We’ve Grown Up

November 19, 2010

This post isn’t just a pat on our back.

It’s about how far we’ve come since our humble startup origins, when we were no more than three guys working steadfastly in a loft in Copenhagen on creating simplified and elegant customer support software.

That was three years ago.

Today, our maturity as an organization is evident. We continue to build Zendesk into a world-class SaaS organization and the largest customer support platform on the web.

We now serve more than 5,000 businesses worldwide and more than 12 million people have used Zendesk since our founding in 2007. More than 100,000 new support requests are processed through Zendesk daily and more than 1,000 companies, large and small, from every world region sign up for a trial every week.

These are all major achievements of which we are very proud, but we have zero plans of resting on our laurels anytime soon.

Instead, we’ve taken a number of steps to keep your business running smoothly and securely.

For starters, we’ve added several key people to our team:

Tim Sturge, our director of infrastructure and operations, comes to Zendesk with a solid and respected history in building highly scalable systems. He spent a significant time at Yahoo! where he most notably owned Yahoo’s login and registration. Later, at Google, he developed the infrastructure for Google’s next generation Adwords platform.

Adrian McDermott, our VP of Engineering was most recently CTO of Attributor. He was responsible for a significant web-crawling operation, running text and video fingerprinting across thousands of cores. He previously ran BEA’s and Plumtree’s Portal/Enterprise Social Computing Engineering teams.

David Nghiem, in devops, hails from six years at Barclays Global Investors as a tools developer and sysadmin.

Richard Nghiem, our operations engineer, started off as a windows desktop admin 11 years ago. After tireless hours spent on RTFM, he upgraded to linux servers after a year and never looked back.

Transparency

Because scaling any business can pose a number of multi-faceted problems, we’ve also decided to be transparent with our technical information.

On our engineering blog, Zengineering, we are sharing stories about operations, building our Zendesk, web application development, technical challenges, and about interesting engineering concepts in a SaaS world.  Meanwhile, on  our System Status page, we’ll record every time our system is unavailable. We also calculate our monthly uptime average here and provide a record of our downtime history.
Migration

We’ve recently migrated to new industrial strength servers provided by Rackspace. We chose Rackspace because their goals of fanatical support and 100 percent uptime mesh with our goals, especially as it relates to growth and transparency.

Uptime

This is something we care about deeply. We’ve been explicitly measuring it since May 2010 and since that time have averaged over 99.9% uptime, excluding scheduled maintenances. On the topic of scheduled maintenances, we intend to schedule them on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. PST whenever possible. You can find detailed uptime figures on our System Status page.

Growth of Site

We have doubled our hardware footprint and expect to double it again in 2011. Our goal is to always have sufficient capacity for our site to perform well and for all our customers, and we are continually working to improve our infrastructure and increase scalability.

So, we just want you to know that we think and care about these things and are pleased that we can tackle complex and multi-faceted growth issues, all the while remaining nimble and careful. At Zendesk, we pride ourselves on the ability to give customers enterprise-level support and coverage without the red tape. No matter how large we grow, we will continue to give you the personalized and flexible service that we’ve been able to provide since our very first day.

It’s why we’ve been able to attract clients such as Rackspace, Twitter, Groupon, New Zealand Post, Kiva, and Sony Music.

As always, you can find our latest system updates on @ZendeskOps and feel free to reach out to us.

Ok, so this is a pat on our back.

Thanks for growing with us.