We are a New Zealand based SaaS provider looking to deploy infrastructure in Europe as we are taking on, at least to begin with a major new client in UK/Ireland and other EU clients.
Our application captures data automatically from documents (its called the Xtracta App) and the design has a central database (currently in LAX) to store text data with all of the images (usually PDF, TIFF etc.) uploaded, processed and served from regional nodes (our current nodes are NZ and USA).
I am yet unsure whether we will want a single node or multiple in the region. Our clients can be worried about data sovereignty and connectivity/speed is important. While I know the infrastructure, cables, routing, speeds etc. through the Pacific, I am not that knowledgeable about Europe.
So a few questions.
1) Is there any "hub" for hosting which all of Europe has good and equally priced connectivity to (in NZ we pay different rates for domestic and international connectivity)
2) For servers we are currently looking for dedicated providers whom provide a good quality service but not to the point of charging a significant premium. Maybe options in the UK/Ireland as well as any identified hosting "hub".
3) We also will need a DR provider who may be slightly cheaper with a trade off on service.
We will most likely be starting with just 1-2 servers running ESXi which will need hardware RAID and significant amounts of space (2TB minimum), preferably using SATA Enterprise disks with RAID cards like the 9271-4i which have cachecade for the IOPs. If demand picks up, we will want dedicated processing servers and storage servers which we can organically grow with our provider. Storage may include SAN style so a fast storage network would be needed. As our application is massively multithreaded we may look to quad socket opteron setups but we are investigating moving to something like Intel Phi also in the future. So in essence a provider who really knows their stuff and can supply a dynamic service to fit changing needs and a provider we can work with to grow (IE we can discuss options with them etc.)
Currently in NZ we rent a rack for our equipment and run it ourselves. We use all Supermicro gear and its been excellent. In the US we use Quadranet as the primary hoster who seem to have good service and a very reliable setup. All suggestions are welcome!
The setup you require is not that complicated, you only have to find a host who is able to provide you with the support and quality you need.
You can look at some providers and their network to see which performs best with concern to speed and latency.
You don't necessarily need to go for UK to get good speeds to UK, mostly when you have a network that peers with LINX, it shouldn't make too much of a difference.
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I see, that you need premium service provider with premium hardware and availability to customize follow your needs.
What ping is acceptable for you?
There ton's of providers here. My recomendation to look at NL, UK, DE, FR service providers.
Thanks for the replies guys. Today I contacted softlayer and iWeb as they both were of extra interest since we could use them in the US and Singapore also (for iWeb it looks to be via Internap after they ere acquired by them?) - soft layer seems to have a good reputation but was VERY pricey.
I had a look at UK servers and they seem to have very reasonable pricing. We are just doing some research with clients now to see how important it is for the data to be held within the UK.