1-page Solution Brief
Posted: 9/17/2012
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Pamoja Cloud Services Provider Deploys a Highly Scalable Cloud Hosting Platform while Cutting Costs

"As a start-up company, Pamoja needs a platform that can scale out to serve the needs of large geographical areas very quickly without any performance issues as well as provide high availability. We are very confident that Windows Server 2012 can easily meet our needs.”
Albie Bester, General Manager, Pamoja
 

Business Needs

Pamoja, the Swahili word for “together,” is a new technology company focused on bringing cloud computing to Africa through the aggregation of multinational and locally hosted cloud services. The firm operates strictly through a channel of resellers, who recognize the need to enhance their existing service offerings with cloud services but do not want to invest capital in building out their own cloud services platform.

Because the African market is very price sensitive, it was essential that operational costs would be kept as low as possible, while still maintaining a high level of availability. Furthermore, the cloud market in Africa is uncharted and demand for its services is very unpredictable.

The firm therefore, needed a highly flexible platform that could manage all of these business factors and more, such as:

  • allow the corporation to respond quickly to new business needs

  • have the best cloud hosting platform

  • be able to reduce costs for both the firm and its clients

  • an agile but powerful cloud solution

Solution

Based on the company’s requirements, it selected Windows Server 2012 as the most appropriate solution. Albie Bester, General Manager for the company, is very optimistic about this decision: “Based on Pamoja’s business and technology requirements, our architecture partner, Inobits Consulting, reviewed several Cloud platforms; they came to the conclusion that Windows Server 2012 would serve all our needs.”

The solution was initially set up in a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) deployment in a development lab. It was followed by a pilot deployment while preparing for the production implementation. The virtual machines hosted in the pilot environment were then moved to the final production hosts.

The features tested were:

  • Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

  • Hyper –V Replica

  • Hyper –V Live Migration

  • Hyper –V Storage Migration

  • Cross-Premise Connectivity

  • Multi-Server Management

  • Integration with System Center 2012 components

All the Hyper-V hosts run Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition, which allows for cost savings through inclusive licensing of the Windows Server instances in all hosted virtual machines. The Hyper-V hosts are configured as members of failover clusters, using Clustered Shared Volumes (CSVs) on iSCSI storage devices to store virtual machine data. The virtual machines run services that are accessed by multiple customers, including Active Directory Domain Services, Exchange Server 2010, Lync Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010.

The entire solution is managed using Microsoft System Center 2012 components, including Operations Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, Orchestrator, Configuration Manager, Service Manager and Data Protection Manager. Using the management and automation enhancements in Windows Server 2012 and the System Center 2012 components allows for the entire solution to be managed with only a small team of administrators.

The whole solution is designed to be highly redundant, allowing for services to remain accessible even if 50 % of the hardware were to fail.

Benefits
  • provide the best cloud hosting platform for the company and its users

  • allow quick deployment of cloud solutions to its customers

  • lower IT operational and licensing costs

  • simplified IT management structure

  • Hyper-V allows deployment of flexible private and public clouds

  • increased scalability, faster failover and a flexible architecture

“The networking and management enhancements in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3.0 will allow us to host workloads for multiple companies on a shared Hyper-V infrastructure, with minimal complexity and effort, while maintaining strong isolation between customer environments” says Mr. Bester.

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 12 employees

Organization Profile

Pamoja provides cloud-computing services to the African market through its resellers. It is also a business unit of SEACOM. The firm is based in Mauritius and South Africa.


Software and Services
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Microsoft System Center Service Manager
  • Windows Server
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2010
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Vertical Industries
  • Professional Services
  • IT Services

Country/Region
  • South Africa
  • Mauritius

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Inobits Consulting (Pty) Ltd

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