- Data Centre
- Unified Comms
- Managed Services
Foxtons keeps ahead of the curve
Foxtons is renowned for being one of the most innovative and forward-thinking residential estate agents in London. It has grown rapidly since its launch in 1981, opening 65 offices across London and the Home Counties.
The Foxtons offices manage thousands of properties, all of which are visible on the estate agency’s interactive and award-winning website, Foxtons.co.uk. Over the past three decades the estate agent has become well-known for embracing change, with its online capabilities and presence having to keep pace in order to reflect the ever-changing demands of its customers. With the growth of its online property portfolio, Foxtons needed a reliable and flexible hosting partner to keep its website’s functionality flawless at all times.
ChallengeFoxtons entire operational model is underpinned by the company website as it is an essential tool for all customer types.
Leo Lapworth, Web Operations Director at Foxtons, explains: “Our website is predominantly a customer’s first point of engagement. It also acts as a vital, experience-enhancing, self-service information hub. Foxtons.co.uk features interactive floorplans, 360° virtual tours, photographs, location maps, aerial views and full colour brochures for every property we promote. With the property market constantly evolving, our website has also adapted to serve as an online portal for landlords and sellers to manage the entire sale or letting process at the touch of a button.”
Foxtons team of expert IT developers had built the impressive applications and functionalities behind the website and identified a gap between their developments and the performance ability of the estate agent’s current IT infrastructure. The company needed a secure, resilient hosting environment to ensure the website achieved optimum performance in an increasingly competitive market.
Foxtons engaged Six Degrees Group (6DG) to design and provide a managed hosting environment that would support their current and future website requirements. 6DG deployed a dual-site, high–performing and scalable web-hosting platform with a fully managed backup and disaster recovery solution.
The primary environment consists of the 6DG cloud pod - 6DG’s specialist virtual private cloud environment - located in 6DG’s own highly secure, managed data centre in South Birmingham. The cloud hosting platform consists of two cloud web servers plus a back-end database, virtual firewall and virtual load balancer. As it is fully scalable, the private cloud configuration allows for additional resources (physical and/or virtual) to be added, facilitating either Foxtons short-term bursting or long-term growth. For added resilience, the solution is geo-replicated on 6DG’s private cloud platform in London, allowing for full disaster recovery.
Leo adds: “In order to support the solution, 6DG deployed an MPLS network directly into their virtual private cloud, providing us with a private and secure connection. This has given us peace of mind as with 6DG’s self-healing network, if a fault was ever to occur, neither our agents nor our customers using the website would notice a thing.”
OutcomeThe 6DG team recognises how crucial the Foxtons website is to its business functionality.
Leo explains: “Our website now benefits from a two-site primary and secondary hosting platform, allowing it to function with zero downtime. Working with the experts at 6DG also means that our internal IT team has total flexibility and are able to pick up the phone and talk to 6DG at any time.”
Leo concludes: “With the constant change and development in the property market it’s important for us to keep ahead of the curve. Having an innovative, interactive website is an important part of what sets Foxtons apart from the rest of the market. For our sellers, landlords, tenants and buyers operating in a hectic market, it’s important to be able to manage and find the right properties, as well as the ability to arrange secure payments, at the time and place that is convenient for them. The team at 6DG understands how important the website is to our business. They have helped us to create a unique hosting platform that can support the website as Foxtons continues to meet the changing needs of the London property market.”