Thanks to Nexica's confidence and guidance, Habitaclia has a hybrid platform that partially maintains its original physical environment, and added to it a virtualized environment and pay-per-use cloud which ensures a reduction in its platform costs with minimal risks in its operation.

Customer needs

The Habitaclia online platform is the meeting point between real estate professionals and individuals. Selling or renting a property, or searching and engaging real estate services, are some of the activities that can be performed from the web portal. It is therefore a very dynamic business and one in which many agents are constantly interacting on the platform. So when, in a situation of crisis in the industry, the customer was considering strategies to reduce costs as well as the deployment of new services that could provide new revenue to the business, it had to be done with utmost prudence because they could not afford to lose a single transaction or have any dissatisfied customers along the way.

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As a cost-reduction strategy, Habitaclia considered outsourcing their ICT infrastructure and part of its management. While Habitaclia's technical ability allowed them to deploy the service on their own, the need to allocate internal resources to more business-oriented tasks made them consider this route.

On the other hand, for the sake of the stability of the service, Habitaclia did not wish to give up control, even to the point of not considering technology upgrades if they were not certain there would be no impact on the quality of service perceived by their customers.

Hybrid platform

Nexica's solution for Habitaclia was to gradually transform their initial platform of dedicated physical servers into the hybrid solution of today. The current platform consists of physical, virtual and cloud servers intended to host both the web front-end (balanced multiple servers), the database environment (SQL cluster), as well as other application servers for data extraction and other complementary services.

Habitaclia kept their DB environment in dedicated physical servers, although they have been upgraded to Blade CISCO UCS with high throughput, which are able to withstand future growth and maintain operating requirements, as such a DB demands a high volume of changes and rapid implementation of them. The environment is hybridised with Nexica shared cloud servers (also under CISCO UCS technology) and virtual servers.

The cloud servers are provided in cloud-on-demand form. Therefore, the customer hosts services under this system which are only used during business hours and avoids paying for hosting when not in use.

Regarding administration of the service, Habitaclia fully delegates the management of the Microsoft SQL database to Nexica. As for the web environment, it has gone through an upgrading process and is currently managed by Nexica, consolidating the outsourcing process initiated.

'Our website must convey security and trust because our growth as a company depends on it. Nexica understood that fact and with Nexica we have grown securely in every step we took. Had that not been the case, the technology and management changes made in recent years would not have been carried out. Nexica has also responded at all times to our queries by contributing and working together with us to bring new solutions'.

Marc De Mena Tomé
Head of Development and Operations

The Habitaclia service was completed with other additional services (security and acceleration of the platform, monitoring services, SAN storage for images, back-up, etc.), from all of which, the availability of a Service Manager within Nexica providing an expert technical hotline to the customer is again another recent step towards total outsourcing, which is growing by the day with the confidence conveyed by Nexica.

Benefits obtained

Habitaclia has been consolidating its service-outsourcing strategy with Nexica and has done so gradually with hardly any impact on its operation. This process has also been accompanied by a gradual but steady technology upgrade to ensure future growth at the same time as securing the intended goal: having greater resources for the management and development of new services for the web portal.

The Customer

With a history of over 10 years, is the leading real estate web portal in Catalonia. It is considered the best place to look for property in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Andorra and is the meeting point between professionals (banks, estate agents, developers) and individuals who offer property and the people who seek it. With more than 3.5 million visits per month, it was the fastest-growing website in audience in 2012.

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