Fanatical Support

We’ve just finished three days of some pretty intensive planning workshops in Wellington with the visiting senior account team from Rackspace, our US based production hosting provider.

We’ve covered the whole hosting infrastructure stack, from the network perimeter down to the core application database server layer, looking at all the different architecture and technology options available as we continue to scale out Xero’s underlying hosting infrastructure. This is so we can accommodate continued growth while optimising key elements such as application performance, service availability and customer data protection.

There are some exciting and powerful new technologies available now or coming on stream this year, such as ‘Denali’ (Microsoft SQL Server 2012) that we want to position ourselves to be able to adopt as soon as possible. So it’s essential we have a robust plan on how each incremental step we take in upgrading the platform also presents the opportunity for new technologies to be implemented into the platform.

We’ve still got some fine tuning of the plan to do, but the time with the Rackspace team over the last three days has allowed us to really accelerate the process and reach a view on what are core elements, design and timings for the next generation of our global hosting infrastructure. We’ll share more details once we start the implementation of this plan.

We wrapped up the Rackspace visit today with a open session over at lunchtime hosted at the Spectrum Theatre, which was well attended by a diverse group including some of our own customers, Xero API software partners and other various IT service providers.

Original Xero infrastructure guru Keith Archibald relayed how we ran a process to select a hosting provider and that even as a start up Rackspace took Xero seriously from day one and had researched our business. Four years on the ‘Rackers’ are a core part our team and we emphasized the ‘fanatical support’ we receive.

The discussion covered hosting in the USA, and wonderfully geeky subjects such as Content Distribution Networks, how small is small, division of responsibilities, DDOS attacks, Virtualization, Hypervisors and Private/Public Cloud.

We continue to be very satisfied, if not down right delighted with our ongoing relationship with Rackspace and of course the fanatical support we receive.

Thank you Rackers.

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