Costain solution demonstrates why hybrid cloud has a central place in IT strategy
The engineering solutions giant Costain turned to Navisite when their application needed a hosting environment that offered the flexibility of the cloud, but could also meet complex regulatory requirements and demanding performance targets.
Cloud services are hard at work in businesses of all shapes and sizes, supporting everything from enterprise applications, to the latest Internet of Things (IoT) innovations. But while we talk about everything going “into the cloud” what becomes of more traditional hosting solutions?
The short answer is that they still have a vital role to play. Whilst the cloud continues to be the platform of choice for an increasingly large number of organisations, the public cloud isn’t necessarily right for every client or use case. For reasons ranging from regulations and software licensing to specific performance needs, public cloud may not yet be suitable for a specific application, so another solution needs to be found. This can be achieved either through deploying a different form of cloud or physical hosting or a hybrid blend of both.
An example of this hybrid approach is one of Navisite’s recent deployments with Costain. The engineering solutions provider selected Navisite’s hybrid cloud hosting services to support the roll out of its complex Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads (ESDAL) application for Highways England.
Highways England had turned to Costain to deliver an innovative solution that would help it comply with complex UK legislation requiring highways authorities, structure owners and the police to be notified of vehicles and their loads exceeding standard dimensions. Costain developed the ESDAL application to automate this process and, in turn, looked to Navisite to provide a secure and scalable hosting solution.
Costain chose Navisite’s hybrid cloud solution because it delivered significant cost and flexibility benefits, while ensuring that the data remained secure. The platform could also offer a robust SLA; with data secured within the UK. The project had to meet a tight timescale, too. Once commissioned, the procurement, build, test and delivery to Costain staff took place within only eight weeks.
So why choose hybrid?
For Costain, there were two key reasons for adopting a hybrid cloud rather than a full scale cloud solution – performance and licencing.
Costain’s web serving and applications are hosted on a flexible, managed cloud environment that can scale on-demand, while high-performance databases are run on dedicated, servers and storage. In the words of my colleague Navisite CTO David Grimes in ComputerWeekly: “Not all databases are cloud-friendly in licensing terms, and need to be in single tenant environments. In terms of performance also, not all cloud platforms are created equally; you can often do more on bare metal.”
The mix of physical and cloud services means that Costain is able to benefit from the best of both worlds; the flexibility of cloud and the performance of physical infrastructure. So as cloud services continue to evolve, there remains a clear role for physical hosting in the IT industry. If you’re thinking of adopting a hybrid cloud approach and want to find out more about the Costain implementation, download the full case study.