Six Red Marbles Saves Money and Headaches with the Cloud

COMPANY’S BUSINESS: Educational Software for K-12

PROBLEM: Unreliable hosting was causing significant downtime. They also desired a solution that would save money and keep staffers from having to closely monitor servers.

SOLUTION: Cloud ServersTM helps them build as big as they want, without server headaches. They use: 22 Cloud Servers, Linux Operating System and also utilize Cloud FilesTM.

OUTCOME: Depending on the need, Six Red Marbles can add or subtract resources to their configuration and realize the cost adjustments in real time.

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Company Overview

Six Red Marbles is an award-winning provider of educational solutions for the K-12 market. Their organization began developing educational software in 1996 and through key partnerships they integrated content, print, and technology to extend their reach to a variety of educational materials for students and teachers.

This year, Six Red Marbles introduced their own Natural Learning System that integrates the latest neuroscientific research with traditional teaching methods and interactive delivery designed to engage and inspire students. They expect a large demand for this service.

The Need

With 24 production Cloud Servers in use, Rackspace® does 100% of Six Red Marbles’ offsite hosting. High concurrent usage required for some sites makes remote environments inefficient and cost prohibitive for now.

The Solution

“For a long time, we’ve been looking for a good hosting provider for our applications and a place to store our environments,” says Roy O’Neill, Technical Director at Six Red Marbles. “Traditional locations require a lot of upfront costs and build-outs. Rackspace provided an alternative solution: the ability to build out and scale out as big as you want—not just vertically, but horizontally. Six Red Marbles is using not only Rackspace Cloud solutions, but also their email, resale packages, and in the past used the Managed solutions as well.”

Roy confidently stated that they “have and will be moving everything to the Rackspace Cloud.” Why the cloud? Roy defined success in his infrastructure as uptime, quick recovery, and low cost—all features he firmly believes the cloud, and Rackspace specifically, can offer his organization.

The Success

“For the past two years, we’ve been using the Rackspace environment pretty heavily,” says O’Neill. “We’ve moved 90% of our environment to Rackspace Cloud solutions and used Cloud Servers with a Managed Operations under the beta program. These solutions have not only been progressively getting better — and they were great to begin with — but all the solutions we’ve looked for and requested are either on the roadmap or have already been fixed.”

“By using Rackspace, it has allowed me to save so much,” says O’Neill. “The traditional method of building an environment would normally be to purchase above your initial need. If the need goes away, you are stuck with the purchase you made. If you have a growth spurt and didn’t properly plan ahead, you end up with additional costs and downtime. Rackspace solves this for me.”

O’Neill explained that using the Rackspace Cloud positively influences the bottom line of his organization. Depending on need, Six Red Marbles can add or subtract resources to their configuration and realize the cost adjustments in real time, instead of months later. “I love dynamic products and I love dynamic pricing,” he says.

“The Rackspace Cloud really shines with the ability to build out additional servers and development environments,” says O’Neill. “If we were doing this on dedicated servers, it would cost us a lot more.” He concludes, “We love having the cloud environment and the ability to scale up and down very easily, both horizontally and vertically, and paying only for what we use. Having 24/7 access to your Managed Operations on top of that would be a godsend to any company that works in the cloud. For Six Red Marbles, it’s been an awesome solution.”

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