have brought our new hosting offering to market rapidly and cost-effectively.”

SUSE Solution

After assessing Linux distributions from a number of different vendors, Hostnordic selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SUSE Manager and the SUSE Manager Management Pack for Microsoft System Center.

“One of the key reasons for selecting SUSE was its close relationship with Microsoft,” said Christian Osbahr. “We wanted the assurance of a partner that would take ownership of support requests and ensure that any technical issues were resolved in a timely manner. We felt that SUSE met our requirements perfectly.

“Another important criterion for the new solution was interoperability with our existing Microsoft environment. During a proof-of-concept exercise for the SUSE solutions, we saw with our own eyes that it was possible to integrate server monitoring data from SUSE Manager into our Microsoft Operations Manager tool by using the SUSE Manager Management Pack for Microsoft System Center.

“Moreover, we realized that the tight integration between the Microsoft and SUSE solutions would enable us to protect the new Linux servers without major modifications to our disaster recovery solution—helping us to avoid additional capital expenditure.”

During the implementation process, Hostnordic worked together with an expert team from SUSE business partners B1 Systems GmbH and Liga ApS.

“Throughout the deployment, the guidance we received from the SUSE, B1 Systems and Liga teams was invaluable,” said Christian Osbahr. “The B1 Systems team was on site for the week of the initial deployment, and together we configured the integrations between the SUSE Manager and Microsoft Operations Manager monitoring tools. During this process, the B1 Systems team ran training workshops with our support team, and communicated the skills required to manage the new Linux environment effectively.”

Today, Hostnordic manages its Microsoft and SUSE systems side by side via familiar processes and systems—avoiding cost and complexity, and enabling the company to offer total cloud hosting solutions to its clients.

The Results

By extending its offering using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Hostnordic is increasing its competitiveness and driving its growth.

“In the past, we were forced to turn down business from customers with Linux servers looking for an end-to-end managed services product,” said Christian Osbahr. “Thanks to our SUSE solutions, we have brought our new hosting offering to market rapidly and cost-effectively, which enables us to broaden our reach and capitalize on valuable opportunities.”

Hostnordic’s SUSE solutions are closely integrated with its automated workflows for provisioning, management, maintenance, back up and disaster recovery, delivering the new capabilities at minimal incremental cost.

“Our support teams can manage the SUSE environment using additional fields in Microsoft Operations Manager, avoiding the need to bring in a separate support team for Linux,” said Christian Osbahr. “As a result, we can keep our operational costs lean while delivering the high-quality service that our clients have come to expect.”