This article was first published in Australian Mining.

Since its launch in 2013, Consultel Cloud has provided tailored hybrid cloud solutions to aid mining businesses. Australian Mining speaks to cloud division lead Benjamin Molloy.

Consultel Cloud’s Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) service, launched in partnership with NetApp, provides increased choice in cloud connectivity solutions for the mining industry.

HCI provides a host of unique benefits for operators, allowing users to scale the level of service as required, guaranteeing performance while maintaining security and sovereignty of data.

NetApp’s HCI technology was named an evolutionary disrupter by research firm Gartner for its ability to “accelerate business outcomes and achieve growth.” For Consultel Cloud, NetApp integration came naturally.

“We used what are in our opinion the two best partners, NetApp and Equinix, who work seamlessly together,” says Consultel Cloud division lead Benjamin Molloy. “This allows us to use the whole complement of products from a networking and storage point of view.”

“Globally, we use Equinix data centres and NetApp for compute and storage, so unlike most providers, which would use different data centres, we only use the same technology — if you use Consultel Cloud in Dubai or New York, for instance, you know you’re going to get the exact same level of service wherever you go.”

Leveraging NetApp’s experience as a hybrid cloud data services company, and the reliability of Equinix data centres, Consultel Cloud delivers guaranteed metrics for businesses, including mine operators, which typically require high-performing infrastructure and seek ever-improving manageability and ease of use for their IT infrastructure.

For over 20 years, the Consultel name has become an established part of Australia’s IT consulting landscape, but as a cloud service it has emerged as recently as 2013.

Consultel Cloud is designed with flexibility in mind for work sites, providing risk reduction for businesses through consistent performance and a dedicated environment, at a cost effective price.

One of Consultel Cloud’s unique selling points is that it provides cost-effective hybrid cloud solutions that aren’t tied to any one provider.

With Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric integration, Consultel Cloud customers can privately connect to over 180 cloud service providers, including tier one providers such as SAP, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Oracle and their partner services.

The interconnection of these services and the ability to make use of their various strengths gives users the most cost-effective hybrid solution available. This method helps to eliminate bottlenecks and guarantee data security because the data never leaves the customer’s assigned data centre no matter which provider the customer uses.

Customers also have access to a portal with a single interface across a bevy of providers. In the words of Molloy, “it enables customers to see everything that’s going on with AWS or Azure or SAP HANA and their private cloud with a single interface.”

This approach helps to reduce complexity and as a result, management costs. According to Molloy, the benefits Consultel Cloud brings the mining industry are palpable, particularly in an industry where time is often a critical factor in operations.

Customer deployments can be delivered quickly with no fuss, since integrating NetApp HCI Consultel Cloud has gained enough experience to deliver a proof of concept within a few days, and shorten deployment times for new environments from seven weeks to just four.

“With mining, it’s similar to the manufacturing industry, where they might want a whole solution or a site — even with instruction — to be enabled overnight, and one that can be turned off just as quickly. With the hybrid approach, there’s a lot of contingency built into that,” Molloy says.

“We are also a telecommunications provider, as well as a cloud provider so there’s a lot of contingency in what we actually design for the customer, which enables them to rapidly expand or to turn the service on and off as they please.

Consultel Cloud is expecting 25–30 per cent growth in the next 12 months, with reaction positive so far. For Molloy, Consultel Cloud stands out among the competition for its ability to provide tailored and expedient hybrid cloud solutions.

“We actually provide a hybrid cloud solution which is cost effective for clients. Most cloud providers today will be your tier one providers such AWS and Microsoft Azure; the other tiers of service providers usually just resell one particular type — they’ll be a Microsoft Azure partner, for example.” he says.

“In line with Equinix, with the cloud network aggregation and with the use of Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric, we can privately connect into over 180 cloud service providers. From a networking point of view that allows us to connect to all the different cloud providers and also, as a cloud provider, offer a hybrid cloud solution for our clients securely”

Hyper converged systems are expected to continue to grow over time even as the market tightens, and Consultel Cloud is at the forefront.