Macquarie Hosting has signed a three year deal with teen social networking site www.habbo.com.au to host its mission critical applications and Web site accessed by more than 2.9 million Australian registered users.
Under the deal, Macquarie Hosting will provide the high-availability, fully-managed hosting solution Habbo requires to increase network speeds and improve the user experience for its Australian members, most of whom are aged between 13 and 18 years.
Following a competitive assessment of hosting providers, Macquarie Hosting was selected for its experience with one hundred per cent Web-facing companies, and low latency availability of Web 2.0 social networking applications.
Habbo is one of the world's fastest growing social networking sites with an average of 75,000 new members joining each day.
Since its launch in Finland in 2001, the site has expanded to offer localised networks in more than 31 countries including Australia, Brazil, Mexico, the Netherlands and the UK.
Until today, Habbo's Australian Web site and critical applications for the Australian market were hosted in the US, causing latency issues and local customer discontent.
By on-shoring with Macquarie Hosting, Habbo ensures one hundred per cent uptime and availability of its user content, language filters, content moderation services and user education tools.
Jeff Brookes, the regional director of Sulake which runs the Habbo service in Australia, said its customers are young, tech savvy and demanding.
"They expect access to information in milliseconds. Any longer and you will lose their interest and patronage," he said.
"We needed a platform that could cope with unpredictable and growing peaks in traffic.
"Managing this back through the US, across multiple time zones just wasn't practical."
Spread across multiple dedicated servers, Habbo's critical applications and Web site will be housed in Macquarie Hosting's ISO and DSD Gateway certified data centre in Sydney, the Intellicentre.
Specialised services including load-balancing have been implemented and dedicated firewalls and managed tape back-up provide added security and redundancy.
Brookes said plans are underway to move to a virtualised environment in the near future describing it as a "key priority".
Macquarie managing director, Aidan Tudehope, said to meet Habbo's tight timeline for delivery in Australia, the solution was designed and implemented in just three weeks, half the standard implementation time.
"Quick delivery was essential for Habbo to ensure the solution was installed prior to the Christmas school holiday break which saw the number of unique Australian users more than double," Tudehope said.
"Social networking communities are booming, fuelled by faster broadband access technologies that allow content-rich sites to be downloaded and viewed quickly.
"Essential to success in this field is investment in the necessary back-end support to ensure the service can cope with the growing number of users driven to it."