Sydney reseller takes NRL to the cloud

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Sydney reseller takes NRL to the cloud
NRL players Josh Morris, Michael Ennis, Josh Reynolds and Semi Radradra

An emerging Sydney IT provider has taken the National Rugby League's data to the cloud, in a deal initiated from a cold call.

Two-year-old business Solista has used infrastructure provided by Hosted Network and software from Veeam to take the world’s premier rugby league competition off-premises for its backup and disaster recovery.

“NRL was already an existing Veeam customer. But then we were engaged with them independently, looking at a DR strategy,” Solista general manager and co-owner Noel Allnutt told CRN.

“They only had data stored on-premises, which was a risk… If there was an act of God or if by any other means that site went down, they would lose all their data.”

Solista, which had contacted the NRL via an unsolicited phone call, convinced the organisation that a cloud-based backup solution was necessary to mitigate risk. Allnutt said that both Zerto and Veeam technologies were proposed.

“They ended up going with the Veeam solution, so that they could use their existing investment but have a cloud-connected target. We used white-labelled provider Hosted Network as the [backup] target.”

NRL head of IT Maurice Veliz said that the off-field business “would cease to function if there were to be a disaster” but he initially “struggled to get the business to commit to off-site backup”.

“Although the NRL does have some solid redundancy at [league headquarters] Moore Park site, the single location is a risk having all data stored on premise,” he said, adding that the data now backed up to the cloud include images, video, virtual machines, match day and sponsorship databases, as well as the usual business documents.

[Related: meet the IT service providers behind the NRL]

In the next 12 months, Solista is planning to put 15 to 20 customers on the same DR architecture, according to Allnutt, and currently holds 10 quotations for prospective clients. He said the interest in the NRL-style solution is a demonstration of the company’s spectacular growth.

“One of our key goals is to get into the top 10 of the CRN Fast50 this year. That’s what we’re gunning for,” he said. “We’re definitely looking to grow the team. We’ve hired some people recently out of VMware.”

[Pre-register for 2016 CRN Fast50 now!]

NRL’s Veliz said that the league has received outstanding support from both Solista and Hosted Network: “Any issues or queries get a response straight away. Hosted Network has been great in helping with some network issues.”

The NRL’s next big move to the cloud would be Office 365, according to Veliz.

Allnutt has worked in all three layers of the IT channel: he was a sales manager for vendor StorageCraft immediately before setting up Solista with a partner, as well as boasting a stint with distributor Westcon as a business development manager.

As well as Zerto and Veeam, Solista is also a Nimble Storage and Pure Storage partner. The Sydney CBD business was established in 2014.

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