iLovePDF and OVHcloud: a case study
Daily visits

2 million

Countries users

of users

Among 150 most visited websites

Among the 250
most visited websites

Executive summary

iLovePDF offers a set of free, simple tools for editing and converting PDFs in just a few seconds. The idea originated in 2010 when Marco Grossi, its founder, tried to merge two PDF files. At the time, there were no free online software programs he could use to merge the files easily, so he spent more than 20 minutes merging them. When he realised how tricky this was for him, he began to wonder how complex it would be for people who did not have his level of technical skill. For this reason, Grossi decided to share his solution online, so that users could save time editing their PDF files.

10 years later, iLovePDF is now classed as one of the 250 most visited websites globally. Over this period, the project grew from two tools to more than 20, which can be used to merge, compress, divide, add watermarks and protect PDFs, as well as convert to and from the most widely-used Microsoft Office formats, like PowerPoint, Excel and Word. What started off as a basic website evolved into a multi-platform application available on mobile phones, work desktops and web browsers, via extensions and plug-ins. The company also offers an API, so that other developers can integrate tools in to their local systems.

The challenge

Through its website, iLovePDF offers one of the most comprehensive and high-quality PDF services at a highly competitive price — for most uses, it is free. Its user base includes a range of different profiles and specialisms (students, teachers, lawyers, administrative agents, businesses, governments, etc.). Users upload their documents on to the website, edit them online, then download them to their devices.

To respond to the needs of more than 2 million users per day in more than 140 countries, the company looked for a cloud provider that could host its infrastructure and offer the ability to scale and manage traffic spikes, while also offering the very highest security settings. Integration agility was another essential factor, too.

When our website is saturated with visitors, we need to be able to scale our server infrastructure immediately. This is why OVHcloud’s quick integration process was a key factor in our decision.

Marco Grossi, CEO, iLovePDF

The main challenge of iLovePDF is to ensure stability for its infrastructure, and availability for its tools — even while the website is receiving a high number of visitors, and while a lot of files are being uploaded. This means they can guarantee that users can access their services at any time.

To achieve this objective, the company looked for servers that offered outstanding CPU and RAM performance, a high data transfer capacity, and private networks. Not to mention maximum security — one of the company’s main requirements due to the data it processes — and this is guaranteed by ISO 27001 compliance.

The solution

As a SaaS provider, iLovePDF found that OVHcloud offered all of the solutions it needed to build its infrastructure, which is spread across several of OVHcloud’s European datacentres.

We have found OVHcloud to be the best provider of dedicated servers and cloud services. This is partly because it is a large company, but the main reason is because of its presence in Europe. This is essential for both security, and compliance with the GDPR as well as the ISO 9001/27001 standard.

Marco Grossi, CEO, iLovePDF

Infrastructure dedicated servers host the web applications, offering high levels of computing power, a high storage capacity and excellent connectivity. The Public Cloud solution hosts their micro-services. With pay-as-you-go resources available on demand, it delivers flexibility and agility for the infrastructure.

The dedicated servers and cloud servers are connected to one another via the vRack, the OVHcloud private network. With this technology, servers located in different regions can transfer data to one another privately and securely. And to distribute traffic across regions, iLovePDF uses the OVHcloud Load Balancer.

The backup measures that have been set up are very strict. As an example, one of the backups for signed encrypted files, which are generated by one of the tools offered by iLovePDF, is hosted on Storage dedicated servers. These offer a very high storage capacity, and high fault tolerance for hardware with their RAID configurations.

The company has also recently integrated the SMS Pro solution from OVHcloud, to send verification messages to its users. This service is quick and easy to implement, enabling them to send SMS messages to users worldwide with their company name as a custom sender name. They can also receive information on the delivery status of their messages.

The result

OVHcloud was able to meet all of iLovePDF’s needs. The OVHcloud global infrastructure includes 30 datacentres, and 34 other points of presence linked by a 20Tbit/s private fibre optic network – so the SaaS provider has the geographical coverage it needs to offer services globally. This also guarantees quick loading times for users. And by picking European datacentres for all of its servers, the company can offer optimal security, with data protected by the GDPR.

iLovePDF manages its entire infrastructure autonomously, and the OVHcloud philosophy is aligned with its way of working, enabling the company to get optimal performance at a lower price than other providers. Its IT team is also very agile for the deployment process. And in the event of an incident, OVHcloud quickly and calmly resolves the issue.

While OVHcloud offers everything we need to manage our infrastructure ourselves, without having to contact third parties, each time we identified a new need, we received outstanding advice and quality on the choices we could opt for. We are also very lucky to have Adrián, our Account Manager, who is always available to clear up any doubts and resolve incidents.

Juan Eduardo Eguiguren, Business Developer, iLovePDF

The company is currently working on iLovePDF Signature — a new tool for certified digital signatures, which will also be hosted on OVHcloud infrastructures. And to help other companies with their digital transformation, in the future it plans to focus on developing new solutions to support remote working and paperless document management.