BY RICK WEINBERG, CALIFORNIA BUSINESS JOURNAL
Every Monday morning, on TV and radio, the world learns about the weekend box office movie blockbusters – which films finished in the top 10 globally in terms of dollars and the number of actual movie goers broken down by virtually every category you can fathom from gender and age to city and state.
This amazingly precise and sophisticated service comes courtesy of Rentrak, whose parent company is comScore, the world’s premiere company that measures audiences, brands and consumer behavior everywhere in the world on a variety of platforms, including digital, TV and film, and features a wide range of demographic details to quantify consumers’ multiscreen behavior on a massive scale.
What you don’t see or hear about is the company behind Rentrak, the company that enables its infrastructure to run its computing systems, which updates every second 24/7 and has terabytes of storage, applications and data. That company is Cloudtrek.com, an Irvine, Calif.-based firm that is among a small handful of companies specializing in customized private cloud hosting services.
Cloudtrek was established by CTO Vincent Vuong and President Igor Shalkevich. They have worked together for the last 15 years – Vuong is a top level engineer and Shalkevich manages the sales and marketing efforts. When Rentrak’s system failed numerous times with a previous cloud provider, Vuong and his team came up with a unique, flexible and ironclad platform that was ideal for Rentrak to run its mission critical network of data that is vital to media, consumers and clients.
“Most cloud services are a one-size-fits-all solution,” Shalkevich says. “We’re not like that. Our various clients have very specific needs and requirements that were not being met by most of the public cloud providers.”
Developing a fault tolerant private cloud with unlimited scalability requires unparalleled intelligence, experience, creativity and sophistication. Cloudtrek’s team pioneered one of the first data center businesses and has been running tiered data centers and support for thousands of large enterprise companies, helping them deploy, manage and maintain their enormous infrastructure since 1995.
Dana Keith of Information Logix handles all the applications, storage and data for the biggest bank in the world. He needed the safest, most dynamic and flexible platform imaginable for his client. He previously worked with Verizon. Even that wasn’t good enough to handle the bank’s massive requirements – security for 5,000 branches, 70,000 employees, millions of clients and billions of dollars.
Then he found Cloudtrek.
“It’s the value they provide with their service and expertise that attracted me to them,” Keith says. “Cloudtrek has a very hands-on, accessible and customized approach relative to our strict requirements. With a bank of this size, with very strict regulations, Cloudtrek customized a solution for us that met our needs. Verizon was simply not giving us the level of service we required, especially for the price we were paying.”
The importance of secure cloud hosting services cannot be underestimated for one second. Just ask Sony, Target, Yahoo – and even Amazon Web Services, the No. 1 cloud hosting service in the world. Just recently, an accidental typo by an Amazon employee slowed down – and actually took down – many websites, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as well as Target and the Disney Store.
The outage by the widely-used cloud computing and hosting arm of Amazon cost S&P 500 companies a reported $150 million in lost revenues. More than half of the major U.S. e-retailers tracked by Apica Systems, a provider that monitors cloud and mobile application performance, were impacted by the AWS outage. Fifty-four of the 100 e-retailers in Apica’s 100 Web Performance Cyber Monday Index were negatively impacted by a 20 percent or more decrease in website performance. Three sites — Lululemon, Express, and One Kings Lane — were completely unavailable. The biggest delays in load times were experienced by the Disney Store, with a 1,165 percent delay — or 10 times the usual wait.
Yahoo’s breach cost CEO Marissa Mayer millions of dollars in her exit bonus.
Meanwhile, Cloudtrek’s secret lies in its sophistication, flexibility and superior engineering team led by Vuong.
“What we’ve done is standardize some of the best known hardware available to use for our cloud computing enterprise requirements,” Shalkevich says. “We’ve standardized the best-of-the-best gear and we’ve put a price point to it that allows companies limited by budget to continue to use the best gear at a price point that’s palatable.”
He pauses for a moment, glances out at the Southern California sun breaking through the clouds and adds: “We’ve created the most affordable high-end system that a company can procure in today’s cloud/IaaS space.”
What Cloudtrek did for Rentrak – saving it from a colossal crash – is clear evidence of its superior skill set, thanks to Vuong and his team of engineers. They racked their brains trying to figure out a solution for Rentrak’s ultra-complex platform. Some solutions need different approaches to hyper convergence and traditional colocation.
Through this process evolved Cloudtrek’s “hybrid model,” where you “virtualize technology to live in the cloud,” Vuong says. “Rentrak needed a mix of a traditional server and a virtual cloud. Now they have the proper footprint to run their business.”
Says Shalkevich: “What Vincent did was look at all the tools he could bring in to integrate multiple technologies in a way that provided an absolute guarantee that the platform was always secure and scalable. And he also kept cost in mind. From an engineering standpoint, instead of saying, ‘we can make a lot of money on this,’ Vincent decided to create something steady and scalable that is priced with a mindset of how much can we help our customers save with our solution. The biggest thing is simplicity – if you can get that, you can scale it.”
Vuong broke every piece of the cloud structure apart and put it together like Legos. “With our platform, we can take a piece of the system, like storage or firewalls, and easily replace it with another,” he says. “You can’t do that with the majority of cloud platforms in the market today. That’s why Cloudtrek is so effective.”
Igor Shalkevich, President
Vincent Vuong, CTO
2460 Main Street
Irvine, California. 92614