Advantages for SaaS providers in the Virtual Datacenter

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Author: Michael Dudli

Category: Cloud / SaaS

January 16, 2019

The Virtual Datacenter or Xelon HQ is home to a large number of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers from various industries such as finance, insurance or healthcare. We show you the advantages of the Virtual Datacenter for SaaS environments and how the highest availability for software and services can be achieved.


SaaS is THE cloud topic par excellence. Where classic software on Windows, Mac and Linux used to be used for topics such as ERP, CRM, newsletters and accounting, today a wide variety of software-as-a-service providers offer web-based solutions that can be accessed with a browser from any device. The advantages of virtual data centres are obvious: no installation effort, no maintenance work, and quick expansion when needed. In return, of course, the user expects one thing: a high-performance platform that is available at all times. This is exactly why the choice of a suitable server environment is the essential basis for successful SaaS projects.

Think big, start small, scale fast!

For some years now, we have been able to follow the pleasing growth of our customers at first hand. Many of these providers started with us as start-ups, with one or a few servers. Because of their Lean or Agile mentality, they all want the same thing: to start small and risk-free, and to scale quickly if needed. Our Virtual Datacenter offers these advantages. In the Virtual Datacenter there is no minimum purchase, no setup costs and hourly billing. I create my account and can start. And not on some tinker environment, but on a highly available enterprise platform. This is also helpful for SaaS providers who work with Kubernetes.


Linux, Windows, what'll it be?

Although Linux is still ahead of the pack, Microsoft offers a feature set for developers and SaaS providers that is not to be neglected. For Windows-based systems, the Microsoft Service Fabric, which can be installed standalone on any Windows environment in addition to Azure, offers the ideal environment for highly available systems. Service Fabric is used, for example, by Jarowa, a Swiss start-up that offers a service platform for insurance companies as Software-as-a-Service. More about the Jarowa environment can be found here: Digital Service Platform JAROWA

There are also different options for database systems, from MariaDB to MSSQL and MongoDB. Clustering at the service level is important for both the web server and the DB server, for example by means of DB clusters or load balancing and several web servers. In the vDC, environments can also be set up across several data centers, among other things.

High availability vs. complexity


High availability vs. complexity - software as a service


The structure of highly available infrastructures increases with every additional percent, however complexity. It is important to note that there are two different levels, on which high availability of servers and services can be achieved:

Hardware/hypervisor: e.g. a redundant storage, or automatic failover of the hypervisors

Service/Clustering: e.g. Database Cluster, Web server load balancing

An availability of up to 99.9% can normally be achieved without problems with a single level, for example a local VMWare environment, without additional clustering or load balancing on the service level. For additional requirements, it is not recommended to expand this level further, but to use both levels and a combination of, for example, hypervisor clustering and DB clustering. In this way, the complexity can be kept low and the availability can be increased.

The Virtual Datacenter already offers an automatic failover as standard, as well as a highly redundant Enterprise SSD Storage. This environment offers a high Availability for servers and services and an ideal basis for environments with load balancer, cluster, etc. Small SaaS startups often start with individual systems and services, and extend them to a later time with cluster or load balancing capabilities, for example on database level or for the web servers.

How's the security...

Security of SaaS environments is a central topic, and is getting a new, long overdue focus especially with the new data protection laws in the EU and also in Switzerland. In addition to a secure application itself, there are various options for incorporating additional security layers, for example at the gateway by means of a web application firewall (WAF), or of course locally on the OS itself. Local malware scanning, a WAF and vulnerability scanning are now part of the standard equipment of every SaaS provider, and are often supplemented by AI-based solutions. By means of Managed Security Services, these tasks are taken over by the service provider and its security specialists.

... and the system management?

Especially SaaS startups and smaller SaaS companies often do not have enough know-how to maintain the Linux, Windows and database systems. However, a SaaS platform can only be operated securely and with high availability if the underlying systems are monitored and managed around the clock. Managed services provide a remedy. The service provider, for example Xelon, takes care of the availability of the systems and monitors them, creates backups, and installs updates.

A cleanly designed and created server environment is the basic prerequisite for highly available and secure SaaS platforms. By combining various mechanisms, a highly available server environment can be created with manageable effort. With our Virtual Datacenter you can start small and grow at your own pace. You can find more information here: vDC environments for developers and


Michael Dudli

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