alfaview implements GDPR- compliant video conferencing solution with SysEleven

About alfaview

alfaview is a GDPR-compliant video conferencing solution that enables companies, educational institutions, and private individuals to hold data privacy compliant online meetings, teaching events, and other events. More than 200 people can communicate simultaneously with video and audio – lip-synched, encrypted, and in the highest quality.

alfaview-logo

The software solution has all the functions of a modern communications tool: from screen transmission, chat, and whiteboard, to moderator functions and second cameras, to live transcription and
simultaneous interpreter function. The product was originally developed at alfatraining Bildungszentrum
GmbH and is now offered by alfaview GmbH. It is operated exclusively in German data centers certified under ISO 27001. alfaview has already been using it since 2010 to conduct its own online training courses at the alfa-training training company.

The challenge: alfaview’s special performance requirements

As the market showed a strong increase in demand for video conferencing, alfatraining wanted to further develop its in-house solution as an SaaS product. The target group was primarily corporate customers with special requirements for data and communication security.
 
The videoconferencing solution also had to be operated in partner data centers, be able to be centrally administered and updated, and be designed to handle heavy peak loads caused by a large number of simultaneous sessions from different customers — all while maintaining high image and sound quality.
“In addition to technical performance, data protection, and security have always been top priorities for us. Therefore, it was a matter of course for us that all calls with alfaview are encrypted according to the highest standards and are not stored. This means that our customers’ conversations remain confidential and secure,” says Niko Fostiropoulos, founder and CEO of alfaview® Video Conferencing Systems and alfatraining. “We therefore deliberately chose a managed cloud service provider from Germany to operate our video conferencing solution.”

The challenge was to establish an IT infrastructure that would allow large volumes of data to be stored, processed, and transferred, while at the same time avoiding the big hyperscalers such as Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure. The reason: alfaview wanted to give all customers full control over their content in line with the GDPR while ensuring its security.

The choice: A cloud solution from SysEleven

alfaview first evaluated several cloud service providers. The most important selection criteria included high performance and availability, the use of alfaview’s own IP networks (Bring Your Own IP, BYOIP), and ISO 27001-certified data centers in Germany. To reduce internal effort, the video conferencing solution was to be commissioned on a managed cloud platform and operated by the selected provider. At the same time, alfaview attaches great importance to the lowest possible vendor lock-in so as not to become dependent on just one provider. “We chose SysEleven because they are a very experienced Managed Kubernetes provider. Thus the company was able to meet all our requirements and score points with mature technology and exceptionally good service even during the evaluation phase – no other provider was able to offer us this combination at the time,” says Niko Fostiropoulos.

The project: In two phases to alfaview in the modern Kubernetes environment

The construction of the new IT infrastructure was to take place in two phases. With the help of an API, the infrastructure – based on the open source platform OpenStack – could be built smoothly with Terraform (Infrastructure-as-Code). Then all existing alfaview services were gradually integrated into the new platform. The test phase was a success: The necessary adjustments for the best possible load distribution were made in close cooperation with SysEleven’s very responsive support. Thus alfaview was able to go live with its new infrastructure after a project duration of around eight months.

 

After the successful market launch of alfaview’s SaaS solution and a total of two and a half years of operation, Phase 2 followed: In order to further increase the solution’s scalability and flexibility and to reduce its own administration effort, alfaview relied on Kubernetes for the containerization of its cloud solution. Thanks to SysEleven’s MetaKube orchestration platform, alfaview was able to migrate its services almost entirely on its own. Extensive testing followed this as well, and productive operation began after a total of just four months of project duration. The migration was carried out transparently for all alfaview customers as well as without any major maintenance windows and was therefore not associated with any restrictions.

The result: An efficient and highly scalable cloud infrastructure

With MetaKube, alfaview now has a powerful and highly scalable cloud infrastructure on which the company can operate its video conferencing solution while being able to add further resources at any time. Since the operation of the container infrastructure is completely handled by SysEleven, alfaview’s team can fully concentrate on the further development of its services. Customers benefit from excellent audio and video performance and, thanks to the fully integrated alfaview IP networks, only need to open their firewalls to alfaview IPs. They can also rest assured that they have full control over personal data at all times and will continue to do so in the future.

Niko Fostiropoulos – Geschäftsleitung – alfatraining

The implementation of the ambitious IT project and SysEleven’s comprehensive support confirmed that our decision was exactly the right one

Niko Fostiropoulos, Founder and Managing Director of alfaview