HOSTING (formerly hosting.com)
The Challenge: Legacy software was slowing down growth.
The Solution: Hiring AI to train, build roadmap, and implement NSERVICE BUS
Results at a Glance:
Based out of Denver, CO, HOSTING provides managed services on top of their own hosts as well as those hosted on Azure and AWS. The company’s customers receive cloud monitoring, security, and support from an experienced team of specialists. HOSTING also specializes in meeting HIPAA, PCI, and SOC compliance requirements with their cloud-based solution.
Success and age were pushing the limits of HOSTING’s provisioning and management system. Customers were being affected by performance and reliability issues. Support and maintenance costs were climbing, so HOSTING decided to rearchitect their proprietary system.
Specific problems included...
To accomplish their goals, the HOSTING team realized that they would need to use a better underlying messaging system. After evaluating the alternatives, they decided to use NServiceBus from Particular Software. To help bootstrap the redesign, HOSTING hired Architecting Innovation (AI) experts in distributed systems integration and architecture. Crucial to the overall redesign was an overhaul of HOSTING’s system for messaging between services, switching to event-based messaging instead of poll-based.
The project significantly reduced the load on HOSTING’s provisioning targets and saved hundreds of maintenance person-hours per year.The architectural improvements enabled the provisioning of servers within minutes, rather than hours.
The work was completed in approximately 4.5 months with HOSTING realizing a number of benefits that exceeded their expectations and that yielded a valuable competitive advantages in the managed hosting solution space.
HOSTING was out-growing their provisioning and management platform. The platform depended on a proprietary system for communication between software components. Although that system had served the company well during its earlier years, as HOSTING scaled up and added new capabilities, the system began to have problems:
HOSTING’s development team was aware of many of the technical issues that were causing those problems:
HOSTING decided to re-architect their management system. The goals of the project were to:
To accomplish their goals, the HOSTING team realized that they would need to use a better underlying messaging system. They needed to move more components off of IPC/RPC and polling protocols and onto an Enterprise Service Bus. It could be MSMQ-based, as was their current proprietary messaging system, but it had to be simpler to set up and maintain.
They considered two possible ESB products:
Mule is a Java-based environment that is reputedly handy in heterogeneous environments where integration is required with un-customizable commercial software. The HOSTING implementation team had expected that Mule would be lightweight and easy-to-use, but it turned out to be very complex in comparison to NServiceBus. It was also costlier.
NServiceBus is a .NET-based messaging platform that facilitates development of distributed systems that are scalable, reliable and easy to maintain. The tool is the flagship offering from Particular Software, a company featured in Gartner’s "Cool Vendors in Web-Scale Platforms, 2015." NServiceBus met the requirements of the project while also being simpler to implement and less costly, so the decision was made to go with NServiceBus.
To help bootstrap the implementation of NServiceBus, HOSTING decided to go with Particular’s recommended integration partner, Architecting Innovation (AI). Distributed systems architecture and integration are among AI’s specialties, and AI had experts available with extensive NServiceBus experience.
AI was hired to help with three aspects of the initial implementation of NServiceBus:
AI integrated NServiceBus as the primary messaging platform for HOSTING’s management system.
AI and HOSTING engineers and architects worked together to create a 5-year plan for future development work.
AI trained HOSTING engineers on NServiceBus best practices and the initial integration.
The 4.5-month project positioned the company to get rid of a legacy component that was costing hundreds of person-hours per year to maintain.