The Global Carbon Capture Storage Institute (Global CCSI) is a not-for-profit providing an online knowledge base for clean energy information catering to industry experts, scientists, businesses, scholars and the wider general public.
Global CCS has eight sites running on a Drupal (open source CMS) and Solr (search) environment and is used as an information sharing platform by over 460 different organisations.
The high demand created an enormous load on the institute’s hosting provider at the time so the general manager of information management, Sean McClowry, and his team set out to find a cloud-based solution that could meet their rapidly growing hosting needs.
“We required a cloud product that would not only meet our hosting needs now, but it needs to be able to burst, scale and manage data at the rate in which we will expand into a global resource far into the future. When we decided on the final strategy and architecture we wanted to make sure we had the right infrastructure and evaluated multiple options. After months of analysis and benchmarking, we found Rackspace's Performance Cloud was the stand-out option as it was faster, cheaper and easier than anything we’ve worked with before,” said McClowry.
The institute also recently moved its corporate environment to a hybrid cloud model by migrating to Office 365 while choosing to host Microsoft’s corporate communications tool, Lync, on-premise.
McClowry said that the significant boost in performance, cost-effectiveness and reduced complexity of the cloud environment means the institute now has the freedom to build new platforms for other organisations in the future.
So what advice would McClowry give to others who might be considering cloud adoption?
“Do your business case to understand your real costs and benefits. Get over some of the myths people have that deter you from cloud and do be aware things like hybrid cloud environments and integration can be complex,” he said.
“Also be mindful that in the case of SaaS and PaaS you can lose some functionality / flexibility and make sure that is a trade-off your business can handle,” he added.
“Test your provider on some edge cases such as data loss and file recovery, just try the approach with a test project and see how you go.”