Radiant Extends Customers’ Data Centers with Secure, Flexible IT Services

As Canada’s largest independent business-to-business broadband service provider, Radiant wanted to keep innovating to remain ahead of the curve. The company also believes customers come first; its goal is to be a strategic partner solving their business challenges.

And many Radiant customers had hit a wall. That wall was the edge of their data center. Those customers were looking for ways to move some (or all) of their IT to an IT as a service or cloud computing environment to either lower costs or extend their capabilities.

Radiant listened to its customers’ needs and built a shared IT infrastructure to offer hosted applications and services for mission-critical enterprise environments. Radiant’s cloud-based services extended into the enterprise: computing power, application hosting, disaster recovery, even complete virtual data centers. Of course, because its customers wanted to run their ERP and retail point of sale systems on the Radiant infrastructure, those services needed to be secure, reliable, and cost-effective alternatives to customers building and managing their own infrastructure. At the same time, Radiant wanted to make sure that it based its new cloud services on Flexible IT.

Using technologies and solutions from NetApp, Cisco, and VMware, Radiant built its new environment, which is flexible and secure enough to be considered an extension of its customers’ IT environments. In building a customer-centric IT infrastructure, Radiant can help its customers accelerate IT’s response to the business, increase customer satisfaction, and save its customers money, too.

Flexibility is critical to meeting Radiant’s customers’ needs and price and delivery time targets. The shared IT infrastructure Radiant built enables the company to deliver either a fully virtualized environment, traditional dedicated hosted servers, or even a hybrid virtual plus dedicated mixture, depending on each individual customer’s specific needs. And because it is all delivered from a single IT infrastructure, Radiant’s costs and time to deliver are minimized.

“The Flexible IT infrastructure enables us to offer our customers the specific service they need at a price they can’t necessarily match. We offer a lower total cost of ownership than they’d be able to do themselves. At the same time, we’re able to address their concerns about transparency and loss of control. They don’t need to tradeoff. It’s a huge part of our value proposition,” says Jason Leeson, director of Advanced Hosting for Radiant.

“Enterprise Cloud”: Flexibility Meets Security, Privacy and Visibility
Radiant maintains flexibility and a powerful competitive edge by offering all-virtual, all-dedicated, or mix-and-match alternatives. Radiant’s infrastructure is secure and scales easily and quickly with changes in demand. It is easy to learn and manage.

“We sell our customers flexibility. They can buy just what they need now, and scale to meet demand. That means Radiant’s infrastructure has to scale, too. With an environment that leverages NetApp®, Cisco®, and VMware® technologies, we have that capability. Secure multi-tenancy was another huge selling feature. A public cloud is simply not a good fit for many of our customers. They are reluctant to give up transparency, control, security, and privacy. With secure multi-tenancy, they simply don’t have to compromise,” says Leeson.

Ultimately, the company has bigger plans.

“We want to put the tools in the customers’ hands, so that they can provision their own services,” Leeson says. “We plan to offer a self-service portal where our customers can add servers, applications, and other services in as little as 15 minutes.”

Today Radiant not only offers secure, affordable, always-available services to its customers; it also can easily tailor its offerings to the customer’s individual needs. The company refers to its offering as an “enterprise cloud.” The cloud service can provide the flexibility of a public cloud, with the security, privacy, visibility, and control of a private cloud.

“The operational complexity of running this kind of business can be significant,” continues Leeson. “Anything we can do to simplify the platform streamlines management overhead, reduces our costs, and improves our competitiveness in the marketplace.”

Radiant anticipates it will realize a complete return on its investment in just 10 months, based on its business plan and improvements in operational efficiencies realized with the deployment of this system.

The NetApp solution enables Radiant to provision services much more quickly than before. Ultimately, that allows the company to scale its business, operational model, and staff without hiring new people. The company can standardize, scale, and automate its business in the long run, which further drives down its costs.

“Everything we do is for our customers. We want to keep them happy,” says Leeson. “We look for ways to increase customer satisfaction. The more efficiency we can get—automate provisioning and management and monitoring—will help us, because as we keep our costs down, we can pass the savings on to our customers in the form of better pricing.”

Learn more about Radiant’s shared IT infrastructure.

If you’re ready to transform your IT organization into a shared IT infrastructure for maximum flexibility and efficiency, contact your local NetApp representative or one of our many qualified partners.