Figshare is a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner. The company launched in 2012 and has offices in Romania and the U.K. Figshare is serving customers from all over the world, mainly institutions, publishers and researches. Figshare allows users to upload any file format to be previewed in the browser. That way any research output, from posters and presentations to datasets and code, can be disseminated in a way that the current scholarly publishing model does not allow.
From an infrastructural point of view, in Europe Figshare started with a small physical setup and after some time decided to migrate their services to the cloud. They were looking for a cloud provider located in Europe, and chose CloudSigma as their preferred cloud partner. They started small, but their deployment has grown steadily since inception and continues to grow today. Their high level of satisfaction with CloudSigma has recently led to them signing a 3-year contract for cloud infrastructure.
“CloudSigma’s support team is always there for you. Answering chat queries take less than a minute and tickets less than an hour. You do not get that with other IaaS providers unless you pay for it.”Daniel Gavrila, Infrastructure engineer @ Figshare
Figshare was looking for a cloud provider and had a few requirement to filter through the providers. Firstly, a good pricing model and high-performance cloud storage and CloudInit support for automated VM configuration. Also, a nice user interface to start, stop and manage the machines, and last but not least – a RESTful API. CloudSigma covered all these requirements and after testing the platform for a couple of weeks, the Figshare team decided to put their trust in CloudSigma’s service.
“We tested with several European providers and CloudSigma was the winner! You guys have a good pricing model, it is great to only pay for what you are using and it is quite nice to be able to customize the whole setup per instance.”
Apart from great performance and competitive prices, in the evaluation process for finding a new cloud provider, Figshare discovered CloudSigma’s excellent customer support. This Support was important to them because their team wasn’t satisfied with the response time of their existing cloud provider in the U.S. On the contrary, at CloudSigma the support team was available 24/7 and guarantees very short response times.
The most challenging part for Figshare was to establish a secure connection between the infrastructure at CloudSigma and their AWS deployment in the U.S. Apart from this, migrating their services from their physical setup to CloudSigma was effortless and very quick. Overall the setup phase went smoothly and Figshare in the end needed little assistance from the CloudSigma support representatives.
“It was quite easy, we could actually replicate most of the AWS infrastructure services into CloudSigma in a matter of minutes.”
One of the things that impressed Figshare the most during the test phase was the performance of CloudSigma storage solution:
“We had to deploy our own object storage service and during the benchmarking phase we were quite impressed with how fast we can actually store any of the files on your storage system.”
Because of the great performance of CloudSigma’s storage solution, today Figshare is observing more than a 50% increase in storage related operations.
“With CloudSigma we have seen a 50% increase in the storage performance compared to the performance of our cloud provider in the U.S., which is great for us. You guys have full SSD hard drives and it was really easy to benchmark it and there was definitely a significant increase in the performance.”
Since they started to work with CloudSigma, Fishare are enjoying only positive feedback from their customers. The ISO 27001 certification of CloudSigma also proved to be a key advantage for some of their clients.
“There have been no issues encountered by our customers since we have deployed some of our services with CloudSigma. There are no performance issues, no considerable downtimes, no issues, overall we encounter no problems.”Daniel Gavrila, Infrastructure engineer @ Figshare
Compared to Figshares’ US cloud provider, they have been more than satisfied with the pricing model of CloudSigma. Because they can allocate the exact amount of resources they need per instance. They like that CloudSigma doesn’t offer packages of resources but customers can customize their own package instead.
“The pricing model of CloudSigma makes more sense to us. With CloudSigma we are allowed to allocate exactly the configuration that we need on a VM by VM basis and that is translated to lower costs.”
In 2017 Figshare planned to increase their deployment as they wanted to expand. So, they continued to see more and more customers requiring a European deployment base.
“When we first decided to use CloudSigma we had only one client that specifically asked for a European setup. Since then we have more and more clients asking for the same thing and I think that in 2017 the number of the European setups will grow further. That means that we will have more and more of our services deployed with CloudSigma.”
In addition, they planned to test some of the many additional services that CloudSigma offered them. For example, load balancing or backup services in order to increase the high availability of their deployment.
“I recommend CloudSigma, especially for the pricing model. But also for the excellent customer support and for the performance that we get from the storage layer.”Daniel Gavrila, Infrastructure engineer @ Figshare
“Unfortunately we haven’t managed to fully benchmark all features of CloudSigma yet. But I am sure that it is going to happen soon as we get more customers going on CloudSigma steadily.”
Despite the fact that Figshare started using CloudSigma less than a year go, they have already started recommending us. This is the biggest sign that we are on the right path.
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