January 17, 2013
LONDON, Jan. 17 – Rackspace Hosting, the open cloud company, today announced that it has been selected by Action for Children to help the organisation tackle big data challenges and scale up its IT infrastructure on demand.
Action for Children is one of the UK’s largest and most prominent charities. It has been looking to re-engineer its data operation and position itself for the future. Key objectives included cost effective management of web traffic spikes and better data analysis to provide deeper insights into customers and fundraising activities.
The organisation needed to retain a portion of dedicated hardware on site to host sensitive data. However, it decided to create a hybrid solution incorporating open cloud hosting to provide the agility to accommodate data spikes.
“With Rackspace we knew that we could achieve true public, private and hybrid portability. Additionally, by using an open platform such as Rackspace Open Cloud, we could take a long term approach, ensuring that we avoided vendor lock-in around pricing or technology roadmap restrictions. This gives us the freedom to keep innovating, moving to new technology solutions and models as they are developed,” said Darren Robertson, Digital Communications – Data Scientist for Action for Children.
Economies of Scale
Action for Children also needed to ensure that its website could cope with major spikes in traffic. For example, when Stephen Fry tweeted about the charity, five million followers were encouraged to visit the website. This type of activity can crash a website if the right kind of backbone is not in place.
“Moving to the cloud completely eliminates the expensive processes required to support these spikes in the past. Rackspace provide us with the ability to scale up and down according to demand while managing costs,” said Robertson. “We need to be able to scale quickly at any time of night or day and, unlike Rackspace, few vendors provide the support to lets us operate this way. This is why I am glad that we have planned our big data cloud-based future roadmap around the Rackspace open cloud platform.”
Deriving Insights from Big Data
Action for Children needs to understand and manage the needs of multiple stakeholders including customers, donors, fundraisers and potential foster parents. Years of interactions with these groups has left the organisation with vast data sets. Rackspace is helping Action for Children manage this ‘big data’, combining the speed and affordability of cloud computing with advanced software, to provide more accurate and extensive insights than traditional data analysis.
These insights are enabling the charity to create a bespoke online experience for its diverse user groups. “We needed to be able to personalise the web experience for each user so that we don’t, for example, ask students and multinational CEOs for the same kind of donation. We are following Rackspace’s roadmap for big data so that we can engineer a new level of contextual user awareness into the way our IT system works,” continued Robertson.
“Action For Children has adopted an open cloud computing platform for future flexibility which will support current big data innovation challenges," said Taylor Rhodes, Managing Director, International, Rackspace. “The organisation will now increase its ability to monitor and analyse where it is having the most positive impact regionally, so we are confident that Action for Children’s next steps forward will reap benefits for the organisation as a whole and for those it seeks to help.”
Rackspace Hosting is the open cloud company, delivering open technologies and powering more than 197,000 customers worldwide. Rackspace provides its renowned Fanatical Support across a broad portfolio of IT products, including Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. The company offers choice, flexibility and freedom from vendor lock in. Rackspace has been recognised by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company and is featured on Sunday Times list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Rackspace was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant by Gartner Inc. in the “2011 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting.”
About Action for Children
About Action for Children is a national charity delivering services that respond to the local needs of children, young people, their families and communities. Action for Children works in local communities with over 50,000 children and young people through 600 projects across the UK (as at 1st December). The charity specialises in working with children and young people whose families need support, who are in care, who are disabled or who experience severe difficulties in their lives. The Action for Children vision is of a world where all children and young people have a sense of belonging, and are loved and valued; a world where they can fulfill their potential and experience the joy of life.
Frank Ding, engineering analysis & technical computing manager at Simpson Strong-Tie, discussed the advantages of utilizing the cloud for occasional scientific computing, identified the obstacles to doing so, and proposed workarounds to some of those obstacles.
The private industry least likely to adopt public cloud services for data storage are financial institutions. Holding the most sensitive and heavily-regulated of data types, personal financial information, banks and similar institutions are mostly moving towards private cloud services – and doing so at great cost.
In this week's hand-picked assortment, researchers explore the path to more energy-efficient cloud datacenters, investigate new frameworks and runtime environments that are compatible with Windows Azure, and design a uniﬁed programming model for diverse data-intensive cloud computing paradigms.
May 16, 2013 |
When it comes to cloud, long distances mean unacceptably high latencies. Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany examined those latency issues of doing CFD modeling in the cloud by utilizing a common CFD and its utilization in HPC instance types including both CPU and GPU cores of Amazon EC2.
May 10, 2013 |
Australian visual effects company, Animal Logic, is considering a move to the public cloud.
May 10, 2013 |
Program provides cash awards up to $10,000 for the best open-source end-user applications deployed on 100G network.
May 08, 2013 |
For engineers looking to leverage high-performance computing, the accessibility of a cloud-based approach is a powerful draw, but there are costs that may not be readily apparent.
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/02/2012 | AMD | Developers today are just beginning to explore the potential of heterogeneous computing, but the potential for this new paradigm is huge. This brief article reviews how the technology might impact a range of application development areas, including client experiences and cloud-based data management. As platforms like OpenCL continue to evolve, the benefits of heterogeneous computing will become even more accessible. Use this quick article to jump-start your own thinking on heterogeneous computing.