Addison Lee drives efficiency with Exchange migration

When the growth of London-based minicab firm Addison Lee placed strain on its infrastructure, its IT team decided to deploy an efficient email service between employees and clients.

The private hire company, which is known for its use of technology to guarantee central-London pick-ups within 10 minutes, has over 3,500 cabs operating in throughout the city, serving over 10 million customers per year.

The IT team decided to make the switch from Microsoft Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 to provide the new email service. Exchange is a business-critical application for the company, whose staff send thousands of emails a day, and any downtime can have a severe impact on the business.

While migrating to Exchange 2010, the IT team needed to ensure that the newly upgraded system had the necessary resilience and reliability to handle increasing email volumes. Any backlogs or unsent emails could potentially lead to lost business.

“The migration to Microsoft Exchange 2010 was a crucial part of adding resiliency to our infrastructure, and is a service that our staff, and by association our customers, rely on every day,” said Ian Reeves, Senior IT Support and Technical Lead, Addison Lee.

“We needed a load balancing solution that was simple, efficient and had the capacity to handle heavy 24/7 use. Microsoft recommends using third-party load balancers for new Exchange deployments, so we decided to build on our existing partnership with jetNEXUS.”

Addison Lee already used jetNEXUS load balancers to support its bookings website, which gave the team the confidence to approach the company for the new project. Furthermore, as the pre-sales team had an existing understanding of the business and had always provided prompt service and support, the Addison Lee team had peace of mind that jetNEXUS could meet their additional needs, Reeves said.

Addison Lee installed a pair of jetNEXUS Accelerating Load Balancers (ALB-X) in a high-availability deployment in their on-site data centre in North London.

As well as being fully-certified by Microsoft for Exchange, the jetNEXUS ALB-X can be configured for this environment within a matter of minutes thanks to jetPACK deployment templates. “This removed a time-consuming IT configuration and set-up period, and meant that the system was up and running within minutes rather than hours – ensuring minimal impact on business operations,” Reeves said.

He added that since the deployment of jetNEXUS ALB-X, Addison Lee has benefitted from a manageable, reliable and resilient Exchange deployment – with servers always kept available and staff able to rely on an efficient IT system to work.

With ALB-X, administration has also become simpler for the Addison Lee IT team as system maintenance can be easily carried out at very short notice with zero impact.

Furthermore, the ALB-X provides ‘unlimited’ throughput, which means that as the business grows, its load balancing requirements easily scale without the need for additional purchases.

“Our business is always growing, and as such we’re likely to add more off-site servers for greater capacity and resiliency,” said Reeves. “jetNEXUS is unrestricted on throughput which is key for us, as it will enable us to expand our requirements both quickly and cost-effectively.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...