UK-based ad personalisation firm Struq – whose clients include Nike, Easyjet,, Topshop, Debenhams, Virgin Mobile and Hertz – has chosen to use cloud infrastructure from IaaS provider SoftLayer to carry out real-time analytics.

Struq enables e-commerce businesses to increase their sales through highly targeted and personalised ad campaigns across display, video and social media channels. This relies on being able to conduct complex 'Big Data' analytics at high speed.

SoftLayer was chosen rather than alternatives from the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Rackspace because its flexible infrastructure platform allows Struq to provision physical servers in hours rather than days.

It also offers extremely low latency network connections, while enabling Struq to keep its technology infrastructure costs to a single digit percentage of its revenue.

“We were analysing this relative to Amazon, and started to think of the accounting nightmare that it would have been to shove data between servers, between the regions. They charge on a per-request and a per-byte basis, and it would have been quite expensive for us,” said Struq CTO Aaron McKee.

“It's really easy to get a prototype business up and running on something like AWS or Heroku, but it's sometimes really hard to deal with it once you've grown to a certain size.”

For an in-depth case study on Struq’s use of SoftLayer, which looks at McKee’s Big Data challenges, network infrastructure considerations and why Amazon and Rackspace just didn't fit the bill, click here.