"We have customers for whom our public SaaS service would have been inappropriate and who lack the technical infrastructure required for the on-premises enterprise appliance offering. The Linode-based IaaS solution provides a cost-effective alternative that has allowed these customers to make use of the SME solution," Engineering Manager James Norman.
Customers who are interested in SME have two options to start using it.
Smaller companies (5-10 employees) may choose to use SME’s standard online platform (SaaS); however, customers who have a larger userbase, want an increased feature set and unrestricted bandwidth, or have restrictions around which regions their data can be stored in use SME’s Enterprise File Fabric Appliance (distributed as a VMWare image, as well as other formats).
SME initially faced two significant hurdles with regards to its hosted deployment of the Enterprise File Fabric.
First, its SaaS platform demands constant uptime and high throughput, so SME sought the capability to balance traffic loads for its clients.
Second, for some of its enterprise customers, SME needed to supply on-demand dedicated IaaS instances that could assume the advantages of its Enterprise File Fabric Appliance without requiring the client’s investing heavily in new technology or advanced system administration training, but which would remain cost effective.
More recently, SME has sought to automate its client on-boarding for an IaaS instance.
Linode’s nine global datacenters let SME load balance its clients across global regions. This geographic disparity reduces the risk of their SaaS offering going offline for any length of time.
For customers who require a hosted cloud instance, SME also chooses to recommend Linode hosting as an option to its Enterprise File Fabric customers. This “managed private appliance” appeals to customers that seek the bene ts of SME’s Enterprise File Fabric Appliance, but don’t have the technology, or administrative know-how to be able to confidently master an Infrastructure-as- a-Service (IaaS) platform.
More recently, SME has begun the process of automating customer on-boarding to acquire a Linode IaaS instance. Soon, SME will be launching a one-click deployment feature rooted in Linode automation through its API.
By being able to load balance across regional data centers, SME can meet and exceed its uptime SLAs for its production SaaS platform clients.
The managed private appliance offers customers a truly unrestricted feature set while not requiring the client to manage a production system. With Linode’s infrastructure, SME has been able to reach valuable new customers and markets, where previously the technology would have been too high a barrier to entry.
SME’s automated on-boarding lets customers sign up with and automatically provision a Linode (through Linode’s API) in a region of their choice. SME, itself, expects to realize significant cost savings from previous client-staff on-boarding costs. Trends indicate increasing numbers of customers are adopting this simplified subscription means.
Because of the Linode-based IaaS product, SME has witnessed greater numbers of smaller enterprise customers subscribing and a substantial upward trend in overall adoption of its Enterprise File Fabric Solution.