Aspectra - Security and Uptime Assured For Specialist Hosting Provider Aspectra

Case study

Swiss hosting company aspectra is trusted by organisations in sectors such as finance, government, healthcare and IT that require exceptionally high levels of security, availability and performance for their mission-critical applications. In turn, aspectra trusts Interxion Zurich as its primary data centre facility, based on uptime, security features and compliance with standards and regulations.

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The Challenge

Organisations come to aspectra for its ultra-reliable dedicated services and highly personalised approach that includes a named site manager who can be contacted at any time. “Our primary aim is to give our customers peace of mind. We tell them they can go home at 5pm and we’ll take care of the rest,” says CEO Kaspar Geiser.

The company was founded at the turn of the century, at the same time as Interxion opened its Zurich data centre, and was the first customer to move in to the facility.

“Right from the start, Interxion met our needs perfectly for a secure, high performance environment from which we offer our very specific service model,” recalls Geiser. “And they continue to do so now that we have become a mature company.”

Colocating in a private room at Interxion gives us a ‘data centre within a data centre’. It’s a high-quality environment that would be hard to replicate ourselves.

Solution

aspectra’s customers are primarily Swiss organisations operating in highly regulated sectors, where data must be rigorously protected and kept within the borders of Switzerland; and companies based elsewhere that value Switzerland’s strict data privacy laws.

Among the sensitive applications aspectra hosts and monitors are e-banking services, healthcare information exchanges and tax information collection systems. The company also meets the performance and uptime needs of large e commerce platforms and online portals; and provides software developers with easy-to-scale private cloud environments from which they can offer SaaS to their own end-customers.

In line with its customers’ needs, aspectra must comply with standards and regulations. These include broadly applicable standards, such as ISO 27001 (information security); and sector-specific regulations, such as the ruleset laid down by FINMA (the Swiss financial services authority). aspectra’s suppliers and partners, including Interxion, must do the same. “

One of the things we like about Interxion is that they go beyond self-certificated compliance and bring in an external auditor to validate their compliance, just like we do,” explains Geiser. “That provides us and our customers with an important extra layer of confidence.”

aspectra houses its IT infrastructure inside a private room at Interxion Zurich that provides enhanced privacy and security. Private rooms also feature redundant dedicated power and cooling to maximise uptime and ensure operational independence from other data centre tenants. “Effectively, we have a ‘data centre within a data centre’ for the 1.400 or so servers and other pieces of equipment we use to run our customers’ services,” says Geiser. “It’s a high-quality environment that would be hard to replicate ourselves.” A visit to the Interxion data centre lets customers see for themselves the security measures and best-practice processes in use, as Geiser explains: “Customers are reassured by seeing the physical security features like access barriers and CCTV, and the ‘segregation of duties’ measures that are designed to reduce the risk of mistakes and inappropriate actions,” says Geiser. “For example, it’s Interxion, not aspectra, that controls visitor access, and our customers get to experience the rigorous identity checks that take place.”

Over the years that aspectra has colocated its infrastructure at Interxion, the two companies have developed what Geiser describes as the ideal professional technical partnership that goes from strength to strength:

“It’s a cooperative working relationship in which we openly discuss our needs with Interxion, confident they can deliver,” he says. “It can be anything ranging from a fairly standard requirement, such as increasing the power and cooling to our racks; to a more conceptual piece of work where we need Interxion’s input to help find the right solution.”

“Interxion are always helpful, ready to exchange ideas, and willing to spend time with us to ensure we get what we need,” he concludes.

About Aspectra

Aspectra implements, operates and monitors IT environments for business-critical applications that require very high levels of security, availability and performance. Its IT outsourcing is FINMA compliant and ISO 27001 certified. www.aspectra.ch