Month: June 2016

Claranet maintains position in Leaders Quadrant of Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hybrid Cloud Hosting, Europe

Evaluation based on completeness of vision and ability to execute

Claranet has been positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hybrid Cloud Hosting, Europe, for the fourth year running. Claranet believes that its placement in the Quadrant, which includes managed services on public cloud for the first time, re-affirms its market-leading position in the European hosting industry.

Gartner has revised the criteria for its IaaS and hosting Magic Quadrants this year to take into account the evolving market. While there is still a focus on locally-hosted services in Europe, public cloud services are gaining in popularity throughout Europe; a change that has been reflected in the name and evaluation criteria for Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Hybrid Cloud Hosting.

Charles Nasser, CEO of Claranet, commented:

We see hybrid IT as a key differentiator for us and have, over the past two years, invested heavily in our public cloud capabilities to ensure that we can offer a complete range of hosted services. Applications and data are what matters to organisations, and at Claranet we believe that availability, security and performance are the essential elements in ensuring effective application delivery. These requirements vary from application to application, and getting the right infrastructure services in place for each application environment is key.

Public cloud services are now a key part of the solution to the optimum delivery of applications and data, but they’re not the answer for everything. A service provider who can help manage applications across multiple platforms, such as its own infrastructure, and the customer’s premises, underpinned by an integrated network, is essential. Claranet’s heritage in network provision is a key component of our cloud proposition. It enhances our value in the market and is something that sets us apart from many of our competitors. By offering network-integrated services, we can take advantage of the growing popularity of hybrid cloud and bypass the challenges associated with managing disparate IT environments for our customers.”

In its latest report, published by Tiny Haynes et al. on June 28, 2016, Gartner states:

Leaders have proved they have staying power in this market, can frequently innovate on their existing products and can be relied upon for enterprise-class needs. They have proved their technical competence and ability to deliver services to a wide range of customers. They can also address multiple cases with stand-alone or integrated solutions.”

The Gartner Magic Quadrant assessment offers snapshots of markets and their participants. It enables users to map vendor strengths against their current and future needs. Gartner evaluated Claranet’s hosting portfolio on both its completeness of vision and its ability to execute using 15 weighted criteria.

Nasser concluded:

IT departments are a key strategic asset to business, and need to focus on innovation and adding value; something that they will struggle to do without the right suppliers supporting them. Businesses who have their application and infrastructure services optimised are able to act faster and be more effective. When this happens, organisations become more agile, efficient and innovative.”

To find out more about this year’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Hybrid Cloud Hosting, Europe, 2016, and to read a full version of the report, along with a foreword by our CEO and founder, Charles Nasser, please continue below:

Read the full Gartner report

MyOptique achieves its vision for growth thanks to Claranet

Executive summary

Challenge: To support the company’s continued growth in the eCommerce industry, MyOptique needed to ensure optimal performance for its website.

Solution: Claranet built a fully virtualised, auto-scaling AWS environment to ensure smooth and consistent operations in times of peak user demand.

Result: Myoptique are now able to handle record user levels on their sites without any drop in performance.

About MyOptique

MyOptique is a pan-European eyewear business that sells glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses. The company operates an online-only model, which opens up the potential for rapid growth and wider market opportunities, giving the retailer advantages over traditional high street rivals.

The company has enjoyed over 50 per cent growth over each of the last eight years and is one of the British Government’s ‘Future Fifty’ technology leaders. The Group has six online retail brands; together they have served three million customers and have shipped over 280 million contact lenses and 7 million glasses and sunglasses.

The challenge

MyOptique aims to remove the barriers for customers buying eyewear from online vendors and therefore needs to provide a seamless user experience, especially to support the company’s continued growth. This relies on a dependable and reliable infrastructure in order to accommodate the expectation’s of consumers when they are shopping online.

Howard Bryant, CFO and CIO at MyOptique, explained:

In eCommerce, site performance is everything. Customers can be skittish when buying online and easily put off by slow or unresponsive websites, so we need to do everything to prevent that from happening.”

MyOptique’s need for a robust and dependable online service became clear after it underwent an aggressive growth programme and invested in advertising spots, causing high spikes in web traffic over short periods of time. MyOptique initially responded to this by increasing the physical web-server account by 50 per cent. However, this approach was not sustainable in the longer term and the company concluded that its reliance on physical web servers would end up hampering its growth prospects.

The solution

After discovering Claranet at an Amazon Web Summit in 2015 where Claranet was giving a presentation on Amazon Web Services (AWS), MyOptique turned to Claranet to build an environment that could support the business’s future growth, and auto-scale infrastructure to reflect peaks in demand. Claranet managed the migration seamlessly while MyOptique’s previous setup continued to function.

Bryant explains:

When we started this process were by no means expert, we had a lot of complexity to deal with, in terms of our existing infrastructure and managing the migration to our new infrastructure. There’s no time in our business to simply turn the business off so we had to ensure the migration was seamless.

It all started out with a visit to our office were we would actually go through what we intended to do and the design for how we do it. Then after that we had an employee from Claranet helping us every day for the next four months build this infrastructure completely within the AWS environment while our existing system continued to function in parallel.”

