Learn how this marketing software company controls its own infrastructure and leverages Deft’s networking proficiencies through Colocation and Managed Network Services.


ActiveCampaign provides cloud-based marketing and sales automation software.


Chicago, IL


After three years of dedicated hosting with a former service provider, deployment limitations became too inflexible to support ActiveCampaign’s changing demands. Weeklong turnarounds on quotes inhibited timely scaling, while hardware choice restrictions limited the company’s ability to use the newest technologies. ActiveCampaign’s frustration peaked when they tried to expand their storage and their provider could not support their requirements. They started to explore alternatives to dedicated hosting. Colocation’s cost savings, combined with the freedom to choose any hardware, made it the perfect next step.


  • refresh hardware to support ultra-rapid growth
  • reliably grow with room to add more resources at any time if needed
  • customizable hardware suited to each server’s application set
  • leverage service provider’s networking expertise
  • escape oppressive bandwidth throttling

“Getting a huge increase in hardware performance, the choice to choose our own equipment, and saving money while doing it made Deft an easy decision to make.”



ActiveCampaign knew Deft by reputation from a blog post written by staff at Basecamp (another Deft customer). After performing a due diligence comparison with other managed services providers, ActiveCampaign explored Deft’s willingness to fulfill an unusual request:

ActiveCampaign would own and manage the servers, while Deft would own and manage the network stack.

When Deft enthusiastically agreed, the ActiveCampaign team flew from Philadelphia, PA to tour Deft’s Chicago data center. After a personal walk-through of the new, high-density space, the team was pleased with Deft’s responsive Remote Hands support team, on-site parts depot, and completely flexible deployment options.


ActiveCampaign signed an agreement for Deft Colocation and a fully Managed Network stack. The hybrid deployment allows ActiveCampaign to maximize control over their infrastructure, scale at their own speed, and leverage Deft’s networking proficiency:

  • 2x 48U cabinets
  • managed high-availability firewalls
  • managed high-availability switches
  • managed PDUs
  • 100-gigabit Ethernet networking for all storage-related traffic
  • private storage locker on site


A key benefit of Deft Colocation in particular is flexibility. While ActiveCampaign chooses to utilize Deft’s global IP network, they are free to diversify and change routing as needed.

No hardware restrictions liberate features and functionalities (such as ZeusRAM) that let ActiveCampaign maximize existing systems instead of purchasing more.

Dedicated hardware allows ActiveCampaign to isolate issues much faster, and with better performance gains: initial file server performance tests showed more than twice the speed on Subversion benchmarks in a single thread.

While Colocation requires a larger investment up front, ActiveCampaign’s lifetime cost is magnitudes lower than dedicated hosting. Their most expensive server paid for itself in less than three months — a drastic difference in comparison to leased hosting, which charges well after the equipment is paid off.

According to ActiveCampaign, “The end result is faster, more reliable service for customers.”


Deft Colocation, supported by Managed Network services, provides ActiveCampaign with the following ongoing advantages:


  • significant long-term cost savings
  • doubled file server performance
  • 100% IP service uptime SLAs
  • low-latency networking with the option to cross-connect to content providers, networks, carriers, and Internet service providers
  • faster troubleshooting from dedicated hardware
  • ability to leverage Deft’s high-level support in emergencies
  • convenient hardware inventory on-site

“Having the flexibility to use Deft’s resources to manage our network gives us the perfect hybrid solution. It allows us to focus on what we know best and rely on Deft for the rest.”


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2200 Busse Rd.
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
+1 (312) 829-1111

Inc. 5000 America's Fastest Growing Private Companies