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Running between 1 and 2 million auctions per day is no easy task for Reply!, a California-based locallytargeted marketing solutions company that runs three different auction houses to decipher online traffic. In fact, in 2008, it was a task that required thousands of servers — and millions of dollars spent on technology and hardware refreshes.
As a startup, Reply! Inc. quickly acquired several companies with different systems. Reza Hajebi, Reply! Chief Technology Officer, knew his team needed to optimize the infrastructure if they wanted to grow and achieve his big plans for the future.
“With Reply!, I want to run a multi-hundred million dollar business seamlessly on one or two racks of servers,” says Hajebi. “That’s a pretty aggressive goal, but that’s why we chose Sungard AS to support us.”
While Hajebi suspects Sungard Availability Services’ company size might be a turnoff to some, he disagrees. “What was so surprising to me was how fast and agile Sungard AS really is,” he notes. The transition processes they expected to take many months “took the Sungard AS team only days” to complete because they worked closely with Reply! through the migration to Cloud, ensuring applications were always available from planning to execution.
To get its three auction houses up and running, Reply! needed a technology solution that could be easily scaled to accommodate its development, help improve the IT infrastructure management and reduce operational costs.
“Sungard AS’ private Cloud services and the tailored model they built let us consolidate a significant volume of data, enabling us to do a lot more with a lot less,” says Hajebi, whose business now relies on just nine servers.
Hajebi explains he could have easily chosen a public Cloud like Amazon to manage his business, but “the one-size-fits-all Cloud model that other companies promote doesn’t exist,” he says. “Sungard AS knows a successful Cloud system depends on the team and business objective, and it has dynamically adjusted itself to provide the exact environments we need.”
Because aggregating thousands of servers to only a handful on one or two racks was a new concept in the industry, Hajebi expected hiccups on the operational side. But Sungard AS went out of its way to bring the right technologists in to stabilize the environment.
“We’ve taken advantage of the robust environment Sungard AS provides to a point where capacity planning is no longer a hindrance for business development,” says Hajebi. Sungard AS’ ability to seamlessly migrate Reply! to the Cloud continues to free up its assets and resources, enabling Hajebi and his team to focus on their business.
What’s more, many of the requirements for Reply!’s virtualization were unique, and Sungard AS was able to come up with what Hajebi calls “extremely creative ways” to meet the demands— all without breaking the bank.
“The aggressive nature of Sungard AS’ pricing structure was definitely an attraction,” says Hajebi. “But what I saw right away was that the customer comes first, and if a Sungard AS representative doesn’t know something, he will go and figure it out.”
Partnering with Sungard AS resulted in significant benefits for Reply!.
“We feel like we have a real partner in this battle,” says Hajebi. “And our partner is willing to go the extra mile to get us to where we want to be.”
“Sungard AS’ private Cloud services and the tailored model they built let us consolidate a significant volume of data, enabling us to do a lot more with a lot less.” REZA HAJEBI CTO, Reply!