GigaCloud is the first among Ukrainian cloud operators to report to its customers. In its first public report, the company reported about the launch of new products, the opening of the fourth data centre, the creation of a Customer Happiness Department, as well as other updates in 2021.
In 2020, GigaCloud entered the private cloud market with the PRO Cloud service and began to grow even faster. That year, more investments were made in equipment than in total for the 2016-2019 period. This year, the operator has invested even more: almost $2 million went to the purchase of hardware, and thanks to its customers, it has become the largest client of Lenovo and Intel in Ukraine in the field of servers and data storage systems. Today, the GigaCloud hardware and software system runs almost 7,000 virtual machines. And the storages hold 8 petabytes of customer data. The amount of RAM of its infrastructure is currently 103 TB, which means thousands of clients and services used by many Ukrainians.
“1,300 companies have entrusted us with the ‘heart’ of their business, which means that we have taken the risks associated with their IT infrastructure and online services used by millions of Ukrainians. The practice of a public report with our yearly results will show the ins and outs of GigaCloud. This way our current customers will know that they can continue to ‘sleep with a peaceful mind’, and the potential ones will learn that Ukrainian cloud technologies can and should be trusted,” says Artem Kokhanevych, CEO of GigaCloud.
In order to be closer to its customers from Western Ukraine and develop local operations, in 2019, the company opened a regional office in Lviv. And in 2021, it has built a new cloud cluster there. The operator’s specialists are currently building projects based on four data centres, which allows its customers from all over Ukraine to use a full-fledged geographically distributed cloud cluster to host their services. The first major service operating according to this model was the Lviv unified ticket project. Listening to the customer is the main thing that specialists of GigaCloud are constantly learning. Therefore, its portfolio expanded to include new products, whose concepts were brought by the market itself. TOP-3 cloud solutions based on customer requests:
- VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) provides virtual desktops for safe and efficient remote work. VDIs are deployed on the basis of the private PRO Cloud where the data is processed. Customers’ employees will be able to connect to corporate resources and their desktop from any device and place with the Internet. The key feature of the service is that the customer’s data do not leave the private cloud, and this guarantees their safety.
- Cloud with graphics processing units (GPU) for customers who have specific workloads such as 3D modelling, AI/ML, remote work with graphics. For these types of workloads, a GPU is more efficient than a CPU, since information can be processed simultaneously in multiple threads. In this case, you can speed up the work by 10-14 times.
- PaaS-platform – public cloud based on OpenStack with KVM hypervisor. OpenStack allows you to add new features using separate modules and to provide them according to the Platform as a Service (PaaS) model. This means that rather than just virtual machines, the operator can provide a customer with ready-made pre-configured environments such as Kubernetes cluster, object storage, etc.
In order to comply with the highest standards of information storage security, in the spring of 2021, the operator received a certificate of compliance with the PCI DSS information security standard. At the moment, GigaCloud is still the only Ukrainian cloud operator that has this certificate. This allows companies that accept, transfer or store international bank card data to be hosted in its cloud. One of the key responsibilities of a PCI DSS certified operator is the subsequent quarterly audits of the information security system, which guarantees the maximum security of data hosted in the cloud to all its customers.
By the end of the year, the technical support department had doubled in size. The operator strives to ensure that customers hear as few dial tones as possible while waiting for a response from an expert, and written requests are processed within 20 minutes. And very soon, from the beginning of 2022, the operator will provide this level of service at any time of the day or night, 24/7.
To ensure that its customers get the maximum value and efficiency from the use of cloud services, GigaCloud launched the CSM department (Customer Success Management) – which is called the “Customer Happiness” Department by the operator itself. The department team solves potential problems even before they appear as well as help to avoid mistakes and use the product correctly.
In addition to the operator’s teams, the number of certified employees is growing too. In 2021, the team got another “IT General”, an employee with a VCAP certificate (VMware Certified Advanced Professional), and four more employees received a VCP certificate (VMware Certified Professional).
In autumn, GigaCloud received the status of a CCSP partner of Red Hat in Ukraine (Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider). Now it can provide customers with Red Hat virtualisation solutions, licenses to use Red Hat solutions such as Openshift, Ceph and Gluster, as well as full vendor support. Shortly, the operator’s experts will be able to act as the first line of support for customers with these solutions.
At the end of the year, GigaCloud successfully passed an audit by SAP and received the SAP Certified Provider of Cloud and Infrastructure Operations certificate. To make it happen, its team built a separate cluster that meets all SAP requirements. Now the customers who host their SAP systems in the cloud of GigaCloud will get a good, efficient service and the opportunity to take full advantage of the SAP support.
Once again, GigaCloud confirmed its status as a major VMware partner. VMware. In 2021, GigaCloud became an Advanced partner (fourth out of five possible), and it expects to receive the top status of Principal in January 2022. The public E-Cloud, the private PRO Cloud, the B-Cloud for banks, the VDI service, and many others have been built based on the VMware platform.
Hundreds of new projects have been launched in the clouds this year. Here are some of those that the operator is truly proud of. The solution included building two clusters, one used by the customer for Data Science, i.e. conducting market research and forecasting, and the other used for deploying a remote desktop system (VDI). The project is complex and unique due to the integration of the solutions into the customer’s services that exist in their own data centre. As a result, the company has received an extension of its infrastructure, which can now grow flexibly within a large hybrid cluster between the private cloud and their own data centre. The entire solution is managed from a single console.
Having started as a backup platform, the GigaCloud-based solution is currently operating as the main one and has become part of a large infrastructure that is used by more than 6 million Ukrainians. The technologies and equipment used as well as the flexibility of the approach to the implementation of the customer’s assignment allowed building a special project that can withstand heavy workloads.
SAT specialises in transportation services, which in itself means round-the-clock 24/7/365 operation, and even 30 minutes of unavailability of services would result in significant financial losses for the company. Therefore, in order to migrate SAT services to a private cloud, the combined team of operator’s and customer’s professionals developed a minute-by-minute work plan, and its success depended on the timing and coordination of all team members. The desired result was achieved through the diligent front-end loading, the timing and synergy of actions, the phased transfer of virtual machines, as well as the full backup of all migrated systems, followed by two-week monitoring. The migration project was implemented without a hitch, migrating all services with less than 5 minutes of downtime.
Key figures for GigaCloud in 2021 include 300 new companies who choose the comany to host their IT services, 13 private clouds built for customers, projects number in the SMB segment has grown by 2.5 times compared to 2020. The number of partnership deals doubled in 2021, as 105 new developer and integrator partners entered into agreements with the operator to offer their customers GigaCloud clouds for hosting IT projects.
“2022 will be the year of exciting and breakthrough projects, cool experiments with our customers and partners. Courage, freedom and clouds are what businesses need today. And GigaCloud delivers all of this!” says Artem Kokhanevych, CEO of GigaCloud.