Fubra, and trading style CatN, have now been working with Thomas Cook Online for over three years. It has been an important period for both our companies. Thomas Cook have been rebuilding investor confidence by restructuring their business, and we have been growing our business and productising our R&D efforts, bringing them to market.

The relationship began as a ‘skunk works’ project. Thomas Cook immediately required colocation for a small number of development servers. We were able to respond very quickly and provided the servers within 48 hours of the initial request.

Clearly Thomas Cook recognised the benefits of working with a hungry, responsive SME and from this first engagement the relationship grew. We were asked to host ever larger development and testing environments, all the time delivering an agile and incredibly responsive service, led by an expert technical team in CatN.

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If you’re a follower of CatN, the cloud hosting arm of Fubra, you will be aware of our activities as part of the G-Cloud framework. G-Cloud is a pre-approved list of suppliers offering commodity cloud services for the public sector to procure. The objective is to allow government to procure new technologies that can be delivered quickly in a way that supports emerging suppliers who can offer cost effective services.

As CatN has been a long term supplier since being a foundation delivery partner on the first version of G-Cloud I have seen the framework evolve over the last couple of years. Most recently on G-Cloud III we have been treated to a new Cloud Store – a catalogue where potential public sector buyers can browse and compare services on offer. You can view the Cloud Store by going to the G-Cloud website. Anyone can browse it, you don’t need to be a public sector employee!

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microstack logoI’m excited to announce that CatN have just launched a new private cloud solution! Microstack is a modular, OpenStack-based private cloud, designed to meet the needs of small to medium businesses looking for a cloud entry point which scales to meet their needs in a predictable way and without long contracts.

We’ve been working on bringing a private cloud to market for just over a year now and MicroStack is the culmination of this effort. I’m really proud that we’ve achieved our objective of creating a low-cost, short-commit private cloud offering to appeal to SMEs who have traditionally been scared off from high-CAPEX private clouds with long contract durations.

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CatN is a new hosting service that provides clustered php hosting, while offering levels of control similar to a dedicated hosting solution.

Why clustered hosting?

Clustered hosting has many benefits:

  • Load is spread across numerous servers, reducing the reliance one machine, and avoiding bottlenecks.
  • Your site will be spread across all parts of vCluster, so if one server goes down, the remaining servers will continue to host your site and keep it live.
  • Different processes can be separated. We use a separate layer of servers for serving scripts to static content like images, which enables us to control resource use and guarantee performance of php scripts with dedicated resources.
  • The nature of clustered hosting enables us to scale our super computer to meet any demands on capacity instantly. Experience no drops in performance when they receive a visitor spike, we simply add more servers to meet the new demands.

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Today saw day 1 of LINX66, the LINX members meeting at Goodenough College in London.  As a LINX member we dispatched our MD Brendan to make a short talk to the group about one of our latest projects — our in-house datacentre.

The presentation briefly covered why we had opted to develop our own infrastructure, how we have gone about implementing all the ancillary services required in a datacentre environment, the network and technology we have built the main services around, how we had gone about detecting and overcoming the inevitable problems which crop up during the day-to-day running of such a facility, and finally the services we are offering at our facility.  Brendan then took questions from the floor relating to the final price tag of the project, as well as addressing some of the technical questions relating to our environmental monitoring network.

For more information download the slides which accompanied the presentation (they’re in PowerPoint format).