Client case: MyAlbum.com
'We’ve had experience with various hosting providers, but LeaseWeb is simply the most stable organization.'
Technical manager and co-founder MyAlbum
- A fast network
- A safe network
- Good connections
- A stable organization
- Good network support
A Debian Linux-based dedicated hosting solution designed by MyAlbum themselves, with a Basic Service Level Agreement (SLA) from LeaseWeb. The server equipment is also managed by MyAlbum, with a Xen-based virtualization environment installed on every server.
The network part is designed and managed by LeaseWeb. LeaseWeb also provides the connections and the bandwidth.
MyAlbum.com chose LeaseWeb because of the stability of its organization, the speed of its network and the high scalability of its hosting services. “We recently completed rollouts in 13 new countries. Fortunately, LeaseWeb has good international connections and a lot of bandwidth in their network.”
MyAlbum is a free rapidly growing online photo service with more than 1.3 million members. The site allows users to upload their photos so they can share them with family and friends. It also allows them to have their photos printed and create their own photo albums. MyAlbum.com has local versions of its site in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, China, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Russia, Italy, Sweden, Vietnam, South Korea and Turkey. In just a few years, MyAlbum has grown into an Internet company with more than 30 employees and a turnover of several million euros.
ONE-HUNDRED MILLION PHOTOS
MyAlbum was founded in 2003 by four Dutch university students. A milestone recently sealed their success when a user uploaded the one-hundred-millionth photo on the site.
Did the founders expect this success? “The use of the Internet and digital cameras rapidly increased a few years ago and people increasingly started to exchange photos by e-mail,” says Andries Nolles, marketing director and co-founder. “We noticed a definite need for free, safe and easily accessible ways to store and share photos. International sites such as Flickr already existed, but we believe that it is important to have a local presence in different countries that have their own extensions for domain names.”
Ensuring that new customers have a flawless experience is a must for the online photo service. “If not, people will give up immediately,” says Jappie Hoekstra, technical manager and co-founder. “Storing photos needs to be easy, and uploading needs to be fast. That’s why we chose LeaseWeb. They have a very fast network with good connections across Europe and beyond.”
MyAlbum has experience with various hosting providers in the Netherlands. “We found that LeaseWeb is simply the most stable organization,” says Hoekstra. “The bigger the hosting provider, the more stable their service; LeaseWeb is the largest in the Netherlands and is growing strongly across the world. That gives us certain guarantees.”
Network safety is another important aspect for MyAlbum. Hoekstra: “We realize that people store their treasured memories in our computer systems. We currently process 150 Terabytes in digital image files, which have to be handled with care. We cannot afford the risk of having private snapshots exposed to the world. At LeaseWeb, everything is very secure.”
MijnAlbum created their own hosting design and also manages the 78 dedicated servers themselves. “We decided to do this because we have the knowledge and we want maximum flexibility,” says Hoekstra. “We don’t know anything about the hosting network or Cisco, so we’re happy to leave the network part to LeaseWeb. But we do want to manage everything that’s going on in our own datacenter racks. For example, we’ve installed a Xen-based virtualization layer on every server. This is hugely advantageous during reinstallations: it takes only 10 minutes to roll out an image and only an hour to install an update for Linux on 78 servers.”
24x7 HOSTING SUPPORT
Hoekstra is impressed with LeaseWeb’s customer service. “Although we rarely need to call LeaseWeb for support, they’re always there for you if you need them. For example, we once called LeaseWeb on a Friday evening at 7 o’clock. Our main switch at the Schuberg Phillis datacenter in Schiphol-Rijk wasn’t working. They got everything up and running again within just one hour after we had called. Their people provide fast support even on weekends, and I was impressed with that.”