Online directory employs virtual servers to cope with 290 per cent growth

Hosted solution can provide rapid increase in server capacity

One of Australia's fastest growing online business directories is moving to a hosted virtual server infrastructure environment to cope with traffic peaks without the need to invest in additional hardware.

The online directory of 1.3 million Australian businesses, truelocal.com.au, has increased its unique browsers by 290 per cent since launching in 2006.

As a result the company made the decision to ink a three year deal with Macquarie Telecom allowing the company to move to a VMWare ESX environment.

The infrastructure is spread across multiple high-performance virtual hosts with the servers housed in Macquarie's ISO and DSD certified data centre in Sydney, the Intellicentre.

Following a competitive assessment of hosting providers, truelocal CEO, Gary Cox, said Macquarie was selected for its proven experience with 100 per cent Web-facing companies as well as its ability to provide 24/7, low latency availability of mission critical applications.

"We need to be confident that when millions of Australian consumers access our directory we can provide the fast, smooth and reliable experience they expect, one that will drive them back to us time and time again," Cox said.

Macquarie Hosting is part of the VMWare Service Provider Program ensuring the company has access to a platform that can quickly increase server capacity to cope with peaks in traffic.

Designed with no single point of failure, the network infrastructure is also fully redundant and includes SSL offloading to reduce server overheads and maximise performance.

All servers are connected to Macquarie's managed storage area network (SAN) and includes tape back-up systems for added redundancy and future scalability on demand.

In case of a hardware failure on one of the three hosts, Macquarie Hosting's VMotion solution enables a rebuild of the truelocal.com.au network on other hosts in very short time frames.

Macquarie Telecom managing director, Aidan Tudehope, said the Internet search market is exploding in Australia.

Currently worth an estimated $350 million, he said organizations in this space are looking for new ways to refine, develop and extend their offerings to customers. This includes looking at ways to differentiate and compete.

"The managed server virtualization offering is perfect for 100 per cent Web-based companies offering the same level of management, security and performance expected from traditional hosted server environments but with the additional benefits of superior levels of agility, scalability and business continuity," Tudehope said.

Other Internet firms using Macquarie Hosting include Webjet, Showbiz.com.au and Loop Mobile.

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