Sberbank’s Business Environment Project

The unique Business Environment portal uses the IaaS CloudServer technology from ActiveCloud for its products. The transition to cloud services and hosting became a successful alternative to building proprietary infrastructure.

Business Environment is a portal for entrepreneurs’ day-to-day operations that is implemented under the auspices of Sberbank of Russia. The key objectives of the project are to create an integrated technology infrastructure for the organization and development of small business in Russia, as well as to promote the image of the entrepreneur in Russian society. The broad range of services and informational materials is designed to help beginner and experienced entrepreneurs to organize and promote their businesses. Furthermore, the portal offers its customers a number of helpful online services, which require state-of-the-art IT infrastructure.

Back at the design stage, the company’s leadership explored the use of cloud services and hosting as an alternative to building a proprietary infrastructure. Cloud solutions from ActiveCloud were picked as a reliable and efficient platform for the project.

“We tried to rule out possible problems with the purchase of fixed assets, server equipment, engineering infrastructure and maintenance personnel at the earliest possible phase,” says Mikhail Suslov, Head of Operations at Business Environment CJSC.

Originally there were two options: ActiveCloud and Amazon. One of the decisive factors that tipped the scale towards ActiveCloud was that the foreign cloud provider was unable to accept financial payments under the applicable Russian legislation and comply with the requirements of Federal Law 152. Russian-language technical support and recommendations of specialists that are ActiveCloud’s customers also prompted us to decide in favor of that company.

The use of the service started with the tests of its capabilities by one of the projects. The tests took one month, and as a result, stepwise transition of projects and their components to ActiveCloud’s cloud was approved. Technical experts of Business Environment deployed their SaaS projects on the cloud platform independently, while consulting, whenever necessary, with ActiveCloud engineers, who have access to the control panel of the cloud infrastructure, enabling the addition of necessary services and resources.

Some of the Business Environment projects are currently implemented in the SaaS mode. All of them use the innovative CloudServer technology from ActiveCloud. The main products include Market, Store, Magazine and School. The Store product aggregates 25 SaaS services provided to entrepreneurs by leading cloud suppliers.

In addition to the cloud infrastructure, Business Environment uses the snapshot as well as the Active Backup services, which provide configurable backup of servers in the cloud. These services make it possible to restore the last saved system images, SQL-databases, as well as individual records and files in a matter of few minutes. Data are backed up to an independent storage system according to a schedule.

Project infrastructure is based on 27 cloud servers that support a database, web services and a client’s SaaS services. Furthermore, the company’s technical specialists have developed a customized controlling system that factors in system residents, distributes roles and rights between them and, most importantly, monitors the system and the entire infrastructure.

Business Environment builds on the principles of a distributed system of platforms. In addition to the cloud platform from ActiveCloud it makes use of other hosting options. For example, it is planned to run projects regulated by corporate privacy and security policies on data storage and transfer at Sberbank’s Mega Data Center (MegaTsOD).

Each project complies with its respective SLA due to the applicable service and technical support standards. Under the contract with ActiveCloud, SLA Premium service package is in place: a dedicated technical specialist, 24x7 support with a maximum response time of 1 hour, as well as service availability level of at least 99.95%, backed by financial guarantees.

Mikhail Suslov comments on the results of collaboration: “The use of the cloud has been a done deal since the onset of our project. The only thing remaining was to choose a service provider. For a number of reasons, we had to discontinue our work with our previous supplier. As an alternative, we had been planning to use Amazon services, but the idea had to be abandoned eventually. At that time, we explored the proposals of domestic cloud providers and eyed ActiveCloud. We currently use CloudServer (IaaS) as our full-scale IT infrastructure, hosting both our own commercial products and clients’ services. We are 100% satisfied with the service and hope we will enjoy a long-term cooperation with ActiveCloud.”

Evgeny Zhiltsov, Project Manager at ActiveCloud (ActiveHost RU LLC) noted the professionalism of the Business Environment team: “We are very pleased to work with the company, whose leadership and staff always know what they want, and which resources they will require in specific amounts. Specialists at Business Environment have independently moved to our servers, configured all services, as well as developed special software for resident accounting and monitoring of the entire system. It is obvious that we are dealing with an effective team of professionals — we hit it off at once and find it easy to work with them. For our part, we are ready to make every effort for the project to feel comfortable to work with us in the future.”

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