Based in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, VeraCore Software Solutions Inc. is an order fulfillment software provider that offers a comprehensive software platform for order management and warehouse management. The software is used by ecommerce fulfillment service providers as well as print and marketing service companies. VeraCore’s customers store large amounts of their clients’ products in their warehouses. They use the VeraCore software solution to manage every aspect of the fulfillment process including inventory tracking, order processing and account management.
A New SaaS Model Introduces Challenges and Opportunities
The order fulfillment business doesn’t tolerate downtime. VeraCore’s customers need immediate, unfaltering access to their inventory and management functions. As a result, scalability, redundancy and high availability are critical to customer satisfaction and success.
Anticipating continued growth and an increasing trend toward a software as a service (SaaS) delivery model, VeraCore recognized the need for a more powerful and scalable infrastructure that would continue to support its business and could also provide a robust disaster recovery (DR) solution for the hundreds of companies the firm is now servicing.
VeraCore’s existing infrastructure, which it owned and operated out of a local colocation facility, was managed by its in-house IT team. This team was increasingly occupied with acquiring and maintaining hardware and supporting service plans, and was challenged to stay on top of the many other IT initiatives for which they were also responsible.
Additionally, VeraCore found themselves quickly expanding in the SaaS space. Customers who had historically run the fulfillment software on their own hardware were converting to the SaaS delivery model, and 95% of new customers were implementing the SaaS model from the start. While VeraCore did their best to accommodate this growing demand, supporting some of their larger customers was beginning to put a strain on their technical resources. The time had come to find a more scalable, secure and redundant environment to support their evolving needs.
The Road to the Solution
VeraCore began an extensive RFP process to evaluate both large and small colocation and cloud service providers (CSPs). When Kelser, a top IT consulting firm and trusted VeraCore advisor, introduced them to Peak 10, they found the solution they were looking for.
The Peak 10 Public Cloud offers VeraCore a scalability it could not achieve on its own. The high-performance, exceedingly stable platform delivers a highly-secure environment with 24/7 expert support. VeraCore also found the redundancy it needed in the Peak 10 Recovery Cloud.
“Part of the reason we landed with Peak 10 is because they offer a more personal, hands-on approach to customer service,” explains Denise Lunden, President of VeraCore. “With larger providers like Amazon and Microsoft Azure, you don’t get a person to talk to unless you’re a large corporation. The ability for our technical staff to talk directly with the Peak 10 team as needed was a great benefit for us.”
A Smooth Migration
VeraCore, Peak 10 and Kelser worked together to devise a migration strategy to move VeraCore’s servers and thousands of customer databases to the Peak 10 cloud. In May 2015, the first of a five-phase process was rolled out with a pilot instance to ensure the safety of VeraCore’s assets. Over the next several months, additional installations were transferred with testing integrated throughout the process to ensure the continued security and availability of the systems.
“Overall, the migration went very smoothly. The team at Peak 10 was great in terms of getting everything up and running on our aggressive schedule,” explains Matt Suski, data center product manager, who oversaw the migration process. “Everyone was very responsive when we had any questions or issues.”
By September 2015, the migration was complete and all of VeraCore’s production infrastructure and data was housed in 26 virtual machines (VMs) in the Peak 10 cloud. It was now time to turn the team’s attention to a tailored DR solution.
The Peak 10 Recovery Cloud was used to back up VeraCore’s entire infrastructure. While VeraCore previously had back-up plans in place, the security and redundancy provisions that the Recovery Cloud delivered were a huge leap forward. Built on leading-edge technology, this Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution provides continuous data replication of VeraCore’s most critical applications so systems can be restored to just moments before an outage occurred — minimizing interruptions and optimizing accessibility.
“The ability to access the system at any time is critical,” explains Sean O’Connor, Vice President of Client Services. “Our customers or their clients may need to log in and manage the account or look at the inventory. There’s an online aspect to this business that is really important to our customers.”
With its production workloads housed at one of Peak 10’s Charlotte, N.C. data centers and the Recovery Cloud at one of Peak 10’s Louisville, Ky. data centers, VeraCore also achieved the geo-diversity to withstand a regional disaster. Peak 10’s ongoing, rigorous testing furthers ensures the viability of the DR process.
Success in the Cloud
Today, VeraCore is better positioned to efficiently manage its business growth and SaaS demands without costly capital expenditures. This has been an enormous advantage not only to VeraCore’s business operations, but also to its sales efforts. Frequently questioned about their IT infrastructure, VeraCore is now able to highlight Peak 10’s capabilities to satisfy customers’ inquiries and concerns.
“When customers ask us how we handle large volumes and maintain peak performance, we now have a really good answer in our toolkit,” says O’Connor. “Peak 10’s capabilities allow us to virtually put in a request to add more CPUs, more memory or more disk space, and we get it really quickly. Customers like to hear that we have that scalable model.”
Customers also appreciate the security and compliance provisions behind the Peak 10 cloud. Independently audited each year to ensure it meets regulatory requirements, it features an N+1 infrastructure, a compliant environment and key certifications. SOC reports are also readily available.
The Peak 10 cloud also affords VeraCore the flexibility to retain control over its own servers and operating systems while simultaneously relying on Peak 10’s 24/7 expert support, internal controls and security provisions including firewall and VPN monitoring and alert notifications.
It didn’t take VeraCore long to appreciate Peak 10’s expertise and monitoring protocol. Shortly after deploying the Peak 10 cloud, a nationwide network backbone provider went down. Peak 10’s onsite experts quickly recognized the impending risk and were able to quickly address the issue and avoid the extensive downtime other companies experienced.
Working with Peak 10, VeraCore has also experienced some time and resource management perks. Its IT staff no longer needs to manage and maintain hardware or purchase additional equipment to support its growth. As a result, one member of VeraCore IT team has been refocused on other business initiatives.
These improved capabilities and resources have created large productivity gains and cost efficiencies for VeraCore who was able to keep its monthly costs stable, while receiving more services. Additionally, the conversion was seamless for its customers who experienced no changes in the way they used the software – an ideal outcome for both VeraCore and its customers.
VeraCore plans to rely on Peak 10 to support its increasing needs and strengthen its security, availability and DR processes. The company continues to move workloads in the Peak 10 cloud. This quick, virtual implementation demonstrates the value and ease of scaling within the Peak 10 cloud and further validates the capabilities and promise of the relationship.