Protecting customer assets with GPS technology
PassTime combines Flexential Hosted Private Cloud and Flexential Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service to provide always-available, real-time access to GPS-powered devices.
“Our devices touch the lives of consumers by allowing them to monitor and quickly locate assets—or even individuals. They are important to inventory management and the financial livelihood of the dealers we work with as well as the safety of individuals. Flexential ensures our systems are always online to support these needs.”
Reliable IT environment required for real-time access to GPS data
Working with cutting-edge GPS and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, PassTime relies on its IT infrastructure to provide its growing customer base with the secure, always-available, low-latency access they need to monitor and track their assets in real-time.
When its existing colocation provider was unable to support it's intensifying IT requirements as it expanded the scope and capabilities of its product, PassTime began looking for a leading-edge third-party data center provider.
“A rock-solid infrastructure is essential for our 24x7 environment,” said Todd Goodnight, chief technology officer for PassTime. “It is part and parcel to the success of how we deliver our overall product experience to our endpoint consumers.”
PassTime’s channel partner, Bitflip, recommended Flexential. After touring the Denver - Aurora facility, PassTime was impressed. The conversation got more interesting when PassTime mentioned refreshing its aging hardware. To avoid this capital outlay and the long-term management of the equipment, Flexential recommended its Hosted Private Cloud.
“We were intrigued by the technical, financial, and operational benefits of an infrastructure-as-a-service solution,” said Goodnight. “It enables us to focus more on the needs of the business as we continue to expand rather than on maintaining hardware.”
Integrating Hosted Private Cloud, DR, storage and more with a single provider
Ultimately, PassTime chose Flexential Hosted Private Cloud solution, working with Flexential certified cloud experts to customize the environment to address its business goals, technical requirements and security demands. The Flexential Professional Services (FPS) team also supported PassTime, offering the technical expertise to successfully plan and execute the migration.
With Flexential’s Hosted Private Cloud, PassTime receives dedicated compute, memory and storage resources to achieve the scalability, performance and flexibility to confidently ensure real-time, uninterrupted access to its tracking technology. With pre-integrated compliance up to the hypervisor level, the Hosted Private Cloud also minimizes security risks.
Using Flexential Hosted Private Cloud - Advanced Access, PassTime has full administrative control over its cloud environment, allowing the company to proactively manage the cloud environment to meet changing needs. To further protect PassTime’s data and operations, the company utilizes rack space within Flexential’s cloud cage for its firewalls.
PassTime also integrates additional services from Flexential’s portfolio. For long-term storage of GPS data, firmware commands and other transactional data, PassTime utilizes Flexential Archive Storage. This secure, high-performance, low-cost environment allows data to be quickly and easily retrieved—regardless of how it is classified—to eliminate the tier-based latency delays of other storage solutions.
PassTime also utilizes the Flexential Recovery Cloud, a disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solution that utilizes near real-time replication to meet PassTime’s unique recovery time objective (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs).
Flexential’s Data Center Interconnect (DCI) platform also supports availability with redundant, secure, lower latency connections between any two points on the Flexential data center network, including cloud service providers, peering exchanges, regional network exchanges and a diverse ecosystem of service providers. With full end-to-end management and up to 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) connectivity, Flexential’s network allows PassTime to build an effective connectivity strategy.
Real-time, always-on access to GPS-enabled devices
Flexential’s comprehensive suite of IT services transformed the single cabinet colocation environment PassTime initially requested into a dynamic hybrid IT solution that addresses the company’s wide-ranging needs and delivers more value. The reliability, performance and speed of Flexential’s private cloud ensures PassTime’s devices are always available to provide customers with real-time access to GPS. The solution also allowed PassTime to avoid the hefty costs of a hardware refresh.
Using Flexential’s DRaaS, PassTime is able to move away from traditional external hard drive backups in favor of a near-real-time solution that ensures customers have access to the information they need, when they need it. Flexential also guided PassTime through the planning and execution of the cloud deployment and continues to serve as an integral partner. Looking forward, the cloud solution will offload PassTime’s internal team of managing and maintaining the infrastructure so it can focus on building the business.
“Our partnership with Flexential is off to a great start. The entire Flexential team has been extremely responsive—from the account executive to executive leadership to the engineers,” said Mike Wells, vice president of IT for PassTime. “During the migration planning and on the cutover night, Flexential provided an exceptional level of comfort. Its engineers remained online with us until the transition was complete and followed up to ensure our satisfaction. That support was phenomenal.”
PassTime’s product is largely dependent upon connectivity, and Flexential’s connectivity options ensure PassTime has the low latency, high-availability connections to allow customers to locate assets and people enabled with its technology without delays. Flexential’s Cloud Fabric also allows PassTime to integrate seamlessly with leading public cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft Azure to strengthen PassTime’s strategic direction.
“We want to position ourselves now for the future,” said Goodnight. “We are in the early stages of moving to the cloud, but we need that capability as an integrated, seamless part of our Flexential strategy.”
With Flexential, PassTime can also increase its network bandwidth and compute power— including its storage layer—to keep pace with its growth. Flexential HPC - Advanced Access supports this agility by allowing PassTime to proactively adapt its Hosted Private Cloud to optimize operations. This is particularly important as the organization delves into new vertical markets and expands its customer base. Flexential’s security protocols—coupled with PassTime’s ability to control its firewalls from within Flexential’s secure facility—is integral to protect PassTime’s intellectual property and strengthen its business strategy as the company communicates with outside carriers and connections.
Underlying the multiple prongs of PassTime’s IT strategy is a synergy and partnership with Flexential that will continue to bolster the company’s capabilities.
“I’ve been in this business for more than 35 years, and I can tell you, knowing that your partner is there to help during a critical situation is huge,” said Wells. “That is what we have seen so far, and we do not expect anything less going forward. So far it has been more than we expected.”
Headquartered outside of Denver, Colorado, PassTime is a leading provider of award-winning GPS solutions. For more than 25 years, it has helped the automotive industry, including lenders, dealerships and fleet managers, protect their assets with IoT-enabled devices. Today, the company is expanding beyond the automotive space to provide tracking services for a variety of other use cases, including medical equipment, cargo and construction.