These days, any manufacturing or engineering enterprise needs to keep up with the rate of technology innovation. The more organisations continue to digitise every facet of their business, the more data that is generated that needs to be stored and managed. Having the flexibility to accommodate this is a key criteria for any organisation that puts data at the centre of their operations.
But is it possible to have an efficient data storage solution when the needs of a customer can be ever-changing? Hybrid cloud solution provider Consultel Cloud believes it is.
“What makes us different is that we don’t just don’t stick to one cloud provider,” said Benjamin Molloy, who leads the division at Consultel Cloud. “We partner with major technology vendors such as NetApp who lead in solid-state storage technology, as well as Equinix, the largest interconnected data centre globally, to offer choice and reliable cloud services to our customers. What Equinix has that is compelling is their Equinix Cloud Exchange. This is basically a gateway to multiple cloud service providers including SAP, Microsoft Azure and AWS across over 180+ data centres around the world.”
Molloy cites its partnership with the US-headquartered multinational storage and cloud data services provider, NetApp, as one of the keys to its success.
“All of our private storage is 100 percent NetApp, both in the traditional storage space and the hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) space,” said Molloy. “A lot of major organisations use NetApp around the world to ensure their most important asset – their data – is stored securely and managed efficiently. Companies include WD-40, ON Semiconductor, and Revlon internationally. In Australia, National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) use NetApp to power their high-performance research computing environment.”
As the data storage market gravitates towards hyper converged solutions, NetApp HCI is a key component of Consultel Cloud’s service offerings. What exactly does it do that makes it different from traditional storage data solutions? Quite a bit, according to Molloy.
“You used to have separate storage, separate switches and separate compute all connected to create your data centre,” said Molloy. “Hyper converged infrastructure simplifies this immensely by bringing your storage and compute together into one “building block” with network connectivity. With the first generation of HCI technology, if you needed to increase your compute performance or storage capacity, it meant that you needed to buy more of the one “building block”, irrespective of whether you needed more of just the compute or storage component. With NetApp HCI, what makes it truly next generation in its kind for hyper converged infrastructure is that the storage and compute can scale independently of one another whilst maintaining guaranteed performance, otherwise known as Quality of Service. Licensing costs are reduced and you don’t pay for what you don’t need – so when we build our cloud services on innovative data management technology like this, it means we get to pass on those efficiencies and savings to our customers too.”
Molloy said that Consultel Cloud can help the likes of the mining, engineering and manufacturing sectors because they may not have the luxury of space to accommodate data centre equipment in their working environment.
“Whether it’s a construction zone or a remote area for a mining exploration project, staff will need access to applications and data to do their job,” said Molloy. “The last thing they will want to spend time worrying about is their IT infrastructure – they just want it to be available and to work.”
With so many other cloud players in the market, why would a consumer choose a Consultel Cloud solution over another? As is the case in many situations, economics plays an important part.
“For many organisations these days, there’s very little or no capital expenditure for investment into their IT infrastructure, it’s moving towards operational expenditure,” said Molloy.
“With Consultel Cloud, it’s price performance so IOPs is guaranteed per gig you buy,” said Molloy. “You’ve got perfectly weighted metrics. We are cheaper than AWS, however this is not a price war because they could just drop their prices. The main difference between us is that they are a public cloud provider with shared infrastructure that gives you a range of possible performance metrics, not guaranteed.”
“Also, our cloud offerings are flexible consumption models which allow for turn-on/turn-off situations. Customers pay for what they need, when they need it. Our NetApp HCI as a Service offering is a high performance product that, along with Equinix and their Cloud Exchange, provide our customers with a very fast connection to their critical business applications (like SAP, Oracle, Office365 or Salesforce.com), while paying only for what they use.”
Another aspect related to cost is that the NetApp HCI as a Service offering allows customers to budget costs into their yearly spend in a predictable manner.
“Our offering has no hidden charges,” said Molloy. “Once you get a price for the solution you want, you can do whatever you want with that. You can have it running 24/7; you can have it at maximum performance; you can transfer as much data as you wish. Every project we do has a fixed price for its duration.”
In today’s crowded market of cloud providers, service offerings, and technology vendors, Molloy strongly believes Consultel Cloud’s mission is to make their cloud platform a simple, secure, and cost-effective way for organisations to store and manage their data in the cloud. “We’ve worked with many CEO’s and IT executives to ensure their technology investments make sense for their business today and into the future.”