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Big Data Solutions upon the GoGrid Cloud Platform

Case Study - Wild Bamboo Rocket

Wild Bamboo Rocket Wins New Clients with Faster Time-to-Market and a Broader Solution

Wild Bamboo Rocket is a small consulting company that works with Internet startups to rapidly deliver web apps and websites. The company was founded in 2008 by two long-term IT startup professionals: Hycel Taylor, CEO and Chief Architect, and Gregg Bolinger, CTO. The company uses an extended network of IT consultants across the US and Europe.

Taylor describes their business model as serving "medium to large-sized Internet startups with full turnkey solutions. We have expertise in the management of legacy systems and can handle everything from design through post deployment support. This includes system administration and outsourced helpdesks." Wild Bamboo Rocket develops and manage applications for PCs, Linux, iPhones, Android, and other platforms.

Challenge

The Wild Bamboo Rocket team identified early on that cloud computing was fundamentally changing the business and technology model for startups. Taylor described the original way of launching a startup as "hiring good in-house system administrators, buying and setting up the hardware, and then starting the development work. That model worked very well for larger startups that had $2 million to $10 million in funding and a lot of in-house expertise."

Taylor says that the challenge today is to deliver a comparable level of service but at a lower cost and with faster results. Wild Bamboo Rocket has "to quickly address clients' needs in order to win new business and then quickly assemble the right team and deliver results. Cloud computing makes this possible."

Solution

GoGrid has been Taylor's Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) partner since their very first customer. He described Wild Bamboo Rocket's experience saying, "two years ago we were dealing with our first startup which was a very small organization with very little budget. We knew that a cloud solution would best fit their needs. We looked at the largest IaaS providers out there and decided they were not the best organizations to partner with—no one to speak to, lack of infrastructure configuration flexibility, and downtime problems."

A little research brought Taylor to GoGrid. "I immediately liked GoGrid. The information I needed to understand the solution was right in front of me. I spoke with GoGrid to understand the pricing model and appreciated the time they took to work with me." He subsequently signed up to use GoGrid as the IaaS provider for all projects and has been happy with helpdesk response times and technical support.

They have set up three server topologies in the last two years: two for startups and one for a client with a legacy system. The selection of the best topology for a given customer is based on the level of service required, coupled with available budget. Taylor has found GoGrid's "web interface to be very easy for quickly deploying virtual and dedicated servers. Virtual servers are usually up in 5 minutes and dedicated servers in less than 24 hours."

Wild Bamboo Rocket is currently establishing a geographic failover capability within GoGrid's East Coast data center to complement the primary infrastructure on the West Coast. With GoGrid's East Coast data center, Wild Bamboo Rocket seized on the opportunity to provide additional service to clients who raised the question of disaster recovery.

Wild Bamboo Rocket's Architecture

Each of Wild Bamboo Rocket’s solutions includes staging and production environments. The production environment has been architected with failover protection between multiple web and database servers. Extensive, automated testing is completed before moving any code into production. The master servers are backed up to slaves every 15 minutes.

Additionally, Taylor saw huge value in “GoGrid allowing us to take snapshots of the servers and using them to replicate onto additional servers. The GoGrid environment gives us the ability to do this which is an enormous cost savings for us and our clients.”

Results

Partnering with GoGrid enables Wild Bamboo Rocket to offer full service solutions to their clients that can be deployed very quickly. Taylor views this as a competitive differentiator.

Reduced costs of ownership
Faster time to market: "GoGrid has been huge for us. We established a foothold into managing the full startup process for our clients without the time and cost associated with managing the hardware. The speed at which we can get a startup going is a large advantage. As an example, we setup our first client with six servers in less than 24 hours. A few years ago that would have been impossible."

Winning additional business
Using GoGrid directly contributes to Wild Bamboo Rocket winning new clients. The reasons for this are three-fold:

  1. Cost advantage
  2. Breadth of offering
  3. Time to market

Taylor says, "I have a better chance of winning a contract because of GoGrid. They give me a cost advantage and the ability to have servers up and running in 24 to 48 hours. We can also handle everything from developing apps to providing the backend systems—something our competitors can't do. There were potential clients I would not have considered working with because we couldn't support the size of their infrastructure needs, but GoGrid has allowed us to go after and win these contracts."

Brand protection
Wild Bamboo Rocket's success is dependent on building a strong brand and word-of-mouth referrals. This requires that clients' solutions are well designed, deployed, and managed. GoGrid provides the flexibility to design and deploy the right solution, along with the support to manage it. According to Taylor, "Our value proposition is high quality and high availability. My reputation is on the line. Our ability to be wrong is nil. You have to be very sure about the organizations you work with, and I am very happy with GoGrid as our infrastructure partner."

Peace of mind
Outsourcing infrastructure management to GoGrid is one less thing the small team at Wild Bamboo Rocket has to worry about. This has improved Taylor's quality of life. "I consider GoGrid part of my team. When I have to contact their cloud sysadmins, they get back to me right away. This has made my job less stressful."

“I have a better chance of winning a contract because of GoGrid. They give me a cost advantage and the ability to have servers up and running quickly.”

– Hycel Taylor, CEO

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Results

Using GoGrid, Wild Bamboo Rocket has been able to:

  • Reduce cost of ownership with faster time to market
  • Win new customers with the cost advantages of the cloud
  • Build its brand with high-quality, high-availability service
  • Eliminate infrastructure management

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