Comprehensive managed Public Cloud solution supporting Estate Agency cloud services with fast provisioning to back Reapit's rapid growth
Industry: UK leader in estate agent software services
Solution: Managed Public Cloud
Background to Reapit
Reapit is an award winning market leader in cloud based software and applications services for estate and letting agencies of all sizes, from large multi-national companies to single office independent agencies. Agents use Reapit’s software package in all areas of their work, from designing websites with industry specific features to customised tools used to market, sell, let and manage properties. It also includes a mobile application that allows agents to have their client contact details and diary at their fingertips. Reapit’s service is used by over 500 outlets across the UK, with agent websites selling properties online 24x7.
Business Drivers & Challenges
Reapit is expanding rapidly and regularly winning new agency clients. To support its service, Reapit needs a supplier that can quickly provision new clients so they are live as soon as possible and provides scaling as the volume of clients continues to grow. New customer deployments need to be rolled out quickly, correctly and tailored to customer’s requirements.
Estate Agents need to know that their business data is safely stored in the cloud. The overall solution must ensure that all agent and client data alike are safe. A sound and reliable disaster recovery and business continuity plan needs to be in place for every one of Reapit’s clients.
With 90% of property searches now occurring online it’s imperative that online services are never interrupted. Reapit also requires a solution that is monitored and supported on a 24/7/365 basis.
Extraordinary’s Solution & Benefits
Reapit benefits from a comprehensive Managed Public Cloud solution that Extraordinary designed specifically to meet the particular requirements of Reapit’s business.
Secure Public Cloud
Each Estate Agent client of Reapit is hosted on an individual virtual server in Extraordinary’s Public Cloud. The public cloud is secured by redundant Cisco ASA 5512-X firewalls, which are managed by Extraordinary. Reapit’s virtual machines are contained in their own Virtual LAN (VLAN). A dedicated VLAN allows network traffic to be separated and kept secure in shared environments.
Extraordinary keeps a template of Reapit’s standard client configuration. When Reapit signs a new customer, a fully configured and ready-to-go client instance can be very rapidly deployed by Extraordinary’s provisioning team. New agents can be quickly and efficiently brought onto Reapit’s service, enabling Reapit to handle its rapid growth capably and consistently. Because each Reapit agent has his own virtual server, Reapit can tailor the application specifically to each agent.
Backups and Disaster Recovery
All servers are backed up at night and stored securely in an offsite location. Extraordinary does not only backup individual files, but also whole virtual server images. Extraordinary’s engineering team checks the successful completion of each individual virtual machine backup on a daily basis. If a backup has failed or encountered problems, the issue is investigated and the backup is re-run and checked again. Daily back-up checks and off-site backup storage ensure client data is always secure.
24/7 Service Monitoring
Each client instance is monitored by Extraordinary on a 24/7 basis. In the event of a service failure, Extraordinary refers to the Reapit run book to take remedial action. The run book contains the detailed instructions that Extraordinary will follow if a client virtual machine or application fails. At the end of each month, Reapit is provided with a report detailing all the actions Extraordinary took while monitoring the service and responding to failures.
Reapit’s virtual machine estate is kept up to date through Extraordinary’s managed patching service. Extraordinary carefully evaluates new vulnerabilities using Extraordinary Package Management (EPM) system. The EPM system indexes each virtual machine’s software and analyses it using the data provided in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) vulnerability database. This data assists Extraordinary’s engineers to quickly identify the severity of vulnerabilities and determine if packages are in need of immediate patching or update. Before updates are applied, Extraordinary’s engineers take complete snapshots of each virtual machine providing Extraordinary the ability to rollback in the eventuality that a patch fails.
To augment and doubly verify the patch management, Extraordinary performs a daily security scan audit of all of Reapit’s virtual machines using Tennable Networks Nessus security scanner. Any issues highlighted are prioritised and investigated on a daily basis.
Virtualisation also allows for the guarantee of server resources for each agent.
Reapit relies on Extraordinary’s skills in monitoring, managing and securing systems. In addition Extraordinary provides a 24/7 support service. This means Reapit can focus its IT resource on its core business of developing new services and improving its applications.
“Extraordinary engaged with us to properly understand our business, assess the factors which are critical to our success and have provided a robust solution we rely on every hour of every day.”
(Gary Barker, Managing Director of Reapit)“Replicating and rolling out a software service to time critical businesses which carry lots of personal and sensitive data is a demanding and difficult remit for any business. Extraordinary have risen to the challenge, providing sound infrastructure build specifically to Reapit’s needs, supported by a range of managed services to ensure continuity for our business and ensure security is handled to the highest industry standards.“ (Gary Barker, Managing Director of Reapit)