Claranet’s fully virtualised AWS environment supports the site in times of increased traffic and ensures smooth and consistent operations. The solution is able to increase the level of virtualised servers depending on user demand at any given period.

Bryant says:

Although we could have gone to AWS directly, we realised that we didn’t have the expertise needed to truly take advantage of the platform. On our own, there would have been a steep learning curve in undertaking this project; with Claranet, that curve has been much shallower.”

The Result

Claranet was able to get MyOptique’s virtualised servers up and running in four months from start to finish. Now, the websites remain stable no matter the level of web traffic.

Our marketing department is continually driving high volumes of traffic to the website, and the auto scalability provided by Claranet’s virtual servers means that our customers are no longer dropped from the site during peak times, leading to a consistently enjoyable customer journey.”

Additionally, MyOptique has seen the largest number of concurrent users on the website at any one time, with no drop in performance to the website, despite only being live on the new infrastructure for a few months.

The virtual servers had automatically scaled up to serve customers without us having to lift a finger. We’re able to offer our customers a best-of-breed customer experience whenever they visit our site, due to our work with Claranet. Now we can continue our growth plans and our stake in this burgeoning market. We’re continuing to grow year on year, which would be difficult to maintain and manage without Claranet’s AWS expertise.”

Head of Infrastructure, Andy Dawkins comments:

Working with Claranet has been a breeze. We’ve been kept up to date with everything that is going on at every step of the way. They are great people, they are down to earth, and they explain it to you on a level you can understand.”

The Future

We still speak to Claranet even though we’ve now gone live. If we have the odd issue or concern we want to talk through, they’re always at the end of an email or on the end of an instant message.

“We do have future projects that we would love to involve Claranet in. Over the last few months, our relationship with Claranet has been invaluable for our success and we are keen to continue the relationship.”

Get the case study in PDF

How to prepare yourself for a cyberattack

A cybersecurity breach costs on average $3.5 million. Typically, it goes undetected for 209 days, and it takes 32 days to respond appropriately once it has been detected [1]. To make matters worse, there is a one million person shortfall in security experts, according to CISCO [2].

So whether or not your organization is prepared for a cyberattack could be the difference between success and failure. Here’s the outline of a plan:


The most important part of a plan is the objective.

Why work with an AWS partner?

If you’ve ever attended an official Amazon Web Services event like the AWS Summit, where Amazon is presenting its latest updates and services to potential customers, you’ll have noticed a big area next to the lecture theatres: the partner zone.

Some people ask: why does AWS put such emphasis on their partners? Does AWS not have a business strategy like IBM or HP?

Claranet are the Platinum Sponsor at the AWS Summit London: 6-7 July

Claranet and Bashton (a Claranet Group Company) are the proud Platinum Sponsor of the AWS Summit London on 6-7 July.

Cloud computing is radically changing the way companies do IT and is accelerating innovation in companies of all sizes.

The summit is designed to equip new customers with knowledge about the agility and capacity for innovation that AWS can bring to their business. It consists of two days:

Enterprise Summit: 6th July, ExCeL, London

Benefits of DevOps extend beyond greater business agility, finds Claranet

Universal recognition of benefits presented by DevOps approach, though implementation challenges remain

DevOps has been hailed as a way for organisations to achieve greater business agility, but research conducted by Claranet reveals that DevOps can have wider-reaching business benefits. However, these benefits will only be realised if DevOps adoptees can overcome their infrastructural, organisational and cultural challenges.

The research, which surveyed 900 IT decision-makers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Benelux, found that while a growing minority (32 per cent, up from 26% last year) have implemented a DevOps approach, 100 per cent of those organisations have seen benefits of some sort. Looking at the benefits most likely to be achieved, six in ten (60 per cent) reported having better applications, 56 per cent have seen understanding between employees improve and 55 per cent have increased their profitability.

However, making a success of DevOps has, for the vast majority (92 per cent), not been without its challenges, with many encountering cultural, skills and technical issues. 40 per cent, for example, said that there was a lack of business understanding of how to leverage DevOps strategically, 36 per cent struggled with unstable infrastructure and a quarter (24 per cent) encountered cultural resistance internally.

Commenting on the findings, Claranet’s Product Director, Neil Thomas, said:

A growing number of businesses have turned to DevOps as a way of achieving competitive advantage and keeping pace with the quickening business tempo, but it’s clear that the benefits are far wider, driving a better quality output in addition to speed and agility. If you can get it right, DevOps can be hugely advantageous. It generally means more efficient working across the organisation, where technical teams can better understand the business needs, and improved software, which allows work to develop smoothly, with fewer hiccups and fewer bugs. With both operations and development teams working towards a shared goal you can do away with battles for budgets and create an environment in which creativity and innovation can thrive.

We are at a position in the software industry where cloud, or dynamic and changeable infrastructure, has given us the opportunity to change how we design, deliver and operate our software systems – which is where DevOps comes in. But businesses need to have the right infrastructure and management processes in place for it to work effectively.

While getting the right tools and processes in place is critical, culture can be a real stumbling block, primarily because operations and development teams traditionally approached things very differently. At a very simplistic level, developers look to change things while operations teams look to preserve them. They need to welcome the changes involved in this shift in approach, be ready to adapt to changing circumstances and be more flexible about job functions.”