Care needed when migrating storage to the cloud

First published in PACE, June 2019.

Australia-based Consultel Cloud has launched its hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) product, which has brought scalability and cloud choice to consumers.

Consultel Cloud’s customers spans industries including construction, banking, healthcare, retail and more.

Its customers are located mainly in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australasia, and they have looked to the company to guide them through infrastructure projects both large and small.

However, over the past 10 years, as customers began to take advantage of the cloud, Consultel Cloud has seen unexpected consequences of speedy migrations taking a toll. Cost, performance and security were all areas that customers struggled to understand in the new technology landscape and they needed a helping hand in understanding how to overcome these obstacles. In 2015, the company launched Consultel Cloud, its cloud services division.

“So many customers were quickly jumping into the cloud without a clear idea of how to effectively manage those offerings,” said Benjamin Molloy, division lead at Consultel Cloud. “In some cases, they were getting additional bills of $90,000 a month.”

As the division expanded, however, its existing infrastructure created bottlenecks. “It was expensive, and we had difficulty getting the service we needed to guarantee performance for our customers,” said Molloy. “We had to rip everything out after just one year.”
Today, Consultel Cloud is 100 per cent NetApp.

“The NetApp products are outstanding, and the support has been amazing,” said Molloy. Leveraging data fabric-ready products from the NetApp portfolio, including NetApp HCI, Consultel Cloud built its cloud platform inside Equinix. The new platform provides customers with choice in cloud connectivity and the flexibility to scale seamlessly according to their business needs. The company almost halved its storage costs while providing customers with increased performance through a cost-effective consumption model.

“Our mission is to deliver value from the cloud to existing businesses and to position customers to evolve to the next stage,” said Molloy. “Our business is the same – we have to identify opportunities and get them to market as quickly as possible.”

Today, Consultel Cloud leverages NetApp HCI in Equinix data centres across Melbourne, Sydney, New York and London. The Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric provides access to more than 180 cloud service providers including SAP, Microsoft Azure and AWS. This infrastructure eliminates bottlenecks, guarantees data security because data never leaves Equinix, and provides access to any cloud. Within NetApp HCI, Consultel Cloud can manage mixed workloads, provide customers with the flexibility to scale up and down as needed, and is said to guarantee performance.

“Our customer service level agreements (SLAs) include cost penalties for non-performance. With NetApp, we’ve never had an SLA issue,” said Molloy. “We can guarantee performance and flexibility to our customers.” Consultel Cloud, which also has an office in Singapore, deploys new environments for customers faster and more cost effectively than ever before. “The faster we can deploy them, the faster customers can implement into their businesses,” said Molloy.

With a templated approach based upon its own infrastructure, the company can deliver a proof of concept in days and has shortened deployment time for a new environment from seven weeks to four.

Consultel Cloud experienced so much value from NetApp HCI that it transitioned it into its newest service offering. Customer deployments are delivered in record time. Customers can utilise any cloud they want with performance increases, predictable costs, and the knowledge that all their data is managed inside a secure environment.

“Customer data never leaves Equinix,” explained Molloy. “We can guarantee data sovereignty and security while still providing access to multiple clouds.”

Consultel Cloud’s experience and innovative solutions are supporting customers from across the globe.

“We serve our existing customer base from our telecom roots, but we have a great deal of organic growth happening as well,” said Molloy. “We are expecting 25 per cent to 30 per cent growth in the next 12 months.”

With the NetApp infrastructure in place providing all the benefits of the next-generation data centre, the company is confident it can scale to meet its customers’ growth, too.

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