Axium IT helps companies to adopt new IT practices: cloud, IoT, data, cybersecurity. The company designs and manages IT infrastructures throughout the Lake Geneva region. Its specialists are constantly on the lookout for new areas to offer creative custom solutions. After an in-depth evaluation lasting several months, Axium has decided to place Infomaniak Public Cloud at the heart of its IaaS strategy:

“The Infomaniak Public Cloud offer will allow companies to host their solutions in a secure and budget-friendly way.” Jean-Michel Renard, CTO Axium IT

Axium IT’s role: supporting the digital transformation of companies

Axium IT’s specialists cover a spectrum ranging from consulting, infrastructure operations and IT solutions to user support. The challenges are, of course, cybersecurity, but also UX and the adoption of new technologies in the context of the digitisation of the workplace.

“Ensuring that IT is always a performance driver for our customers.”

The company uses an actuarial model (similar to that of insurers) based on a real transfer of responsibilities and the takeover of existing contracts. It includes its environmental responsibility in its business model.

“To our knowledge, we’re the first to calculate the carbon footprint of operational solutions to systematically invest in environmentally responsible projects as compensation.”

IaaS offers: the experience of an integrator in the field

“We’re very agnostic when it comes to IT infrastructure. We have customers with infrastructures hosted at Microsoft Azure, with the constraint of committing resources for three years to get competitive rates, or Google Cloud Platform when the need turns to scalability and automation. Lately, in spite of ourselves, we’ve been offering on-premise servers to meet budgetary needs at the expense of agility, optimum availability and management flexibility. Often we take over cloud infrastructures with poor capacity planning and resource consumption management.

In this context, we know that there is a real need in the market for an independent IaaS solution that gives customers more freedom.”

The challenge

  • Developing a new secure and scalable IaaS offer in a bid to provide compelling recommendations for Axium IT’s customers as they make their technological choices.
  • Offering a unique price/performance ratio to current and prospective customers while including environmental constraints in their infrastructure.

Why Infomaniak Public Cloud?

“We followed the launch of Infomaniak Public Cloud with great interest. Following a positive evaluation phase, we decided to develop an IaaS offering around this new cloud solution.” Several customers already use Infomaniak’s services.

“We found the amazing yet controlled growth of recent years increasingly attractive,” reveals the CTO.

On the back of numerous tests, the Axium IT team determined that migrating to Infomaniak Public Cloud could save up to 80% of operating costs. In addition to the utilisation, Axium IT wants to replicate, as much it can, the eco-responsible and sustainable services:

“This IaaS offer also allows companies to accelerate the catching up of their digital debt with Infomaniak’s ecological infrastructure,” explains Jean-Michel Renard.

With data sovereignty becoming a hot topic, the choice of Infomaniak makes perfect sense in view of its guarantees of independence and its domicile in Switzerland. In this context, Axium IT naturally favours circular cooperation with locally based companies and employees.

An initial technical assessment phase

Before considering the creation of a new offer, Axium IT explored further. “You could say that we turned the OpenStack virtualisation technology used for Infomaniak Public Cloud on its head, and were quickly won over”:

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Deployment of Linux images in a few seconds (no exaggeration)
  • Integration of Microsoft Windows Server 2019 & 2022 images
  • Integration of third-party vendor images such as Fortinet / Barracuda

The Infomaniak solution can hold its own against current players, and the OpenStack technology offers a wide range of compatibility. We went quite far with our testing. For instance, we created hosting models of all possible solutions on a local or Microsoft Azure / Google cloud infrastructure:

  • Hosting of security virtual machines
  • Implementation of Microsoft infrastructures (Active Directory, Databases, Files)
  • Desktop virtualisation (Citrix, RDS)

In terms of performance, we believe that the catalogue fully meets the resource requirements of companies in the Lake Geneva region whose infrastructures we’re aware of: from two to several hundred processors, from a single GB of memory to TB, SSD-type disk performance and network consumption offered.

Migration and production launch of the first customer in finance

Our first production start-up on Infomaniak Public Cloud – for HTTS Fund SA, a company operating in a strategic finance sector – enabled us to package and automate the entire process, allowing us to deploy a complete infrastructure in a few hours. This production implementation integrates several layers: an SD-WAN network with two remote infrastructures, data synchronised in real time, and financial calculation servers, with a number of layers of auditable security and control.

“We’ve already switched our operations centre’s VMs to Infomaniak Public Cloud. It’s our main tool for monitoring our customers. We use it to e.g. manage the centralisation of backups, logs and automated updates. Our next project is to deploy a secure development infrastructure under Linux Fedora and Gitlab with certificate-based access control.”

How has the Infomaniak Public Cloud implementation gone?

“At our level and that of the companies in the Lake Geneva region that we know, it’s perfect. It remains OpenStack, which has been around for 11 years, so it’s a proven solution that’s straightforward for a consultant who knows what he or she’s doing. We were warmly welcomed and supported by Infomaniak, which proactively offered to train us in OpenStack and hold our hand during our initial projects.”

What about the Infomaniak teams?

“We couldn’t do without the atmosphere and relationship of trust that’s been built up. This is very special – and something that Infomaniak’s senior management doesn’t boast about – but everyone you meet gives the impression that they really care and are involved in the subsequent requests and follow-up. The positivity of the Infomaniak staff really comes across.”

Could anything be improved?

At our level and that of the companies in the Lake Geneva region that we know, nothing comes to mind. Infomaniak Public Cloud may not be of immediate interest to the largest accounts with their hundreds of VMs.

Axium IT’s new IaaS offer: security, simplicity and cost control

Worth bearing in mind is the fact that solutions such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform remain too complex, with thousands of applications, sometimes with interdependencies. It’s very difficult for an SME to avoid being too dependent on its service provider.

“Our IaaS offer with Infomaniak Public Cloud enables us to offer our customers secure outsourcing of their data that’s hosted in Switzerland, as well as ease of processing and operation that other solutions would not allow.”

Through the simplicity of the offer, Infomaniak Public Cloud encourages better take-up by customers, while being secure and more accessible. By cutting its operating costs, Axium IT is able to make 100% cloud migrations profitable, which was not the case until now. Customers benefit from other services as well: periodic penetration tests, analytical reporting, detailed capacity planning and budget projections.

Infomaniak Public Cloud is evolving

“We made a deliberate choice to release a rather frugal product in terms of features in order to focus on stability and performance. It’s a decision that’s paid off: there’s been no significant failure since its launch. Now we’re focusing on evolution. Our roadmap is dictated by customer feedback, of which we get a lot: we’re focusing on the catalogue of features, which will be significantly expanded over the next few months with the arrival of Windows instances (server and desktop), a cost explorer (which will facilitate a very detailed analysis of the charges linked to a cloud infrastructure) and several new OpenStack modules (Designate for DNS management, Manila for shared volumes, Magnum for container orchestration, and many others).” Fabien Galli, Infomaniak project manager