The Pixel migrates to future ready eCommerce hosting platform with The Bunker

The Pixel is a web development agency delivering eCommerce solutions and is part of the TVG Media group. As a rapidly expanding business with a growing roster of large customers including Baker Ross, Howies, and Play.com, it needed to expand its IT infrastructure to meet demand for its hosted eCommerce platforms and is migrating from a collocated solution to a highly-tailored, future-ready and secure managed hosting environment.

The Challenge

Established in 2000, The Pixel builds eCommerce websites and specialises in the Magento content management system. It has grown rapidly and attracted large customers with significant hosting requirements. To meet this demand, it recognised the opportunity to create a hosting platform optimised specifically for Magento.

Since the hosting platform would be storing a substantial volume of consumer data, The Pixel took the decision to collocate its hosting platform at highly secure facilities offsite. Having evaluated a number of potential service providers, it chose The Bunker as it was located near to its offices in Kent and offered the best security credentials available.

As demand for its hosting platform grew, The Pixel needed to expand its IT infrastructure to maintain its exceptionally high level of quality of service and ensure the availability and performance of large retail corporates across peak periods.

The Pixel opted to migrate from its collocated infrastructure to a purpose-built environment managed by The Bunker. A managed hosting environment avoids the capital cost of purchasing or renting more equipment and eliminates the associated drain on internal IT resources in respect of supporting it.

Working closely with the team at The Pixel, The Bunker built a highly tailored managed hosting environment based on open Source technologies. It includes a pre-hardened network and operating system, and VMware hypervisors. Delivered as a fully automated infrastructure, the solution can be scaled on demand and allows The Pixel to deploy both virtual and physical server sets from a common platform.

Our Ultra Secure solution

  • Bespoke Open Source environment with lower cost of ownership and highest levels of security, performance and availability
  • 24x7x365 dedicated technical support from The Bunker’s network operations centre
  • Redundant, fully meshed, self-healing 10 Gigabit network
  • VMware hypervisor servers ensure performance of virtualised resources

The Bunker also upgraded The Pixel’s backbone infrastructure from 1GB to 10GB networking technology, which not only increased the speed of network transactions by a factor of ten, but also optimised the performance of its storage area network (SAN). As The Pixel has multiple hosts that use SAN to store their data, it has been fitted with 12 x 600GB 15K SAS disks, increasing its storage capacity and ensuring that the SAN can automatically reboot a VM or bring another online within minutes should the need arise.

This level of performance is critical for The Pixel. Unlike other hosting service providers, it employs dedicated virtualised hardware in order to ensure customers benefit from fast page-load times, rapid failover, and the ability to flex and scale capacity to meet demand during peak periods.

Products & Services

  • Guaranteed quality of service and compliance for The Pixel’s eCommerce clients
  • Dramatic improvement in performance – x10 increase in networking and x2 increase in CPU speeds
  • Improved scalability and lower cost of ownership – The Pixel’s infrastructure can flex in line with its business requirement on a pay-as-you-grow basis

Results & Benefits delivered

By migrating from collocation to managed hosting, The Pixel has an IT infrastructure that’s future ready and highly tailored to the unique needs of its business. Moving from 1GB to 10GB networking technology has dramatically enhanced the performance of its core IT infrastructure, with CPUs running at over twice the speed of its legacy solution. Switching its hypervisors to VMware has also led to performance benefits: where one of its previous virtualised servers would take two minutes to load, it now takes just seconds.

One of the most significant benefits of the transition has been a two-fold increase in page load times. This makes The Pixel’s hosting service even more compelling for eCommerce companies, given that even a 1 second delay in page response times can result in a 7% reduction in conversion (sales).

Crucially, it’s highly secure and scalable, enabling The Pixel to support continued growth and on boarding of additional clients while assuring the safety of customer data and providing the guaranteed availability, uptime and the optimised performance that’s critical for eCommerce websites during the notoriously high traffic in peak seasons.

With the migration proving a success, The Pixel plans to increase its presence in The Bunker, investing in more hardware and adding Object Based Storage to its hosting platform. The aim now is to migrate as many customers across to the new environment as possible.