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How the NHS increased video calls during the pandemic thanks to colocation provider

How the NHS increased video calls during the pandemic thanks to colocation provider

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StarLeaf, a leading provider of telecommunications services, managed to rapidly scale its services to support its growing customer base and retain its position as a keystone provider to the NHS. It achieved this by hosting its infrastructure in ServerChoice’s data centres. Andy Wild, Cloud Operations Manager at StarLeaf, tells us more about how this was achieved and how ServerChoice’s quick turnaround time meant that it was able to meet the urgent demands of its NHS clients.

Time-critical challenges  

StarLeaf provides secure, robust telecommunications services which are fast becoming the leading alternative to Zoom. Notably, StarLeaf is a key service provider to the NHS.

Andy Wild, Cloud Operations Manager at StarLeaf, said: “StarLeaf owns its own IT infrastructure end-to-end here in the UK. That’s how we can offer the highest levels of security and is why the NHS continues to trust us over organisations who use public cloud infrastructure.”

The outbreak of COVID-19 caused an unprecedented uptake of StarLeaf, resulting in an urgent requirement for more colocation space and data centre services. Wild continued: “The challenge was finding a data centre provider who could offer a lightning-fast turnaround – we had a window of less than 24 hours to get everything operational. We were also unwilling to compromise our ethos of security and resilience, making the search that much harder.”

The project was made even more challenging by the technical specifications StarLeaf needed: a high-power density of 15 kW per rack, three-phase power, and a high floor-loading capability mean that many data centre providers were outclassed.

ServerChoice deploy in record time  

After a rapid but thorough search, StarLeaf selected ServerChoice’s world-class Harlow Data Centre to deploy its infrastructure. “We found that ServerChoice matched our reputation for resilience and security, and their Harlow facility is one of the best in the UK,” said Wild. “ServerChoice provided a turnaround time of just 12 hours, with the colocation racks completely ready for us to install our IT infrastructure. Rack space, connectivity, three-phase power bars and access requests were all ready to go in record time.”

Ricky Johnson, ServerChoice’s Data Centre Manager at Harlow, said: “It’s a point of personal pride that my team and I are able to help customers quickly no matter what their requirement. Everyone here in ServerChoice worked hard to help StarLeaf get up and running in 12 hours from the requirement coming in. This was only possible thanks to the world-class technical operation here at the Harlow Data Centre.”

Building on success  

The COVID-19 pandemic and UK lockdown meant that power and IP transit usage at StarLeaf rose significantly, as its NHS customers rapidly increased their use of online collaboration and telecommunication tools. “ServerChoice let us burst into additional capacity when we needed it, without us having to worry about contract terms or expensive overage charges,” said Wild. “It’s this flexible attitude to both service delivery and pricing that sets ServerChoice apart.”

As needs continued to increase, it soon became clear that StarLeaf would need to expand its original colocation footprint. ServerChoice once again delivered a rapid turnaround, having more colocation space ready for StarLeaf to install its infrastructure. At the same time, StarLeaf also expanded its connectivity, taking services from Lumen in addition to the resilient blended IP service direct from ServerChoice. ServerChoice’s ultra-resilient colocation platform ensures that multiple connectivity feeds are diversely routed and distributed to deliver maximum uptime through high resilience.

Customer results  

As a result of hosting its infrastructure in ServerChoice’s data centres and the move executed within an incredibly tight window, StarLeaf has been able to rapidly scale its services to support its growing customer base and retain its position as a keystone provider to the NHS.

  • Colocation environment ready for customer install within 12 hours
  • Secure colocation space in world-class data centre
  • High-power density of 15kW per rack
  • Blended IP transit for high resilience and low cost
  • Additional connectivity delivered via ultra-resilient platform

“StarLeaf urgently needed a data centre provider we could trust, who shared our priorities of security, performance and reliability. We found all that and more in ServerChoice, and its lightning-fast turnaround time meant we were able to meet the urgent demands of our NHS clients,” said Wild.

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