Lonely Planet

Around the world, millions of travellers look to Lonely Planet to provide concise and helpful information about their business and leisure destinations. For the last five years they have also been turning to Lonely Planet to help them find the best deals and get the best advice on accommodation.

The Hotels and Hostels component of the Lonely Planet website includes information on accommodation in all the most popular destinations, as well as some of the world’s most obscure locations, from Tierra del Feugo in South America to Côte d'Ivoire in Africa. With up to 20,000 travellers each month relying on Lonely Planet to help them find a bed for the night, it’s vital that this web-based service be available when they need it. And with some travellers accessing the site from slow or unreliable connections, it is important that the site is always performing optimally. Based in Melbourne, Australia, but with a global customer base, Lonely Planet required a hosting provider capable of servicing customers anywhere in the world. When it was time to renew its hosting contract for the Hotels and Hostels site, it turned to Rackspace.

The digital service delivery manager at Lonely Planet, Mark Jennings, says his company had been hosting the site with a small UK-based company for the past four years, but was seeking a much better level of support. He had long known of Rackspace’s exemplary track record in service and support, and this was reinforced when one of his engineers reported back after a visit to a US Rackspace facility. “He was blown away by what he saw in that data centre, and the professionalism of everyone,” Jennings says. “He came away with an understanding that there is just such a focus on support.”

Hence when its hosting contract came up for renewals in 2010, Lonely Planet entered straight into discussions with Rackspace staff in Australia. By May that year the Hotels and Hostels was up and running on Rackspace’s infrastructure in London. Hotels and Hostels is the only component of the Lonely Planet website that operates with a third party supplier. It now runs a production and staging environment with

Jennings says he has not been disappointed. He has been particularly happy that he can speak to dedicated technical specialists at Rackspace, and is more than satisfied with the expertise of staff and the level of advice that he is receiving. “The primary reason that we switched and the number one thing that continues to impress us about Rackspace is support,” Jennings says. “We can’t fault it. I find myself asking why other service providers can’t be more like Rackspace. I see them as the benchmark I have now for support.” With his previous hosting supplier, Jennings says his team would often find there had been issues with its infrastructure that weren’t being reported back. “With Rackspace, we don’t need to ask them – they tell us,” Jennings says. “If something goes wrong, we get notified of it straight away and we know that someone is looking at it. And often the fixes are quite quick. Often within 10 minutes of something happening on the site I’ve already got a ticket logged by Rackspace telling me what’s happened, and that they have fixed it.” Jennings says Rackspace is also the only company where he has had his account manager regularly call him to check on how things are going. “With other suppliers we’ll have catch-ups, but the feeling I get from speaking to people at Rackspace in the support area and account management is that nothing’s a problem for them,” Jennings says. Rackspace’s Australian representative Mark Randall says that as companies like Lonely Planet evolve to service clients on a global basis, it is important for them to work with an organisation that can support them in all of their markets. “Delivering a consistent experience requires both the appropriate infrastructure and high-quality support network,” Randall says. “At Rackspace we offer a global network of highly-secure data centres packed with the latest technology for managed hosting and cloud
computing. And they are all backed by our fanatical support.” To find out how your organisation can gain a global presence, visit Rackspace at www.rackspace.co.uk or please call us FREE on 0800 988 0100

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